"The first step in starting an enterprise is to clear the space for it, or till the ground. This clearing process is a must...We like to think just forging ahead is going to be enough to start, but when you run into gnarled old roots where your new plants need to grow, you've got problems."---Barrie Donick, Simple Spells for Success, via The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin
In the interests of creating space in my life for new things, I'm retiring from Amazon reviewing. I've been doing it for 12 years and am currently #15 out of over 5 million Amazon reviewers. This necessitates a lot of maintenance involving reading lots and lots of books (sheer fun) but also taking notes on them as I read them and writing an average of 25-40 reviews or more each month. More when I am wanting to advance in rank. I also write reviews for other items, especially teas and household items. Some strategy is involved as well, such as reviewing new items early and gaining spotlight positioning to get more helpful votes.
With the new health and energy I have, I want to channel my efforts into things that lead me in other directions, into something that will provide actual income for me. I have had the great satisfaction of helping others with their Amazon purchases for all of these years and received many free products and books, including my Flip Mino video camera. However, I am ready for a change. I'm sure I'll occasionally review an item I am very excited about, but I don't want the self-imposed responsibility of "having" to do any particular item or book or to produce a certain volume.
I have one more obligatory review for an advance copy of a book I've received, which I hope to finish this week, and then I'll be done.
As little of a thing as this it is---this ranking---it will be very hard for me to let go and leave it alone and watch my ranking fall. I've been building it for so long. It is, embarrassingly, a part of my identity. Thus I consider the letting go a spiritual practice as well, because the ranking is simply a construct based upon a game that I've been playing. And unless I want to keep playing (which I don't) it is time to move on. And time to be who I am without externally judged rankings, especially relatively meaningless ones. Isn't it funny that it is so hard?
It is funny how we cling to such things sometimes. How scary it is to just be who we are.
I am excited to give this up and to look ahead to what the future may hold. I'm excited to look at some of my real dreams and other more difficult challenges---things like earning a living and finishing my abandoned NaNoWriMo 2007 book---and more. Things that I cannot even imagine right now.