I’ve been hurt. We all have, I know, but today I am nursing wounds from being attacked by my friend’s kitty. Now, I love cats. I have two of the sweetest kitties on the planet and it makes me sad when people say they don’t like cats. I mean, they probably don’t like you either!
I was feeding my friend’s cat, and apparently, I wasn’t doing it properly or fast enough, because, after a week of popping in twice a day to make sure he was safe and fed, Billie decided he’d had enough of my shit and thought my yoga pants could do with some slashes! It was like a ninja-strike, over before I realised what was happening! I said a few choice words, plopped his food down and grabbed the tea-towel to defend myself if he came at me.
It was horrible, but the worst thing is, I was nervous around my cats when I got home. Cats are not domesticated, according to my vet; they are feral! My guys don’t leave the house and have never been hunting (apart from the odd, unsuspecting gecko! oops!) so I think that’s why they are so very passive. That’s my very unscientific opinion!
My point is this; when something bad happens we need to put it in its place. And get some ointment on it quick smart…As they say on any investment advice website;
Past performance is not indicative of future results!
Just because Billie attacked me, doesn’t mean my cats will. Billie probably will, but just because a shitty thing happened doesn’t mean it has to happen again…
I’m going to change my behaviour. I mean, I certainly won’t be going near that particular cat again…but I am not going to be afraid of all cats! (I was viciously attacked by a feral cat as a small child and don’t have a cat phobia because – #notallcats.)
So, Christine, this blog is about art making. What’s your point?
Unlike financial services disclaimers, if things aren’t going well with your art, Past performance can be indicative of future results if you refuse to CHANGE! Things not going so well with your art, writing, life in general? Stop, and take a long hard look! Take a good look, take stock, use the tools set out by many writers such as Lauren Handel Zander, Pam Grout, or Julia Cameron to name just a few. Do some meta-work on yourself and see where a change-up could be just what you need.
I am not talking about rejection here; ‘rejection’ or failure to sell your work is a natural and regular part of doing creative work if you want to build an income stream from it. Building a business from your art takes focus, commitment, and determination, and can take years to get anywhere! Are you learning? Trying new things? Failing on a regular basis?
One of my old painting teachers used to say, “If every painting works, you’re not trying hard enough!”
If you’ve been working hard on your creative output, shipping regularly and still not getting any traction after years of genuine, concerted effort, you might want to think about doing some lessons with a new teacher, either live or on youtube. You could try experimenting with a new style, genre or material. Get some fresh eyes on your work too; an unbiased and professional opinion may seem frightening but can save you lots of time, money and heartache in the long run. Plus you just don’t know if you might find another passion in the process.
If you are happy with your current work and don’t care about making money, please ignore this advice! But if you want to sell your artwork or writing, it’s important to know what the marketplace wants! I’m not suggesting you abandon what you love and chase the dollars! It’s important to have a passion project on the go (I write stories about Paris even though I am not 100% who or where the market is yet…) but if I want to make a living with my writing, I need to spend time writing what I know and finding an audience, and experimenting with new subjects and genres too! Who knows where that path will lead? Hopefully not past Billie the Cat!
Do something every day that scares you.
~Mary Schmich (not Eleanor Roosevelt!)