I just went on Amazon to see how ‘Awkwardly Awesome’ is doing and this is what I found:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
#2029 in Books > Self-Help > Success
It’s very kind that they put “Best” before “Sellers”, even when your book is ranked #123,925. 1 is certainly the first number in that sequence but then there are two additional numbers, a comma, and three more numbers that follow it. Earlier in the week, I noticed I was getting depressed about this.
I imagine that many parents dream of their child growing up to be #1 in something. We authors are the same way even though sometimes we are too modest to say it. If you are anything like me, the enthusiasm to be #1 extends well beyond child-rearing and book-raising to many facets of life.
We might have many motivations for wanting to be #1. Maybe it gives us a sense of achievement, tickles our personal pride, or perhaps we figure being # 1 will help the world pay attention to something that means so much to us.
If almost everyone seeks #1, that #1 spot is mighty crowded. I’ve found the #123,925 spot to be somewhat less so.
As I thought more about Awkwardly Awesome’s current ranking on Amazon, I started thinking about two boxes in my apartment (see the photo above). The Army green box on the left represents an accumulation of my writings from high school until a few years ago. Out of this very heavy box, only maybe 3 or 4 poems have been published in journals. Technically, many parts of my graduate thesis are in this box. My graduate thesis was bound into 2 to 5 books with nondescript green covers. I have one of the copies and the others are no doubt collecting dust in some college library. In addition to a handful of unfinished manuscripts, this box also contains an assortment of random “Jason poems” and journal entries. A few have been peeked at by family and friends, but the vast majority of this box contains countless entries that no one on earth has seen . . . except for me.
Ok, I’m being a little over dramatic here, out of this heavy box, I did get a little poetry book called “Quiet In Bailey Ravine” that also includes the paintings of a brilliant artist friend. I’m proud of this. That said, none of what’s in that heavy box on the left is ranked on Amazon. I didn’t give anything in that box the slightest chance to be #1 on Amazon. In fact, everything in that box has the distinction of being #NOTHING on Amazon.
This box is heavy when I lift it and it feels HEAVY in my mind when I think about it.
Meanwhile, the box on the right brings me joy when I think about it – even though, believe me, it is still heavy to lift. It’s full of the best I know at this time to give the world. It’s organized, understandable and represents the efforts of me and the many people who helped me create it.
From this perspective, #123,925 is a grand, exciting accomplishment. #123,925 is a dream come true! Also, in his edits of this post, my business partner Chris, pointed out that the ranking #123,925 is out of 1.8 MILLION books available on Amazon.
If you are anything like me, you sometimes hold back on doing what you truly want to do in life because you fear it isn’t good enough to make the cut. My green tub is full of 10,000 of my fantasies about going for #1, stuffed in a box because I didn’t think they were good enough.
When we wait for our dreams to be perfect before we share them, we end up never sharing them at all.
We don’t need to be #1 to deeply impact the world, we just need to create, revise within reason, share.
It’s kindness to share yourself with the world. Nothing is perfect. I invite you to share your imperfect best no matter how it ends up ranking on “The Bestsellers” list of life.
Please share the beauty you create with us. Thank you! Thank You! Thank YOU!
‘Awkwardly Awesome’ is available on Amazon!
Click Here to Get It!