I am here to let you know that I am struggling. Not sure if it's the weather, the fact that we are now empty nesters, the fact that my closest friends are dealing with struggles of their own, or maybe just a combination of everything. But, I'm feeling extremely rundown... BLUE. I feel blue. No ambition to do anything. If I could, I'd sleep all day. It makes me feel weak. I should be stronger. I need to promote, I need to write, I need to make swag for upcoming book signings. I need to do those things, but I find myself playing games on my phone or scrolling Facebook. Some days have been better than others and I've accomplished a few things. But, in general, life has sucked.
And, each day I take one step at a time. And, I feel worthless. Then, I yell at myself because I shouldn't feel that way. I yell at myself for not getting enough done. And, the cycle begins again. But, you see, I'm not worthless, I'm just in need of a break. In need of some down time. Then, the guilt sets in. My husband doesn't get down time. He has to get up and go to work every week day. Then, he often works on the weekends, too. He's struggling, too. But, he doesn't get a break, so why should I?
What is it with the world today? Why are we all so full of anxiety? Why do we fight depression? Shouldn't we be happy. We have a roof over our heads and food in the kitchen. Our children our healthy and doing well. So, what do we have to be sad about? Or, stressed about?
But, that's the funny thing about mental illness. Mental distress. There is really no rhyme or reason. There is just it. No one deals with life the same. One persons happiness is another's sadness. Therefore, there is no catch-all treatment. It is trial and error. Pills, changes of scenery, feng shui, chakras, colors, foods, and everything in between.
I'm sharing this because I want you to know... if you are struggling too... you are not alone. You are strong, you are amazing, you are beautiful. And, don't be afraid to ask someone for a shoulder to lean on or to take some time for yourself. Not taking care of yourself because you worry about others isn't going to help them in the long run. You need to take care of yourself so that you can be the best you that you can be. Being sad, stressed, anxious, depressed, rundown, tired -- none of these things make you weak. Be you. Be a Badass. Accept yourself, embrace your flaws. <3
In recent months I've been looking for more holistic and natural ways to help my anxiety and depression. I highly believe in the power of colors and the idea of surrounding yourself with good vibes. A friend recently recommended that I might try having more yellow in my life. I bought yellow swags for my windows and guess what... every time I look at them, they make me smile. The sunny shade just makes my heart happy. I even feel my heart jump in my chest at the sight.
Of course, nothing has ever seemed to work at a 100% success rate. I still have my down days and yesterday was definitely one of them. Days like yesterday, I cannot create. My muse hides and I find myself simply wanting to sleep. Of course, I don't sleep. I try to push myself so that I keep to the schedule I've set for myself. Unfortunately, all it accomplishes is to create a very frustrated author with low self-esteem who feels like they can't accomplish anything.
Today is a better day -- even if the bathroom vanity door did fall off and hit me in the face. I'm okay and hoping I won't wake up tomorrow with hideous bruising. So far, so good on that front.
I wouldn't say I've accomplished all that much, but I did some swag work and made dinner. So that's a win. My plan now is to hunker down and get some words down. It's necessary. My muse is struggling to rise and the voices of my characters are screaming for their chances to speak. Yes, many authors are a bit off their rockers and we do have other people living in our heads.
If you follow me at all, you know that I struggle day to day with anxiety, depression, etc. So many deal with these same difficulties every day. My heart goes out to them and I hope that someone is there to support them and hold them up when they are at their lowest.
One of the reasons I am a full-time author is because these issues made it difficult for me to continue going to my full-time job as a technical writer. The drive was at least an hour each way, then I had to drop off and pick up my kids from school/daycare on most days, rush my daughter to her many activities, doctors' appointments for my son and I, and so much more that it felt as if I was constantly on the road. I got to the point I couldn't drive without having some sort of panic attack/ anxiety issue. Those first few years I couldn't drive anywhere. Someone always had to drive me and I would occupy myself on my phone to prevent any thoughts about being in a car on the road. I'd still drive on occasion, but only into our local town for my appointments or for the kids. Time went on and my daughter got her license, then my son, then they both eventually grew up and moved out (my son just last month). Now, it feels as if I'm a hermit. Mr. Reuel and I both work from home and typically only go out if we need something in town. If we could have everything delivered, we'd probably never leave the house. I worry that we've become too insulated from the world.
Thankfully, however, I became an author which requires me to spend hours upon hours online connecting with others. Because of being an author I also have traveled to many places I never would have because of book signings. I'm forced into the light of day. (Insert scared laughter here.)
So, here I am. Needing to write a blog post and my mind is blank. What do I do, but sit at my computer day in and day out and try to build a reader-base so I can sell enough books to make some sort of living? I push past my social anxiety, my shyness, and so much more everyday that by the end of each day I'm exhausted and drained. I have a few rays of sunshine (my husband, my children, my BFFs) but it's sometimes hard to bask in the sunshine when you're so exhausted.
