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Did you know I can juggle?

I’d better clarify that title in case people think I’ve gone circus-mad!
No, I can’t toss things in the air with the greatest of ease and catch them in a synchronized pattern of flawlessly timed manual dexterity. ( how’s that for a sentence? Hee hee) But I can — and do — juggle things in life every single day. Of course I do, because I’m a woman in the 21st century with a career, family, personal life, dreams, and desires.

Let me ‘esplain it, Lucy.

Like so many woman nowadays, I not only have a family I care for – which includes my husband and daughter but also now my rapidly aging and health diminishing parents – I have a career that depends on me and me alone to -literally – get the job done because I’m a solo writer. If I don’t put the words on the page, no one else will. I have a personal life and circle which includes people outside my family whom I love getting together  and socializing with. I also have hobbies, those things I do for my self, my sanity, my creativity, in the privacy of my own home during any free time I can spare.

When my daughter was a wee bit younger and still living at home, I was her chauffeur to school, after school activities and everywhere else she needed to be or wanted to go. Even when she started to drive, I was still the one who did her laundry, cooked for her and made sure she was healthy, balanced, and happy.

My husband has a demanding career and is often gone up to fourteen hours a day. Even when he is home he still has to take phone calls and manage problems, so that leaves little time for him to do the things that he’d have to do to run his life if he were single. That means I am tasked with cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills, and doing all these sundry other tasks that require our home to  run. I draw the line at mowing grass and taking out the garbage though. Those things – my little feminist heart aside – I classify as man tasks. Don’t judge me!

My writing career depends on my getting my stories on the page in a coherent, concise, and quick manner. At this point in my career when I am still an unknown in the publishing world I can’t take up to a year to write one book. Luckily, I write fast, so I’ve been able to average 3 books in print a year since I began my journey in 2015. In order to do this effectively and in a timely manner, I need to juggle the time I spend on everything else so that I have enough time to write.

In the purest sense of the word, my life is a juggling act.

Those of you who know me know I don’t sleep much. Chronic insomnia rules my life. I utilize this sleepless state to write, put together book promo marketing, and do other sundry writing things ( like this blog, for instance. – it’s 2 am EST right now as I type away.) Most days I write between the life stuff. I’ll go to the gym ( because my a** has gotten larger since I sit most of the day) then write for an hour. Grocery shop, then edit. Visit my parents to give my mother a shower, then bang out a blog post. Once I actually finished a scene while I was at the dentist office waiting for a cleaning.

I’m not alone in doing this. Every female writer I know juggles every single day just to carve out time to write, exist, and keep the family happy, fed, and healthy. The key is to find that elusive balance needed so that no one – especially the juggler ( Moi!) feels like they’re missing out on something.

They kinda go hand in hand, don’t they? Juggling and Balance.

Think about it.

On any given or random day, you can find me juggling here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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Imposter syndrome….

Last month at my NHRWA meeting, one of my uber-talented and wonderful writing chaptermates spoke a phrase I had never heard before:  Imposter Syndrome. She gave me a very good definition of the word, but when I got home I decided to delve a little more into the meaning. Here’s the best explanation I found of it:

“Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters‘ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.” ~My 2008 Harvard Business Review

Hmmm.

That kinda sounds like very writer I know.

I’m plagued with doubts about my writing Every Single Day of my life. Does that mean I have I.S.? 

I worry that my next book will be trash, my editor will have me completely rewrite it, the public will hate it – and me – and I’ll have to go out and get a job cleaning floors at night in office buildings to make ends meet ( not that there’s anything wrong with that!!)  Does that mean I have I.S.?

When I read a less than flattering review of one of my books ( and by less than flattering I mean a 1 on Goodreads and Amazon!!) I think : this is it. I’m done for. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. No one will read this book now. Does that mean I have I.S.?

The moment I read something back I’ve written and think, “this sucks wind so bad, it’s a hurricane of a mess!” I start to sweat, my heart rate goes tachycardic, and I get a sick, vomit-worthy sensation swell up in my throat. Does this mean I have I.S.?

 

No. Emphatically no. I KNOW I am a decent writer. I may never win any major writing awards, or have a million seller, but that’s okay. I’ve said this before but it needs to be repeated here: Even if I’d never had any book of mine published, I still would have kept writing because I love doing it so much. I didn’t need accolades, royalties ( not that they are necessarily a bad thing!)  or good reviews to validate that I AM A WRITER.

This, I think, is the difference between thinking you might have I.S. and actually having it. My sense of self worth, my idea of success, my feelings of value, are not tied up in whether or not the book reading world knows my name, buys my books, or clamors to retweet anything I’ve put on Social Media. What it adds up to is that – in my very humble opinion – I have a strong, well defined, and productive EGO. And I’m not talking about the posturing, self important, look-at-me-and-no-one-else part of an Ego. I mean, simply, I know my worth, am okay with it, and can hold my head up high.

Okay, peeps, here’s my writing PSA for the day: STOP THINKING YOU ARE AN IMPOSTER AT THIS WHOLE WRITING THING. You write, ergo ( and don’t I just love being able to use that word!!) YOU ARE A WRITER!!!

‘Nuff said.

Looking for me? Here I am:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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