November didn’t go as planned. Lots of things I meant to do didn’t even happen because I mashed my foot and broke a toe and was confined to quarters for most of the month. (Don’t ask! Something to do with charging around the living room like a lunatic, pretending to be in a dance studio…)
So I thought I’d use my indoors time by finally doing that course on blogging that had been sitting in my to-do-folder for a while. It makes sense to learn how to do this properly, right? And I did learn some things, such as a better way to use social media and how to narrow down my audience and focus on my specialist topics and so on. And the more I learnt, the more I shut down. I had no idea blogging was a serious business I had to plan and structure and schedule. I stared at the perfectly presented and beautifully written course material and I felt numb with disconnect. This is not my stuff!
A couple of days later, I received my first really bad book review. And I mean, really bad. The reviewer, another author, did his best to tear everything to shreds: crap story line, nil emotional content, boring action, two-dimensional characters, lousy dialogue, no depth, and as for EFT, what possessed me to include such nonsense? HUH?? I went to the kitchen for some coffee, then reread the email. I had that disconnected feeling again. Shouldn’t I feel devastated? Shouldn’t I feel crushed? But I didn’t – it seemed so over the top, he had either completely missed the point or was having a very bad day. Either way, it had nothing to do with me. I typed a quick reply: Thanks for taking the time to … evidently not my target audience … wishing you continued success with … Over & Out, SEND! Phew! I nuked it off all my devices. Not my stuff. It may turn up on Amazon, but I don’t need it in my in-box! Of course I don’t expect everyone to like my books. And of course I don’t expect to receive only good reviews. How to Make Your Heart Sing is my first novel, I’m a learning-by-doing kind of person and any constructive criticism is gratefully received. But this was a trifle extreme. And not exactly constructive.
Fast-forward to my birthday at the end of the month. No one feels much like party-party this year (first everything without Mum) so we had a tiny gathering, and it was lovely. I am so very thankful for my family in both my countries, and for starting to realize that I do carry a feeling of ‘home’ within me that includes family and friends here and there, in ordinary reality and elsewhere. Which is a rather neat connection (if I say so myself hehe) to a gift I received that day from my Inner Clan: my special word for the next year of my life, which is RECONFIGURE. I guess that ‘disconnect’ happens as part of ‘reconfigure’, a letting go of what no longer serves me, to make room for what is now relevant. For months, I’ve had this urge to declutter, from clothes to items of furniture to the contents of kitchen cupboards to work I used to do to tired old beliefs that do me no good at all. I’m getting there…
And just when I seriously considered taking my blog down because I couldn’t seem to write to schedule or figure out my niche or even come up with any good topics I could commit to, one of my own favourite bloggers, Susannah Conway, made her Blogging from the Heart e-course available as an e-book for Cyber Monday, and I pounced: my birthday present to me. Straight away, I felt myself opening up again. She doesn’t talk about niches and topics and business – she talks about what matters to her, personally. Which is what I started out doing, before I got all snarled up in ‘should’ and ‘must not’ and ‘ought to’. So here’s to real & true, personal, creative, reflective, thought-provoking, hopefully entertaining and sometimes controversial blogging and living: RECONFIGURE!