With all the recent excitement over my book (reaching #1 on Amazon, the Japan Today and BlackNews.com mentions, etc…) and with the few BIG things I got coming up, believe it or not, this benchmark moment almost passed by without being acknowledged.
I can imagine how parents feel; it’s almost like having a second child and being so excited over its arrival in the world that you forget your first child’s birthday.
Well, luckily I’ve come to my senses in time to announce that after 3 and a half years of opening my mind, heart and a vein or two on this blog, my first brainchild, Loco in Yokohama, as of some time tomorrow, will be the recipient of his one millionth hit!
It’s been a long time coming…
…and a change has come! Several actually, not least of which is the change in title (and status) from blogger to author.
Quick anecdote: I was leaving a meeting the other day with a bunch of my co-workers, kicking it with my boy, Baltimore, when one of my co-workers suddenly and excitedly blurted, “You’re Loco!”
“It’s you!” she snapped. “Oh my god! You’re Loco in Yokohama!”
“Yeaaaaaaaah…” I replied, hesitantly. Three years of blogging about, living and working in Yokohama, without a secret identity to speak of aside from the alias, and with mad photos of myself floating around the net, and she was the first non-black person to have recognized me as such.
“I can’t believe it!” she practically shouted. All my other co-workers, standing around discussing which Happy Hour was going to get our dollars, stopped yapping and stared at this exchange with WTF expressions on their faces. For her super spastic giddiness was not unlike something out of Beatlemania.
“I’ve been reading your blog for years and I bought your book! It was great! I loved it! Oh My God I can’t believe this! It’s really you!”
This went on for a minute or so. All mouths dropped when she asked for an autograph. I rolled with it as much as one can roll with their first time being hit up for an autograph on the street! She’d bought the e-book so I told her about Kindlegraph, and via that I’d be happy to sign her E-book.
“Can you sign my notebook?”
She held it out for me and I stood there, in the spotlight of 10 pairs of eyes, trying to think of what to write.
Then another co-worker said, “oh yeah, Loco! I know Hikosaemon and he said all these great things about you…and I read that review he wrote of your book…sounds amazing, man! I haven’t read it yet, though.”
And yet another co-worker who had been standing there, says, “Oh yeah, I’ve read your blog! And I read an interview on Surviving in Japan with you and Ashley, talking about your book!”
By this time, as you might imagine, I was emotionally fluctuating between “you da fucking man, Loco” and wigging out, but hid it well…at least I think I did.
Later, at the bar, my boy told me, “your stock just went up, yo!”
I think it was about then I remembered that Loco in Yokohama was approaching a million hits, and the pieces fell into place…as the number 1,000,000 revealed itself to me in its fullest glory.
It’s a kick-ass number…
I remembered back when I was the only one who knew my stock was underrated. Well, kinda knew…you know? I mean, I could always write. The problem was my voice was locked inside of me, and I was too chickenshit to let it out. But the only way I was going to raise my stock price to reflect what i believed to be its real value was by being myself, the same way Dorothy could have always gone back to Kansas (yep, it’s one of those clichés you hear all the time and you dismiss until one day you realize the reason it became hackneyed: because it’s true!)
So, to answer the question above: How did I get a million hits on my blog? The same way any of you can. It was by doing the most difficult and yet the most simplistic and natural thing: By being true to myself.
And I want to thank all of you guys for letting me do so, out loud, here on Loco in Yokohama.
I dedicate this tune to all of you:
Peace and Love,
PS: A big shout out to my spastic new friend, SK! (you know who you are) Thank you so much for introducing me to a thrill I’ve never felt before…particularly with your follow-up email! I still don’t even have a name for it, but it felt great (-;