So, what do I hate most? Well, I hate how I can't seem to keep on a schedule, I hate how whenever I want to write I more often than not deal with a mental health issue and want to go to sleep, I hate that after five years I still haven't built a reader-base large enough to make decent money off of a release. Truth be told, I don't even make enough to support my fancy coffee habit and I only have one of those a week. There are days when I wonder why I continue.
Today is one of those days.
#authorlife #authorconfessions #therealme #anxiety #depression #unbiologicalsisters #partnersincrime
Sometimes it is necessary to disconnect in order to connect. And, this weekend I did just that. I restrained from checking any of my social media or other online accounts and simply lived in the moment. I visited my children in Kentucky. Only saw my son for a short time, but we all had a lovely dinner to celebrate my birthday which is this upcoming week. Then, it was girl time with my girl for the rest of the weekend.
I stayed Friday night through Sunday morning with my daughter and it is just what the doctor ordered. I know it's not easy on Mr. Reuel to have me gone, but I SO needed this time away. We talked, ate, shopped, had a few drinks, and simply enjoyed seeing each other. It was perfect.
We started our Saturday at a local coffee shop where I was able to have some of the treats that my daughter makes at work. She works for the bakery who supplies Heine Brothers' coffee. My daughter personally makes the rugelach and they are so darn good. Then, it was off to 'Build a Bear' where my daughter bought me my first ever. 'Louise is a starving artist who loves dragons and chai tea.' After we made our bears we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping at various locations. For once I didn't go crazy with the credit card, but I did come home with some new Funkos and other items.
I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to be heading down to Kentucky this weekend to see my kids. My daughter invited me for a girls' day to celebrate my birthday, and, of course, while I'm there I get to check on my son who just recently moved down near her. Not to mention, my new-ish son-in-law. It's still a bit strange to think of my daughter as a married woman.
I won't be writing much over the next couple of days, but be assured I am working on my next projects. I have a pretty aggressive schedule that I'm hoping to tackle this year so I can get more releases out to all of you. Speaking of releases... Have you checked out all of my current ones?
Find me on Amazon: https://viewAuthor.at/JosetteReuelAmzn
Find me on Books2read: https://www.books2read.com/ap/81ANV8/Josette-Reuel
I am the worst blogger in the history of bloggers. LOL It has been almost an entire year since my last post. A lot has happened. My son graduated high school, my daughter graduated college and got married, my son moved out on his own, and I have released several stories. I'm super excited about all of the changes in my author life, too. I met the most amazing person ever, my critique partner, unbiological sister/twinsie, and business partner -- S. E. Isaac. It's strange how you can meet someone and immediately click. My husband and I were like that. My PA and I were like that. And, now S. E. and I. She has been instrumental in helping me to focus on my writing and my author business. I feel confident a lot of things I let fall through the cracks in the past, will no longer suffer the fate of the forgotten toys. I'm going to share some links below. Would love to have you follow me and my friends that I list below.
Find My Books--->
I am a self-published, independent author. That means I do every step of the publishing process myself. And, I pay for every part of the publishing process myself. As a newer author, I'm still losing money to do something I love - to write my stories and share them with all of you. My family supports my desire to be an author, but I would love to eventually make more than I spend and contribute to my families income.
A huge part of making my dream of being a successful author come true is having readers buy my books, having readers share about my books, and having readers review my books. My small fan base is comprised of dedicated fans and I have received amazing feedback from them. These are people I did not know before publishing my first novel back in 2014. I appreciate them so much and would love to give back to them by writing more stories, by holding more giveaways, by doing more for them in general. But, to do this I need to do the three things I shared above - sales, reader sharing, and reviews.
As an indie author, I find myself spending more time than I like promoting my own work. This takes away from the time I have to write. And, quite simply drains me to the point that I don't feel like writing on many occasions. That is why it is so important to have the support of readers.
Now, I'd like to discuss a bit about price. I know for some, money is tight and finding free or $0.99 cent reads is one way they can afford to feed their reading addiction. However, did you ever stop to think about the author who wrote those books? How much do they have invested in their novel? How much do they make off of that novel? Will they be able to continue to write?
I'd like to answer those questions for you. First, how much do we authors have invested in our releases? Well, emotionally - EVERYTHING. Financially, hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars. We have the time invested to write, edit, format, and promote each book. We have the cost of paying someone to edit. Sometimes we even pay someone to format and promote our books. We also have the cost of having a cover created. A cover can cost anywhere from $25 for a pre-made cover to hundreds of dollars for a cover created just for our novel with one of a kind images. So, to make a quality release it can be very costly.
