Hello and welcome to my blog! How are you doing? I know I’m really bad at self promotion but recently, I published a new book where I gathered my top 13 viewed blog posts and spruced them up and published them as a kindle ebook. I remember I wrote a post about it.
So I don’t know if you know this, but 9 months ago, I took a 3 day creative writing course (I mentioned it in my blogs somewhere) and it sparked my creativity and ever since, I had an idea for a novel.
It took me a month to write the outline for the novel and even longer to write the 1st chapter. I struggled because I’ve never written a novel before, and also being at home with my son in the middle of a pandemic isn’t ideal for a writer. Writers need solitude, like a cabin in the woods or a house on the beach kind of solitude.
Anyway, I did manage to publish 3 poetry books (oh yeah, I forgot to promote my new poetry book “Determination and other poems”. I merely mentioned it in a wordpress story when I published it but it’s not available for buying now anyway because I just enrolled it in kdp select) and 4 mini biography booklets, a self reflection workbook, and the top 13 blog posts booklet.
You will only find 8 of my books there, because the other 5 are enrolled in kdp select, including my newest book. This means that they’re available for free to anyone who has kindle unlimited (10$/month subscription). I totally recommend this if you can enroll in kindle unlimited because it gives you the chance to read as much as you like of my books that are enrolled. You can also give me feedback on what you think of my books. I once read that a book is not complete until it’s read, so I need your feedback.
I’m working on having a paperback version available for all my books for those who prefer to read the book as a book and not as an ebook.
I only wrote 1 chapter so I submitted it and I’m waiting for your reviews on Amazon so I can move forward and continue writing this novel after Ramadan.
However, kindle vella is still in beta mode, so they’re not available yet.
So far I know you’re supposed to buy tokens to read chapters but the 1st few chapters are for free!
Worst promo ever, I know. In conclusion, check out my books on amazon and if you order a paperback, let me know what you think. Send me pictures of the book please (I also want to know what you think of the books if you read the Kindle version). I may use those pictures as promotion on instagram. If you have kindle unlimited, check out my books Life after Freedom ends, Determination and other poems, Growing up between USA and Lebanon, Heart on my sleeve and other poems, and Motherhood in poems. If you don’t, sign up here for kindle unlimited.
I also realized many fellow bloggers have published new books, so I want to pay it forward and spread the word about their books and encourage you to check them out.
Hello and welcome to my blog! Oh boy. I reread this from March 11th 2020 and I laughed. I remember struggling to sleep train my son on and off for years. I don’t remember how I finally managed to sleep train him (or maybe I didn’t because I still sleep in the same room as him sometimes) but at least now he falls asleep without me lying down next to him until he does. He doesn’t sleep until 10:30pm so did I really sleep train him? I have no idea.
Here is what I wrote on day 1 of sleep training my then 5 year old
March 11th 2020 6pm: I decided my 5 year old will start sleeping in his room. I told him he is a big boy now and this is my 100th attempt to get him to sleep in his room. He has been kicking me in the face and in the back while he sleeps. I have slept in his room on many occasions because i was uncomfortable with him next to me. I explained to him that i need a good night’s sleep to be a happy mommy that doesn’t yell or spank. He agreed. 8pm: Now that bedtime approaches, he refuses to go into his room until i get him a baby brother. This isn’t possible. It’s not magic. So what should i do to get him to sleep in his room tonight? I told him i will lie down next to him until he falls asleep, and will read him a story as well. I also said that if he gets scared at night, he can come and lie down next to us, but only if he gets scared. I don’t want to force him, but i will if i have to. So what should i do? He is currently crying and has hid himself in the living room. Everytime i try to get him to sleep in his bed, he cries and i give in. But i made my mind up today. I will try it for 3 days and let’s see what happens. 8:30pm: I suggested he sleeps with his favorite stuffed animal and he agreed. He climbed into bed and then i remembered he still needs to go to the bathroom and brush his teeth so i told him to get up. I hope he doesn’t change his mind after brushing his teeth. 8:45pm: He is in his bed now, with me next to him. He told me he will only sleep here tonight and only if i leave the hallway light on. 9:10pm: Two stories and 1 drink of water later, he is still in bed but occassionally breaks into song. So still going strong, but now i need to try not to fall asleep. 9:30pm: I’ve already yelled 3 times. Once for his continuous singing, once because he keeps uncovering because he wants to “air his feet” and once because he got out of bed and when i asked him why he replied “because what am i supposed to be doing here?” to which i said “you’re supposed to sleep” and i threatened i would turn the hallway light off if he didn’t close his eyes and sleep, to which he replied by calling me a bad mommy and i replied by calling him a bad boy. I feel guilty enough. You don’t need to tell me i shouldn’t have said that. Anyway, he is back in bed. Awake. 9:35pm: I apologized for calling him a bad boy. He apologized for calling me a bad mommy. I told him “i know it’s hard sleeping in your bed after not sleeping in it for a year (he slept in his bed from age 2 until age 4,when he developed a fear of ghosts, wolves, the dark, demons, toys coming to life at night, and started getting nightmares) but I’m here with you so don’t be afraid”. He nodded his head and smiled. We held hands for a minute. 9:40pm: Hallelujah he is asleep! Disclaimer: On school nights, i begin putting him to bed at 7 but due to the corona virus outbreak, i am announcing bedtime between 8 and 9, depending on what time he woke up. Today he woke up 9am.
