The Art of Patience and Skipping Ahead

So how is the first week of my book being on Amazon going??

I have no idea.

Because the book is distributed to multiple retailers, the company I used to publish it doesn’t provide an initial sales report for at least 4 months! I have to wait 90 days after the end of the fiscal month to get a report about that month.

You mean I can’t obsessively hit refresh on some statistics page to get live updates on how much my book is selling (or not selling)?? Well, that’s just annoying.

It’s probably also a really good thing. Because I would obsessively hit refresh and start to get really down on myself if days went by with no reported sales. Even before I found out it was live on Amazon, I was mentally preparing myself for minimal success. I knew I would get a few sales (thanks Mom and Dad!) but there were no guarantees beyond that. Call it pessimistic or realistic, but I know myself and how sensitive I am to even small disappointments. I know the demons in my head would translate poor sales to poor writing and poor self-worth, and I would be bombarded with negative thoughts like “see, we told you no one really cares” and “no one wants to pay to read your writing, you must suck.”

I know these thoughts are false, but that doesn’t make them any easier to listen to. So I prepare myself with alternate positive thoughts like “I rock for accomplishing this goal!” I also try to actually listen to people when they tell me that they really enjoy my writing. The book does have two positive reviews already on Amazon. That’s exciting! And I did not have a panic attack over someone’s comment about a few grammatical errors. I know I take some liberties with my grammar for stylistic purposes. I’m a fan of fragments to emphasize points, I admit it. And I knew there were going to be things that were missed (I’m also a fan of beginning sentences with “and” or “but”). It happens.

I’m really proud of myself that I can honestly state that. Accepting my flaws is progress!

Just putting something out there, beyond my blog, is huge. Asking people to pay for one of my creations is also huge. It’s a risk that any writer or artist has to take if they want to try to support themselves in some small way with their passion. The fact that I felt strong enough to take that risk, and continue to feel good about it, is a sign of major growth for me.

While I wait for that sales report, I’ve actually started on a second book! I’m trying to channel the momentum from the first one into something productive instead of impatiently counting the days. If you want to know what it’s about, leave a comment below! Maybe I’ll reveal it in my next post.

In the studio, Teacher has started working on silver rhythm choreography with me. When he first announced that’s what we were doing, I said “wait, what about bronze??” I like to do things in order, but apparently all of the rhythm I picked up from group classes, social dancing and those private lessons from way back when with my first teacher counts for something, so I get to skip a grade. I was immediately anxious about my technique skills not being up to par, but Teacher was quick to point out that I don’t have any comps on my calendar, so we have time to build them up to the silver level. I felt relieved and bad at the same time. I wish I had a comp to worry about! But I also wouldn’t want the extra pressure while I’m adjusting to a new style. I’m doing my best to enjoy what I have instead of pining over what I don’t. The new book also helps keep me distracted!

We’ve done rumba and cha cha so far. Rumba wasn’t too hard to pick up, I think partly thanks to the social lessons I’m taking from Teacher’s friend. Cha cha was more challenging because there is a lot more cha-cha-cha at the silver level! You don’t stick to the usual 2-3-4-and-1 timing. You do a lot more syncopated steps, so like 2-and-3-and-4-and-1-and! At least that’s what we do in Teacher’s silver routine. Very little time to think! I almost started to get frustrated with myself for not being able to just follow. I feel like that’s the one thing I really have going for me – I can follow almost anything with a good lead. So when I can’t just follow, my internal monologue can get a little melodramatic (That was all I had! What good am I now?? Oh, what a world, what a world!). But I was good this time and told myself to chill out, you’ve spent a whole 10 minutes on this.

One thing I noticed, which I find interesting, is it felt odd to me to not go anywhere. In smooth, we move around the entire studio. And it’s a pretty big studio! But in rhythm, we just stay in one spot, more or less. That’s the nature of the style, but I’m curious to see how I feel about it as we continue working on rhythm. I have always enjoyed those feelings of floating, stalking, gliding or flying around the floor when I dance smooth. Now with rhythm, I don’t get to “explore” the floor as much. We pick a spot and that’s pretty much where we stay. Will I get restless or bored from not travelling anywhere? Will I be able to channel more energy into the expression of the dance because of the smaller steps and less travel? Will I feel more confident in owning my space because I spend more time in one spot?

We shall see!

P.S. – If anyone has downloaded the book, please take a minute and leave a review on the Amazon page! I would, of course, love to hear what you thought and I’m told that reviews help my ranking and exposure on the site. Thanks and happy dancing!

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