Needless to say, it’s been an exciting couple of days since my ebook came out (Which you can get here) I’ve sold several copies, people have been sending lovely notes, it’s been going well. But I’ve become one of those people I swore I’d never become: checking my sales statistics.
I’m not on Amazon/Barnes and Noble yet (On Smashwords you have to go through an approval process before they send your work out to other online bookstores) So I’ve become obsessive compulsive about checking my stats reports on Smashwords. Look! I sold a copy! People are looking at it! Why aren’t they buying? Whenever I saw authors complain about their amazon rankings on twitter/facebook, I’d think “Oh, stop being a drama queen.” I am so sorry I thought that. I know now what they go through. Because you can’t.stop.checking. The ego is saying “Come on! Just check one more time! You know you want to.” This is the same part of the ego that wants you to drink something alcoholic and fruity, or get Dove bars even when they aren’t on sale.
So I knew I needed a break. I went to nearby Orinda where at their art deco movie theater they were playing The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher, whoa! I snuggled in my chair with a small bag of popcorn. I was the youngest person there amongst the seniors catching a late afternoon matinee.
Watching the movie I realized if I lived in Great Britain in the 70’s and 80’s I wouldn’t have voted for Margaret Thatcher for our politics are too different. However one has to admire her drive, her wanting to succeed no matter what. Yes what I found touching were the scenes of Thatcher today: Eighty something years old, sneaking out of the house for milk. Watching old movies of her husband and children. Yet she is forgetting names of things, and out of the corner of her eye she sees her husband Dennis (Jim Broadabent) There’s one problem: Dennis has been dead for years.
Throughout the movie the color blue takes center stage of the film: She wears blue the first time she meets her husband, and there’s something blue lurking around: A blue hat, a blue scarf, a blue pin. I later find out blue is the Conservative color in Great Britain, so no wonder it plays a part in the film. Yet I noticed blue is connected to her happiest memories: be it getting engaged, winning the Prime Minister role, wearing a blue dress when she runs down the beach with her family.
Towards the end of her run as Prime Minister, there's a scene where she embarrasses a member of her staff terribly. It is unclear if this is the start of the dementia or it's her just being stubborn. But the scene was just hard to watch. You know she's taking it over the top, yet she can't stop herself. She keeps on going and going, playing this tug of war that she is determined to win, no matter what the cost. It is no surprise the staff member resigns. There is no presence of blue anywhere on the screen.
As I sat there watching the scene, I thought about how I kept on refreshing the Smashwords screen, wanting more people to buy the ebook. Getting frustrated, come on, come on, why aren't people buying it? Then I realized I was like Margaret, playing a tug of war game and maybe I was "right" but also I was going to lose the war. I was only hurting myself. I knew I still had to promote the ebook and keep going with it, but not so it took over my life. Otherwise I would lose big time.
After the movie I went outside. It was a lovely day; the sun out after several days of rain. I looked at the sky, so utterly blue. Everything was going to be okay. Sure I would still check my stats, but I knew when to walk away when it became a tug of war. I walked to Nation’s to get some lunch.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries