Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Barbara Long, a registered nurse and graduate of the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She is married to an emergency medicine physician. Together, they lead hectic lives with their two teenagers, three dogs, two ducks, and a rabbit. They now live in Virginia and enjoy all of the love and laughter that life has to offer.
Hi, Please tell us about what it is that you do.
I have always considered myself to be a writer and an avid reader but not until recently have I thought of myself as an Author. I've written various forms of poetry my entire life, but this is the first project I have ever published. My sense of humor isn't for everyone. My own mother thinks I've lost my marbles for writing this book and actually going through the publishing process with it. Then again, nothing surprises her anymore because I've always done things my way.
I've been married to my husband, David, for 23 years, and we have 2 teenage children who were definitely part of the inspiration for this book. I am also a registered nurse who believes that laughter is truly the best medicine. David is an emergency medicine physician and my biggest fan. Our twisted sense of humor is part of what binds us.
Please tell us more about your journey.
Like many of us, the year 2020 has offered me a tremendous amount of time at home with my family. I found myself doing anything and everything I could creatively to pass the time while my children slept. They had quickly become night owls and were finding ways to enjoy themselves as well. It was then that I decided to sit down and write what many other parents must be thinking. Wake the F##k Up! I wrote, erased, and wrote again while laughing hysterically until I thought I had a completed project. The feedback was so positive that I eventually decided to find a reputable publisher and took the leap to become a published author. At first, I was scared of what some people might think of this book. Still, then I remembered what I learned by reading Mark Manson's, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#ck and haven't let that fearful thinking interfere since.
Who are your role models?
My role models tend to be positive, strong women. This does not necessarily mean CEOs or anyone famous. To me, it means women who are steadfast yet humble, kind while being assertive, honest without being hurtful, and courageous beyond measure. I was raised by a woman like this, and though she isn't the biggest fan of my book, she did teach me all of these things.
What inspires you?
There is the inspiration that can be found in almost anything. I am most inspired by kindness, humility, honesty, and strength. Creatively, I am inspired by my own sense of humor, nature, and life experiences.
Please tell us about your book, ‘Wake the F##k Up.'
Based on humor and satire, Wake the F##k Up is a book for the parents of teenagers, anyone who has been a teenager or just knows one for that matter. Using comedy and sarcasm, my book illustrates the daily struggle surrounding parenting while reminding us we are not alone on this journey. It reads like a children's book but is meant for a mature audience.
What's your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experiences surround my children because those life experiences are when I have felt the most love, happiness, pride, and contentment. I've also felt the fear, frustration, anxiety, and guilt that keeps us humble. I remember every second of the time a doctor once told me that my 2-year-old son needed to be tested for leukemia. He is now a healthy 19-year-old pre-med student.
In regards to this book, my most memorable experience was when I saw it available for purchase for the first time. I immediately ordered a copy for myself! Doesn't everyone do that?
What's your greatest fear?
The older I get, I fear regret and not fully understanding what is truly important. I also find that with time, I have become more fearless.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
I strategized by utilizing my sense of humor and then surrounding myself with a good team that had the knowledge to help me move this project to fruition. Let's be clear, I understood none of this before I started. I knew that I could write and I thought that I was funny. When I decided to publish this book, I hired the right people to teach me what I needed to and continue learning to move forward.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
My drive is to make the tough times better. Life is a series of peaks and valleys. The highest peaks cannot be reached without navigating the valleys. When times are tough, I try to find inspiration. When I've reached another peak, I try to inspire others.
Any message for our readers.
First of all, thank you for taking the time to read this, especially if you have made it this far! For those who are thinking of taking the leap into this literary world, be fearless and surround yourself with the right people to educate and guide you. It's also very important to be patient.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
Thank you so much for giving us your precious time! We wish you the best for your journey ahead!