A Persuasion Lesson From My Cat. Yes, Really

A Persuasion Lesson From My Cat. Yes, Really

I sat down for my morning writing session. A hot cup of coffee rested on the end table, still untouched. The kids played quietly while wife did her thing. All of the sudden I let out a primal roar.

Duck….What The Hell’s Wrong With You!!” 

Duck is our cat. 

He just knocked over a cup of orange juice sitting on our dining room table. It spilled all over a dining room chair and onto the floor. If you have a cat you can probably identify with my experience. Frustration got the better of me. The insanity of yelling at a cat and asking it a question escaped me while I seethed in anger. Once I realized the absurdity of my over-reaction, l regained my composure. I grabbed a rag and cleaned up the mess. By the time I finished cleaning, my coffee needed to be reheated. That triggered another bout of frustration.

With my nerves and anger still on edge I decided to forego my planned writing activity. I’m in the midst of working on a sales letter. To do that effectively you need the right mindset. You need focus and clarity. The focus and clarity I felt when I sat down with my coffee and laptop evaporated when my cat knocked over the juice.

Getting My Head Straight

Once upon a time I would just power through and finish. Not finishing meant failure. I don’t know why I ever believed that. I’m sure it was something I picked up from a bullshit self-help book twenty years ago.  

Copywriting or any kind of persuasive writing implies that you seek a certain outcome as the result of your writing. You could be seeking a lead, sale or just inciting some kind of response. You rely less on creativity and more on mechanical or formulaic acumen. Even a small hiccup in your mindset can upset that balance in your writing.

That pent up feeling of anger or frustration makes its way to the page. Sure, I go back and edit later but why make my life harder.

Instead of plowing through my sales letter, which would have been tainted by my mindset, I put my plan aside. Instead, I decided to write about my experience in the hopes that it would soothe my nerves and get me back in a place where I can write an effective sales letter.

I think I’m there now. My cat now sits in the corner of our living room curled up in a ball while he sleeps. I feel silly for allowing him to dictate my morning. Time to go write.


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