Last night I was up until 3:30 AM trying to get motivated to write but the words weren't coming.
Why is it that I find myself on most nights sitting in bed, the quiet snores of Mr. Reuel vibrating the headboard and the yips of a dreaming dog under the bed the only interruptions to the darkness surrounding me?
Well, I'll tell you... because being a wife and mother trumps everything else, including my writing. Unfortunately, my medical issues (anxiety, depression, etc.) are acerbated by the stresses of being a "good" wife/mother. So, between the interruptions that Mr. Reuel, my son, and my daughter cause and my body's reactions to them, I find myself, more often than I like, scrolling through Facebook or playing games on my phone. Zoning out and trying to find a clarity of mind that allows my muse in to play.
For some, your reaction will be to just turn it off and set it down -- but what you don't understand is that I have a mental block created by my medical conditions that I find it difficult to get past. I try, believe me I try. I mean, I want to be a successful author and that means writing and publishing on a regular basis. I take multiple medications and have tried so many different tricks to get myself some sort of "work" situation that I hoped would have me working on some sort of schedule.
Sadly, I find myself trying to write in the wee hours of the morning before the dawn. It's the only quiet time I can find. Why? Well, because I have dogs needing to go outside every couple of hours and I have to watch them while they are out. I have a son that is completing high school through online schooling who is constantly dropping in to complain or ask for help. Sometimes he drops in just to talk because he's lonely. Then, we have Mr. Reuel who works from home. I spend almost 24/7 in a house with both of them. Oh, and we can't forget my daughter who is 4 hours away at college but still needs me to give her a wake up call.
So a typical day... to bed by 4AM, up at 6:30AM to wake the girl, trouble falling back to sleep so games and Facebook on the phone, checking email, and hopefully back to sleep by 7:30/8AM. Sleep until the dog wakes me up or my body does usually around 1PM. Catch up on social media and promotion duties for a couple of hours and try to talk myself into eating. Maybe I find the willpower to actually write (during NaNoWriMo I seem to accomplish this much better). Then around 4PM to 5PM I have to plan and cook dinner which is usually done by 6:30PM. Back to my bed where I'm currently camped out to write (my office is a mess between craft projects the unpacked book signing stuff and Christmas). I twiddle around for a few hours until Mr. Reuel comes up and distracts me with a show we're watching. This is the time we actually spend together, cuddled up and enjoying some entertainment together. We typically do this until midnight when he finally goes to sleep. It takes him awhile and due to my snoring (which I've been told is like a foghorn) I stay up until I'm sure that he is asleep. He is the one that works to put food on the table and he needs his sleep more than I do.
So, every day I look back and wonder where all of my time went and there (see above) you have it. Of course, then we have weeks like the past few where I'm sick and then Mr. is sick. Mr. Reuel went in for a teeth cleaning and ended up needed a cavity filled. Something went wrong and he suffered for several days before deciding to have the tooth pulled. And now, he's sick. It appears to be the flu but of course he is imaging all sorts of interesting diseases and that he's dying. Sigh. Men are such babies when they don't feel good. So, here is wife to the rescue driving to the store at 7AM after only 3 hours of sleep to get him medicine to hopefully help him feel better because he needs to work. Not only is he the only real source of income around here but he is in the middle of a huge project at work and can't miss. Right now he's sitting in his office chair wrapped from head to toe in a blanket, moaning in agony, and working.
Which leads me to my thoughts today. Being a wife and mother will always trump everything. No matter what I need to do, I will do it for them. They are the loves of my life and deserve no less than my all. What I need to do is realize the impact that has on my 'professional' life and tell myself that it is okay. A recent psychologist visit allowed me some insight into my issues... I stress because I want to fix things for them. I can't. It's not in my control to change their thoughts and make them happy or to heal them when they are sick. Stress is the killer of the creative mind and until I learn to control my need to make life perfect for my family, then I will continue to have difficulties producing my books on a regular schedule. It doesn't mean that I need to stop being a wife/mother, it means that I learn to let go and accept that my best won't always be successful in making them feel better. Realizing this is the first step to a healthier me.
So, I hope, dear reader, that you will understand that I am only human and give my books a chance. I promise that while my main focus will always be my family, I will keep chugging away to publish stories that I know you will love.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Today I would like to share my feelings of gratitude that I recently shared in my newsletter. I felt that it bears being repeated so decided to post it today.
As an author, the one thing I have realized since I first published in 2014 is the importance of my readers. All of you are so important to my being able to continue writing. It isn't just purchasing my books — it's your feedback and support. Knowing that you enjoy my stories inspires me to write more.
So, this Thanksgiving holiday please know that I am saying my thanks for each and every one of you. However, I feel that I should send a shout out to some who have been there in special ways these past four years — from the beginnings of the Dásreach Council Novels to publishing my 13th release with "Creative Magic" (hopefully in December).
The Bookworms — without whom the Dásreach would not have been born. I will always love you ladies: Amy, Alison, Chelsea, Debbie, Elisabeth, Ginelle, Jennifer, Jessica, JoAnn, Keshia, Marlena, Melanie, and Stephanie.
Reuel's Rebels — you are my super fans, my betas, and my friends. Thank you so much for your patience and dedication to making my books the best they can be: Alison J., Amanda M., Amber A., Amber K., Amy R., Birgit W., Dina B., Kristen C-F., Liette B., Melanie N., Rebelle, Sammy B., and Yvonne E. With honorable mentions to Jennifer C., Marlena M., Ginelle B., and Debbie P.
The Dásreach Warriors — the Facebook Group of my fans. You all humble me that you want to read my work.
The many, many authors that have impacted my writing in so many wonderful ways. From writing amazing stories to providing advice, from being a role model to being a friend... I will always be grateful that the universe brought you into my circle. Especially Abbie Carlisle and Chelsea O'Neal who have been with me since the beginning, we started this journey together and I hope we will continue for many more years.
To the ultimate Super Fan, Jennifer Rebelle Alvarez, for helping a struggling author out by agreeing to be my PA for the cost of "more stories." You keep me on track, provide a sounding board for all of my ideas, help relieve my stresses, and put up with my many quirks. Thank you.
And, lastly, my family. To my husband, Chris, who supports me no matter what, who ordered me to quit the 9 to 5 job and become a full-time writer, who loves me unconditionally — there will never be a way to show you just how much your love has meant to me. To my children, Annslea and Evan, from the first moment you gripped my finger you held my heart. To my parents, Cosette and Dean, you have always been my role models in everything. All of you have inspired me and encouraged me — thank you.
I wouldn't change my being an author. I love that I can write my stories and publish them as an indie author. But, being an author is difficult. How do you balance life and writing? That is the question that I am constantly asking myself. I mean, between my health issues, distractions, and family responsibilities I have barely written anything this year until this month.
The other side of the author gig is the promotions. I'm the first to admit that I am NOT a salesperson. I'm horrible at promoting myself. It feels like bragging and I feel that people will think I'm full of myself if I tell them to read my books. Why would they read my books if I tell them "it's a great story and a must read"? I wrote it, of course I love it. But, the one thing I believe wholeheartedly is that every reader enjoys something different. It is true that many will enjoy the same book but it's hardly for the same reasons.
So, how do I overcome the most difficult part of being an author? How do I sell my books? That is the ultimate question and I'm still searching for the answer.
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.