I have been running to the gym for my morning workouts. If you know me, then you know “Kiini” and “running” do not belong in the same sentence (“Kiini” and “gym” don’t really go together either, but they do now!) I am able to run to the gym because I did the Couch to 5K program where they build you up to running longer and longer distances. Although I stopped the program after the runs increased to ten minutes, I learned that my body could handle it.
So yesterday morning when I started running I just wasn’t into it, during the first block, I said to myself, I’m not going to make it this morning. Then I said, hey just get around the corner to the next block, by the time I did that, I said I may as well keep going. By the time I was in the third block, I knew there was no excuse not to continue. Why? Because I had run it before and I knew I was supremely capable. Running to the gym is not a physical challenge, it’s a mental challenge. The floppy parts of me that just want to quit all come crawling out for their moment in the sun, and so far I have denied them dominance in my decision making process.
This all leads back to where I am with my book promotions. This morning I’m feeling a little floppy–not so much fatigued as overwhelmed. My to-do list is long with five or six events to work toward. I promised myself I’d do right by my book and that is proving to take commitment, focus, and stamina. My apartment is a mess because when I’d usually be picking up after myself, I’m sending out emails looking for radio shows and reviews.
After the high of the book release, I hit a wall. Tired of emailing and requesting and asking. Conversations with my community reminded me that there is nothing that *has* to be done. Even if and when you are on a mission there is no *one* thing that has to be done. There is always another angle, another approach, a different tactic. There need not be force. When the desire is gone, switch it up. Know that you have done what you needed to do and will continue on doing what you need to do. One of my keys to sanity is allowing myself to choose. What is the next thing on my to-do list that I *feel* like doing. It’s like that saying “You ain’t got to go home, but you got to get the h*** out of here.” “You ain’t got to do the thing you don’t feel like doing, but you gotta do something.”
Promoting yourself, your work, your dreams: it’s a lifestyle. It’s a “I don’t feel like it, but I’ll just go to the next block, turn the next corner, push a little while longer” type of thing. No matter what level you’re on (just learning to write, working on a novel, sending your work out for publication, self publishing your work, have a finished book and need to get it out there), you have to keep pushing forward. And in surging forward, hopefully there will be magic.
Like this morning, when I was not feeling well, but also was tired of being tired, I dragged my under-the-weather self to the farmer’s market. After dropping off clothes for recycling and picking up a bunch of fresh produce, I ran into a woman selling lovely bags. Chatting with her about her bags led to a realization that we’d both be at the Harlem Book Fair and to her revealing that she’s part of a nationwide book club that has a hard time finding black spec fic to read: they like to read black books across the genres. I shared my book info with her and if my book becomes a book club pic that will be stellar and magical! It is potent reminder that there isn’t just one way to promote your work. There is always someone to share your vision with, spread the news to, or join with to grow your visibility. My to-do list is long, but I’m still moving through it. Today, I’ll run one more block and trust that the wind, inertia, and/or magic will help to usher me along.
JULY EVENTS July 12 and 13 I’m attending Readercon in Boston.
I’m participating in Miko Kuro’s Midnight Tea on July 14 New York Foundation for the Arts 20 Jay Street, 7th Floor DUMBO, Brooklyn Midnight
July 21 Harlem Book Fair on 135th Street in Harlem, New York I’ll be sharing a table with exittheapple and their fun “reading is sexy” shirts.
July 27 I’ll be having a writers’ conversation with Linda Addison at the Bluestockings Bookstore from 7 to 9 p.m. 172 Allen Street, NY
I’ll also be recording an episode of the Reading Life, a New Orleans radio show in July in anticipation of my August visit to New Orleans.
**** BOOK REPORT ****
On June 22, I reached my highest rank ever! For a few sweet hours, I was ranked number 31,558 out of 700,000 books! The ratings fluctuate wildly and the inability to sustain a ranking means you’re an inconsistent seller. But it was fun to see that number.
Last week I also dropped to my lowest ranking leading me to believe I hadn’t sold any books. I had, I’d sold 6, which thrills me. But that was half of what I had been selling weekly so the rankings were not impressed with me.
REVIEW REQUEST: If you bought the book on Amazon and you liked the book, please post a supportive sentence or two. I’m up to four reviews, and I’d like to get that up to ten. With ten reviews Amazon will put me higher when people are doing random searches. So please, if you like the book, leave a kind word. A sentence or two is all it takes.