So hot on the heels of my existential crisis came an actual crisis. Two separate issues that threatened to pull the rug from under BrocanteHome completely and had me staring at my computer all day long yesterday wishing them both away and bewildered by what trust we place in large companies now, when we are but a cog in the wheel.
One was a billing issue: some of my Salon members have not been being charged for their recurring subscriptions through no fault of their own and the other was created by Amazon who decided that I had been paying people to read my Kindle books and thus were closing down my author account (and the best part of my livelihood!) until I saw fit to apologise for doing the thing they would not tell me I was doing, and furthermore until I stopped doing this naughty thing and essentially apologised for breaching their terms and conditions (namely rumour has it among the chattering author classes who had also suffered such a fate in a rash of account closures overnight, paying dubious sorts to read my books which of course I had not done at all and owning a second author account I had not created) I would never be allowed to publish and sell my books through Amazon again.
Tears were wept. Teeth gnashed. Hair yanked from its fuzzy ponytail. Much investigation undertaken and reassurance sought from those in the same bewildered boat. I muttered about getting a job. About giving everything up because what was the point. And in the end I wrote a long email to the powers that be at Amazon detailing my rather pathetic marketing efforts, and promising not to do the naughty things I had NEVER, EVER done, EVER, NEVER again, made a rather fabulous fish pie and sat back and waited. And waited. And waited. I waited through my sleep and I woke up expecting to wait a little bit more, but lo and behold, there was an email stating that as I had agreed not be so naughty again I could have my account back safe in the knowledge that if I ever did it again, the same consequences would follow. Which frankly is the worst kind of threat because it rather leaves a person in fear of breathing in case that there be the thing that got you into trouble in the first place!
Truth be told I am tired. And I feel so very vulnerable. Once upon a time I would have stamped my feet and made immediate change to accommodate my exhaustion and to try to shuffle life along, but today I am taking things slow, trying to feel my way towards the kind of change I need in order to have the will to keep Brocantehome breathing.
Today I am going to sit with pen and notebook in hand and try to visualise what I need the site to be in order to feel authentic again. In order to be just profitable enough. In order to revert back to the sanctuary it used to be before it seemed to need a village to run it. I am going to look at all the marketing I am currently drowning in and see if there is a better way to reach those I want to talk to. Those who would consider themselves blessed by a life less ordinary. To evaluate the services I currently offer and re-think them to be better for all of us.
Sometimes when I recognise the need for change at Brocantehome I worry that I am not entitled to make it. That somehow this site does not belong to me. I make mistakes and rectify them and re-create them and I need to stop apologising for trying to improve that which is of course mine to destroy, aligning with Picasso when he said “In my case a picture is a sum of destructions. I do a picture — then I destroy it. In the end though, nothing is lost: the red I took away from one place turns up somewhere else”
Brocantehome then is my picture. And in the end I hope you see that no matter what I choose to take away or bring to this lovely table, the essence remains the same…