Chapter three is mostly done, and I will post what exists.
However, I’m sorry to say I will not be finishing it, and this marks the end of Persuasion Illustrated*. I’ve now been living in London for two amazing years and the best part of it has been experiencing the sheer volume and diversity of people, the proliferation of creative ideas and the time and effort being put into exploring them, testing them, learning from them.
Realistically, each page of Persuasion takes me three to five hours. Mathematically that’s about 120 full time days of unpaid work. Financially this is viable if I spend nights and weekends on it like every other artist who keeps a day job to do what they love. Personally it’s different.
I’ve reassessed my motivations for doing this. I still love the book, but I no longer want to spend my time retelling a story that’s already been told and retold multiple times, about a group of people who have historically had the privilege of having their stories told, analysed, glorified, vilified, heard. There has been some progress in recent years with women and people of colour appearing in popular media in more varied, complex, and/or leading roles. I’m not going into this; it has been covered by better writers elsewhere. Despite this progress I still have yet to see my likeness in the media. I am virtually completely unrepresented in popular culture in the countries I have lived in as an adult. Moana was the closest one (it’s not even that close), and seeing her on the big screen made me feel that I have an epic story and that it’s important and that people want to hear it because it’s thrilling and romantic and new and exciting, and I had never actually felt this before and it was such a shock I almost cried. To think of all the people who aren’t telling their stories because there has never been a precedent to tell them they can and that it’s worthwhile.
The point of all this is to say: I have decided that the 120+ full time unpaid days that I would spend on Persuasion needs to be spent elsewhere.
*unless someone pays me to do it. This would change everything, because I would be spending work time on it rather than own-time.