My Kickstarter Campaign is Challenging My Internal Peace. . .

Penny S. Tee Article

My Kickstarter campaign is challenging my internal Peace. On the one hand, I’m very grateful to friends who have contributed, but on the other, with 16 days to go and the balance being $1,730 vs. the $18K I hoped to achieve—let’s just say I’ve got a long way to go, baby. Will I get there? I don’t know. Will people rally behind my life’s work? We’ll see. The purpose of the campaign is to support producing my book, “Blasted from Complacency: A Journey from Terror to Transformation in Israel. Here’s the link to the campaign if you’re interested Will people who love Israel and evolving back me up? I sure hope so!

As I’ve said in previous blogs, costs have been extensive compared to budget estimates and unfortunately went the wrong direction. Although the majority of campaigns on Kickstarter do fail, I was hoping to be on the successful list. Some friends and supporters have shared my campaign with their readers. Others have tweeted my campaign 19 times, put out 3,861 mailings and there have been 92 leads but where are the conversions? Still I’m hopeful, can we make it?

Concentrating on positives happening simultaneously helps if not with my Kickstarter campaign—at least with my psyche. Some exciting events: My son was home from college, I received the proposed interior design of my book, and I met with the copy writer who is helping prepare the back cover.

Seeing my son of course always fills in the gap for my heart’s missing puzzle piece. The empty nest transition is a hard process. Yes, he’s doing fine and my husband and I are too. . . BUT when he’s away I always wonder what he’s doing, is he ok? How are his classes, friends—the list is endless. Typical issues, yet for those of us dealing with it—it can be hard.

We are lucky. He chose a school within a reasonable driving distance—many friends’ kids are across the country. But this was the longest time period he’d been away—I had a couple of trips and then his schedule dictated he stay at school.

Thankfully, I have tons of stuff to complete for my book and blog and of course the leaks coming into the house and the flooded backyard also got my attention. Yet, when he’s away I wonder how he’s doing. Don’t worry, my husband and I can still function—and nevertheless I ponder . . . Do you ever get used to the feeling of your child being away no matter how old they are? It definitely seems like friends with older kids do learn to cope. For now, it’s still taking some time to get used to.

He’s leaving today to go back to school. Dropping him off always tugs at my heart strings and I’ve noticed that the scab as he walks toward his dorm doesn’t bleed quite so much and the scar is growing thicker. It is as it should be. May he continue his journey of learning to live his life in internal Peace.

As a first-time author it’s very exciting to get closer to holding your own book in hand. Receiving the internal design was another step. To see my words in print, formatted for the book—my name plastered across the top of each of the left pages, the title, Blasted from Complacency on the right. Wow, it’s finally happening!

And reading my heart’s words in a book format was personally thrilling—what I’ve wanted to tell and teach folks ever since our fateful trip, seeing such amazing sights in Israel—yet running to bomb shelters. Well, the birth of my literary baby is expected in May. My own words, even though I wrote them—touch my soul and convey what I wanted to say, and I’m grateful. They soothe me and fortify me for areas in my life that I wish were doing better.

I had also just finished choosing pictures for the introduction of each chapter—I wanted to introduce readers for what was ahead. Looking at Chapter Two, “HOW DID WE GET HERE?” and seeing the innocent faces of the 3 teenage boys on the left page with the caption: “The 3 kidnapped boys whose story ignited my terror and their death hurt my soul—what if one of them had been my Jacob (names other than mine have been changed for privacy) or one of your sons?

And my cover and interior designer Andrew Chapman, not only listened but heard me. From my cover with the Peace dove and olive branch to the details of laying out the pages as he describes: everything has been set up to be clean with generous white space to evoke a sense of peace. The horizontal line on the chapter-opener pages [between the chapter number and title] symbolizes balance and equilibrium as representative of peace. Thank you.

Not quite the typical memoir but it fit who I am—it’s my ethical will, my life’s work and speaks authentically from my voice—Amen. Just like offering the Resources in the back of the book of teachers I’ve studied with. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are into transformation, I thought some folks might be interested and I wanted to provide some stepping stones if they choose to go down that path.

Another event that brought joy to me recently as I work through the final stages of finishing my book was to meet Thaddeus Wawro, who is helping with my back cover design. When I heard that he had read my book—well, do you think I could resist asking him what he thought? No way. Other than my editors (developmental and copy) only a couple others had read my book. To hear his comments . . .

“I thought it was well-written,” Thad said. “I really enjoyed reading the story. I found it fascinating. It certainly opened my eyes because like you mentioned in your book, I see what’s on the news. I don’t see the daily missile attacks [in Israel}—I see the retaliation, and I didn’t realize what life was like on a daily basis in Israel until I read your book.”

“The story itself I found fascinating. What you lived through, but the social aspects of it, I mean living life that way, it was a bigger part of the story. I think you were really able to get that across …your experience is a microcosm of the macrocosm and I think that translated very well into your writing. I think you got that across very strongly.”

It was a great hour of conversation and I was thankful that he had recorded it and sent me a copy. Now when I have challenges I can get it out and listen to a knowledgeable stranger in his own words who truly liked my book. I’m hoping in the future there will be many readers who feel the same way, but for now before it is officially published, I find his words encouraging. Thad’s words especially touched my heart because he was telling me that at least for him, my intention of teaching about Israeli’s reality had been achieved.

All of these things the last couple of days helped shore me up for looking at the current status of my Kickstarter campaign. I am truly grateful for the people who have supported me! Running a Kickstarter campaign has probably been one of the most uncomfortable public exposures I’ve experienced. But then again being out in public is a new experience for me—coming out of my writing cave and starting to share my heart with others. Granted, I’ve been doing that all along in my blogs, but my book adds a whole other level of poking and prodding—the campaign even managed to rip open old wounds—OUCH! I have to remind myself there are thousands of simultaneous campaigns and marketing is once again my Achilles heel. How do you get seen? It’s best that you figure this out before your campaign—Oy.

Assigning meaning can be psychologically damaging and must be handled with care when evaluating the huge gap at this point between the $1,730 and the $18K I was hoping to collect. And as you know by now if I don’t attract supporters who supply all of the $18K—I GET $0—one of the biggest risks of Kickstarter campaigns. There are 16 days left to the campaign and will it happen? I don’t know. I’ll have to wait and see but I try to remain hopeful and believe that whatever happens it was meant to be—either a celebration or a lesson the Universe was trying to teach me. I can only hope that more people contribute and share my Kickstarter campaign with all of their friends, family, colleagues—pretty much anyone who can and likes to read.

So that’s what’s been happening in my world. Some great things and others offering opportunities to pay close attention to what I’m telling myself all of this means. Everything is perception. The good news is what I tell myself is all something I made up anyway. If I don’t like what I’m telling myself about what it means, I have the power to change it.  I have to keep an eye on staying positive—no matter my current circumstance—yes, easier said than done. What’s happening is as it should be—may you, too, live in Peace.

As always, I invite you to JOIN ME ON MY JOURNEY . . . 




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