Pushy – No! Assertive – Yes! Mary E. Latela October 26, 2015
I read about the qualities writers should develop in order to be a good marketer. Yes, my Dad was in Sales, and he had a personality to go with – persuasive, sometimes manipulative, persistent. He worked on commission and that’s how we had food to eat. I was sometimes embarrassed when he pulled out his violin in the midst of a dinner party and started playing – just because he thought the scene needed a little music …. no permission, just jump in!
There is a difference between being pushy and being assertive but it’s not totally our fault. Women have been trained to be submissive, quiet, tossing aside compliments, apologizing all over the place. This may have been how it was in 1950, but these qualities are not called weak, aloof, self-deprecating, etc. In learning to speak and act with authority, we have had only the male model, which does come across as brusque when copied by a woman. John Wayne might not accept a role as a book marketer – where’s the action? where is the control? Confrontation worked very well for him.
So it may take some practice to become confident enough to speak up for ourselves, to sell our work. Learning public speaking is an excellent venture. I tell people I am not afraid of speaking in public, as long as I know what I’m talking about (more or less). Actually, in junior high school I made a courageous (for me) decision to join the Debate Team and the Drama Club, so that I would be comfortable speaking in public. This is part of my WORK now!
No, I don’t like to deal with people who act desperate when they try to sell you something they crafted. I want to say … I wish you were more proud of your work, then I’d remember that when I placed your creation on my desk.