I thought I’d take you on the journey of where I’ve been the last few weeks. It has echoed my 2005 roller coaster of self publishing and most definitely involves upcycling. My friend and I decided to make our own retro dance/lounge bar in the local weatherboard hall, painted white inside with polished wooden floors, ballet bar and very low wooden stage. We both have pre-school children and it was a long time since we’d strutted our stuff. There must be a lot of other people around here with the same yearning for a blast…
So we hired the hall and today we have put our money down, $200 for the hall $400 for the bond, $253 for the DJ equipment and a tiny bit more here and there on second hand items and electric candles. We’ve always aimed to make our money back but we’ve also been careful where, and to whom, we promoted the event (not wanting hoons to wreck it as it has been in the past.) Leisa has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances here, so we relied on email marketing to them. As I’ve lived here less than a year and know some of the same people, I (charmingly!) presented flyers face to face. This meant accosting people at my daughter’s playgroup, ballet class and the Creative Berowra markets. My opening gambit was saying “You look like you still want to dance” which occurred to me as I scanned for likely looking targets.
The recipients would no doubt presume I am an extrovert but it’s not the case. I crave being on my own as much as I enjoy social gatherings with people I’ve built a real friendship with. It costs me to promote something I have created, expending my energy and confidence. It’s the desire to see what will happen when something I’ve made is let loose in the world that keeps me going. What I like about dancing in a congenial environment is the thrill of letting go just a bit, feeling free and elemental, feeling joy. This is in our bones through the ages, or at least in some of them, like the attraction to a real fire in the hearth. And this brings me to the difference between us.
Not everybody wants hang out in a lounge bar at their local hall. This reminds me of how not everybody will admire your guts in self-promoting your book. Many are wary of those who take risks in such a personal way and it always surprises and unnerves me. But there are enough people who respond warmly and we think (hope?) we have achieved enough goers to pay back our costs. Now I just have to ignore my extremely sore throat and sinusitis (which my daughter suffered from badly this week) and hope I don’t need antibiotics as well… and of course act like the hostess with the mostess tomorrow night. I have decided to write this blog as a before and after, so watch for the after party post. Thanks to all of you for getting on to my cloud!