Royalties! The goal of every author is to make money on their work. So, how much do we get paid for those books you purchase? Well, obviously, if a novel is free then we don't make even a penny. However, for a $0.99 ebook published to Amazon an author makes 30% of the amount you pay - so, $0.29 cents. Now, if we list our novels at $2.99 each, then the percentage goes up to 70% per ebook. Anything under $2.99 receives only 30%. So, for a $2.99 release we can make about $2.00. Now, as a newer author I might sell anywhere from 10 to 50 copies when a book is first released. Let's go with the higher number. If I sell 50 ebooks at $2.99 each, I'd make about $100. Now, say I paid $25 for a cover, $100 for an editor, $25 for the formatting, and another $100 for promotions (blog tours, giveaways, etc.) So, without figuring in the amount of hours I, as the author, have invested, I have invested $250 in the ebook and have only made $100 back. Do you see how easy it is to lose money in this business?
I'm not writing this letter to 'whine' about my low sales numbers or lack of income. I'm writing this letter as someone concerned for the publishing industry. I've seen many authors give up on their dream of being a writer because they couldn't afford to keep going. Personally, I'm in for the long haul, but it would be nice to make it to the next level - to break even.
So, please take a moment to consider the costs that go into that next book purchase. If you enjoy that read, then please take a moment to follow the author, share about their book, participate on their pages and groups, and most importantly, leave a review.
A fellow book addict and author
Okay, so the background on this post. For awhile I've been using a photo taken at a book signing. it was a good photo of me, I liked it, but I really wanted something a bit more professional looking. Unfortunately, I have no money to pay for a professional photographer.
So, one day I'm scrolling through Facebook - which I often am known to do when I'm procrastinating - and I saw a post, "Hobby Lobby Photo Shoot." As a craft person, I know the store extremely well. And, as the type of person that sees Pinterest posts and thinks, "I can do that," I knew I'd try it.
On a day last week I had to take my son to a doctor's appointment and run several other errands, which included getting my license renewed. It was the perfect opportunity to hit Hobby Lobby. I mean, I cleaned up, was wearing a nice outfit, and even had on some makeup. Who likes to look awful on their drivers license for four years? Not me, so I try to look decent.
After the appointment and getting my new license - which did look okay - we headed across town. A few stops later and we were walking through Hobby Lobby. My son kept looking at me strangely as I posed by flowers and other objects, smiled, and took a selfie. Now, let me explain, I could have asked him to take a photo but most likely I wouldn't have gotten a good photo. With his ADHD and such he's always in too much of a hurry to really stop and search for the perfect angle and such. So, a selfie it was.
Here is my "Hobby Lobby Photo Shoot." I hope you'll let me know what you think. I will admit at trying to sneak around because it was a bit strange to be taking selfies in a store like that. At one point I heard them call out, "Associates, Code One," I thought for sure they were coming for me.
It seems like once every three months or so I realize that I haven't posted anything on my blogs. Then I rush over to my site builder and begin working frantically to post and share and get caught up with all of the fun things and not so fun things that happened since the last posts.
Sadly, I did it again. There is just so much going on between being a mom, trying to write, and promoting myself as an author. Promotion is what typically ends up being dropped. Writing these blog posts is a form of promotion in that I allow you to get to know me better and I share my current projects and authors/books that I've fallen in love with.
The question I have to ask myself is: Is it likely that this behavior will change?
Answer: Probably not.
Because the truth is, there is only one of me and only so many hours in a day. I can't be everywhere at once. Besides, you add in my medical conditions and I just don't have it in me to run full tilt ahead like I did when I was twenty or even thirty years old. I'm going to be forty five years old next week. Sure, in today's standards that's not old, but in my standards I feel old beyond my years.
So, hopefully I can do a little better, but if not, I'll talk to you next time three months rolls around.
One of the things I noticed when I first began researching how to self-publish was how difficult it was to find information - real information that would help me to economically accomplish my dream. The biggest set back I had was my lack of money to back my new endeavor.
When you make the decision to self-publish there are a lot of items you should have on your list for your book: an editor, a cover, a formatter, swag for giveaways, teasers, etc. A few of the largest issues with all of these things is knowing who is good at their job and finding someone that is not going to charge you an arm and a leg. I mean, as an author we don't make a ton of money and in so many cases you're not going to make back what you put into those books - especially, if you spend a lot for the items in the above list.
So, here I am with a bunch of skills that have been honed over 15+ years as a technical writer, as an artist, and, now, a published author. I also need to make some money to fund future books and my "poor college student" (as my daughter calls herself). Which is why I'm putting myself out there to help all of you - I'm going to offer my services for a minimal fee for cover design, teaser creation, book formatting for eBook and print, and swag.
If you're interested in further information, email me at JosetteReuel@gmail.com.
**I have personally created each and every one of my own covers. I have formatted all of my own eBook and Print books. I have created my own teaser graphics. I created my own swag items. I've also done a few covers, teasers, and swag items for a few author friends. **
See examples of my covers and teasers on my Facebook author page, Josette Reuel, Author.
See swag and other creative items on my Craft Facebook page, Evanlea's Crafty Side.
Josette Reuel is an avid reader of many different genres - her passion is mostly Sci-fi and Paranormal, especially Romance, but she also read's contemporaries, historicals, and much more.
I'm always pretending that I'm sitting across from somebody. I'm telling them a story, and I don't want them to get up until it's finished.