The Dance of the Chi is now available on Amazon but currently is not available to Malaysians. Malaysians, please go to Smashwords. The digital book is priced at only USD 0.99 cents. The Look Inside feature on Amazon is not available yet but the same feature, called Online Reader is available on Smashwords. I have opted to share 20% of my book for readers to sample. 20% is about 30 pages (?) of the book. When you get to the respective sites, just look for the words Look Inside and Online Reader and click on the link. It will take you to the free sample reading.
Whatever you do, do not write a book if you think it is the same as keeping a journal. It is not. If you have to write, write, but do not self-publish thinking that the process somehow organizes your thoughts in and of itself. The book has to be professionally edited because we generally can’t see our own inconsistencies. When it comes to non-fiction or creative non-fiction, even the editors might not catch our inconsistencies because they are not knowledgeable or familiar with the genre. Finding a suitable editor is not easy. That means we have to proofread our manuscripts dozens of times to finesse it. The discipline of organizing our thoughts and ideas will help us “know what we are thinking.” Perhaps that’s why we write. We need to know what we are thinking. Seeing the project through to the end regardless of how maddening the process is will build character. We do find ourselves and become more in the process and that’s the reward. What comes after publishing is not within our control. And that means, or should mean, it’s time to chill and spend some time balancing other areas of our lives. Areas that were neglected because we simply had to write and do this thing called self-publishing.
Self-publishing costs money (at least for me, it did) and working with the system and the vendors who we engage to help us with the system will run us into the ground if we’re not already grounded. The system is not perfect and neither are the vendors. Everybody is doing their best to cope with the challenges in their lives and the stress just builds and builds. The editors and formatters can’t and don’t do it all and we still have to finesse our manuscripts on our own. We are in charge of crossing all the ‘t’s and dotting every ‘i.’ Publishing projects are fraught with challenges not for the half-hearted.
Promotion and marketing. I always thought that might be a drag for empaths. Studies show that narcissists are better at marketing and sales because they are known to be chameleons. They can be charming and persuasive as they pretend to agree with everyone in order to get their narc supply. Simply put, they understand the dynamics and know how to close a sale. Now that all the words are taken care of, I’m psyching myself to being more sociable on social media. When I was in the writing and publishing stages, I simply did not have the time or energy to engage. It was working around the clock for a few years and my idea of a break was to eat properly (not stuffing my face in front of the screen), do household chores, attend to the dogs’ needs and exercise. A writer or any creative person who spends a lot of time and resources developing their ideas passionately tends to neglect their friends and family in the process. Is it any wonder we tend to be loners? Time for humans is finite, we can’t do it all or have it all. For everything that we gain, we lose something. For everything that we lose, we gain something.
All that said, it’s a filtering process. We will get to a point where we will know ourselves and our paths better and know how we want to spend what’s left of our time. If we didn’t know this before, it will be seared into our consciousness: Time is precious.
What have I done? I’ve put myself out there for people to take pot shots at me. Ai! My universe/energy theory, based on my Tai Chi insights are now grist for the mill. Recently I stumbled upon another writer with his ‘theory of the universe’ book available on Amazon as well. We became Facebook friends and he sent me a free copy of his book and I said I would be happy to write a review detailing how his book is different from mine. When I discovered he doesn’t subscribe to the Big Bang theory and his universe/energy theory is based on the Universe being finite, I couldn’t imagine how I would be able to take his book in.
I mean, when we are at a certain age or stage in our lives, we tend to be riding on a certain belief system. It’s difficult to read a writer who is not coming from the same place (and not going where we're going?) as we are said to understand what our souls already know. When we read something we can’t resonate with, it’s just a whole lot of words there in front of us and it’s difficult to go where the writer is trying to take us. Perhaps this is a case of cognitive dissonance?
My book is based on a Tai Chi way of knowledge and Tai Chi equals infinity. If one cannot accept the concept of infinity, it would be difficult to wrap one’s mind around my imaginations? This drives home the point that once we believe certain theories or stories in life, it’s hard to let go and start embracing opposite theories or stories. There is just not enough space in our heads for new belief systems to take root and flourish, plus the inner animations or algorithms are simply missing from that place deep within us. While the freedom to discuss dissenting issues should be allowed and encouraged in the interest of growth and expansion, actually calling out someone on their beliefs can be a confrontational exercise. Especially, when we are able to spot some of the inconsistencies in their content and their book has already been published. Authors may be more receptive to such challenges when their books are in the beta reading phase or even the editing phase. If at all.
The author of the ‘other’ energy theory, Are We Just Bubbles, Daniel P. Bowlds, said he was looking forward to reading my book. When I was proofing The Dance of the Chi on KDP, I came upon the Big Bang theory and the word “infinite” so many times, I felt bad to put my new friend through what must be an agony of a reading experience. I wondered how many pages he could bear to read before being rattled enough to give up trying to take in another writer’s unfamiliar and opposing views. At certain points in our lives, we gravitate towards people (and books) that can augment and refine our thoughts and ideas, helping us to answer some of the questions that need answering. Building structures are more fun than tearing down structures, yes?
This reminds me of what someone said about the legal process. This person said it’s widely believed that even before a case goes to the courts, the lawyers and judges already have an opinion on the matter and they know which side they are on. Then it’s only a matter of finding the legal points to support the arguments or be against them. After I’ve spent my whole adult life believing in the Big Bang theory, I present my case using the Big Bang theory and the concept of a never-ending expansion of consciousness. Thus, we can see how difficult it is for religious people who have spent their whole lives believing in their holy books to suddenly be able to make a turnaround and embrace the opposite of what they have believed for so many decades. That’s why it’s said it’s easier to fool someone than to convince someone that they had been fooled. Confronting the possibility that one has been barking up the wrong tree all one’s life is a harsh awakening.
Update: Daniel has messaged to say he’s reading the Free 20% sample and so far finds the book “interesting.” That means the first 80 pages of my book is not too rattling? J We’ll see.
Quantum entanglements -- even free thinkers don't think alike. Free thinkers are more or less experiencing an ongoing state of confusion/chaos as we are more open to ideas outside of our core. I think of it as an evolution of consciousness exercise. Humans generally cannot accept what we have no experience of. Gary Zukav, in The Dancing Wu Li Masters, said knowledge is past tense; imagination makes physics come alive. Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge. Scientists are limited by their knowledge. The rest of us are limited only by our imagination. My book is just me allowing the intellect and imagination to have a bit of fun. The views I hold today will evolve as my consciousness expands. My book is just an exploration of ideas. My ideas/beliefs/interpretation of the Universe/life on Earth could well be dismissed and laughed off the planet. I'm not sure whether I would prefer my book to be ignored or whether I would like for critics to have a field day. Whatever, I've got my hard hat on.
I'm a semi-recluse because I don't care to get into arguments and disagreements. Everyone is on their path and learning at their own pace. Everyone is doing the best they can to survive, thrive, and to make sense of their world. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs as long as they are being wrong not doing wrong. Behind every argument is someone's ignorance. We will all get there in due time. We all want the same things — to be healthy, happy and at peace with ourselves.