Our Cat, a Little Bird and Some Thoughts on ‘Persuasion’

A couple of weeks ago I had a total of 20 creative pieces ‘out there’ in submissions land. I was pleased with the progress I’d made, considering my time for creativity (and the organization time necessary for sending off and keeping track of subs) is so limited. I went to bed with a sense of achievement. Some pieces were then longlisted, so I went on to the next phase of waiting, which involved (in the main) being grateful for the longlisting + positive feedback, as well as trying to remain not too hopeful.

In the past few days the 20 submissions have whittled down to about 10 still being under consideration as the to-be-expected rejections have dropped into my email inbox.

A sense of Why am I doing this? clouds my mood. Particularly as financial worries are always there in the background. Writing, I know, is not lucrative. Hell, it’s not even pin money lucrative. And importantly (cue maudlin violins) will I earn enough from it to keep our new cat, Mitsie in food?!


Isn't she a cutie? Photo by Marija Smits
Isn’t she a cutie? Photo by Marija Smits


So I’ve been thinking a lot about creatives and makers recently. In this noisy, social-media obsessed, neoliberal and individualistic worldYou can do anything! There is no limit to how rich or successful you can be! – it seems more vital than ever that a maker also has to be a persuader. Not only do creatives have to create but they also have to sell themselves and their creations. They have to persuade others of the worth of their work. To make them want and desire it. It’s something that creatives (mainly introverts and/or HSPs) don’t like to do. It doesn’t come easy to us. Whereas there are people (mainly extroverts) who – shock horror! – actually like selling.

The internet is now full of persuaders persuading us to buy their book, ebook, course, or whatever, on how best to persuade others to buy our work. It’s all getting a bit meta. The sheer number of these persuaders serve to illustrate how marketing and publicity can be make-or-break for an artist, and them making a living from their work. Or is this perhaps a false perception?

Often, I simply don’t have the energy, let alone the will or enthusiasm to persuade others to read my writing or buy my art. It seems as though I only have a certain amount of ‘oomph’ in me. And that will have to go on the art and the craft of making. Because, rejection fug aside, it is the one thing that makes this whole submitting merry-go-round worth it. And from time to time I have to remind myself of that. Creating is play. Creating is flying for the soul.





3 thoughts on “Our Cat, a Little Bird and Some Thoughts on ‘Persuasion’”

  1. What an excellent excuse for a lovely cat picture.
    It’s hard, isn’t it, because it’s such a struggle to overcome that feeling of “well, my work should speak for itself, I shouldn’t *need* to sell it”. It’s just about getting a tiny slice of people’s attention when there is SO MUCH OF EVERYTHING in the world. I have a terrible kindle habit at the moment, buying things on offer when I’ve heard they’re fantastic, so my tbr pile is growing and growing and in that sense these writers have made their way into my consciousness, but not enough for me to actually sit and read their stuff. I suppose commercially speaking that might be the important part for them! But I can’t imagine it being satisfying for someone like you.

    1. He he! I’m good at finding excuses for cat photos! And re: the Kindle – that’s why I don’t really use mine to read books as I know I’ll end up buying loads and then never get round to reading them, whereas physical copies are very good visual prompts for me to get reading! And yes, quite agree, there really is SO MUCH OF EVERYTHING in the world and sometimes it just gets me down. Thankfully, I’m feeling a bit happier about it all at the moment. M x

  2. Pingback: Seeing Myself in My Parents; Seeing My Parents in Myself « Marija Smits

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