School nights 😂 this really made me laugh. We’ve been in this pandemic a year people. Longest decade ever.
Hello and welcome to my blog! A year ago, I published my 1st book.
Little did I know, a pandemic would break out a few days later, or that I’d publish 6 more books in a few months, or that my books wouldn’t sell much. It was a milestone, and I’m proud of it. It’s nice to look back and see how far you’ve come every once in a while. A year later and we’re still in a pandemic, and the economic and political situation is terrible in Lebanon. I didn’t see that one coming. Well, the revolution had occured 5 months prior but still.
This is what I wrote a year ago: I have a big announcement 📢
I still can’t believe it. I can’t wrap my head around it. When I was 14, I wrote a poem about time. I remember 1 verse in it “time flies by when you’re having fun, and it sticks around when you’re having none” and I wanted to submit it in my school competition. My then english teacher threw it in my face, said “this is not even a real poem” and I didn’t write a single poem again for 5 years. For the past 9 years, coming on to 10, I’ve been writing poetry. I didn’t study poetry. I just read a lot, and I write a lot. When inspiration strikes, I must leave everything and write, otherwise I forget the words. When my feelings are jumbled inside or my inner voice is confused by the influence of other voices around me, writing poems helps me understand my feelings and sort my thoughts. I wasn’t always courageous enough to share my poems. I started by sharing them to those close to me, and with enough positive feedback from these people, some who I have fallen out of touch with but will never forget their support, I began to share my poems with the world. When I 1st started sharing my poems on my blog, I was scared. After all, this was a blog, which is very different from my poetry, but the positive feedback I recieved on the blog was so flattering. People would say things like “it’s like you were talking about me” and “everything you said resonates with me” and much more encouraging feedback. We are a community, and your support has given me the courage to pursue the one dream i haven’t given up on yet, to publish a book. I always thought that when I published a book, it would be a self help book or an autobiography, but your faith in me and my poems made it possible, with God’s will, to finally become an author on Amazon! This is huge! (sorry I know that phrase reminds you of a certain someone but no political pun intended). So thank you to all those who read my blogs. Thank you to all those who read my poems. Thank you to all those who have given me gushing feedback. Thank you to everyone who believed in me. And to that english teacher who shall not be named, look at me now! The poems I have published are only 10% of my total poems, not including the 100 poems I wrote (including that one about time) when i was 14 before I owned a phone or laptop, gave the book to my sister, and then it was lost when her house flooded. I will keep on reading, keep on writing, keep on improving. If you want to read my book on kindle, go to Amazon. The paperback version will be available for sale on Amazon in 3 days, if God wills, for those who can’t read ebooks and would prefer the physical book. My book is available worldwide and will even be extended to libraries and bookstores. If you have an idea to start a book, my advice to you is just do it. Note: For my Lebanese followers, kindle unlimited is not available in Lebanon, but starting June 1st, you can buy my ebook on Amazon.
Have you ever watched the movie Inside out? It’s a Disney Pixar movie that I recommend 💯 for all ages. I’m yet to watch Inside out 2, but part 1 is amazing.
Basically it’s about a girl who moves to a new school, new city and is dealing with overwhelming sadness I think. They show you all the emotions in her head trying to control her actions.
The inside of her brain is separated into family, friendship, imagination, etc. As she learns to grow up, she battles with her negative emotions.
So lately there has been a lot of drama in my personal life, and it’s sucking me into this vortex of negativity that I’m struggling to get out of.
If I were to make a map of the inside of my head, there would be personal development (enriching my brain and body), family, friendship, writing, spirituality, and emotional well being.
Ever since the beginning of January, I haven’t been able to really work on my goals because I’m too burnt out and having panic attacks. I’ve been meditating so that I have less panic attacks.
2020 has been very isolating for me and I’m craving attention from people who aren’t able to give me what I need. So after trying so hard to get their attention and only getting negative attention, I have decided to back off. I have my son, as exhausting as being with him all day is, he still makes me smile, even though when he is around, I can’t read or write blogs (he just fell asleep at 10pm which is why I’m able to write this post).
I think I’m going to watch the movie Inside Out again so I can remember the takeaway messages from the movie.
Have you ever watched Inside Out? If yes, what are your thoughts about it?
I had been sleeping perfectly fine for 2 weeks. 10pm sharp I’d be asleep. I don’t know how I jinxed it, but I did. Maybe because I started watching tv shows (currently This is Us) at night again.
Is it a coincidence that at the end of the year, while I’m trying to reflect on 2020 and plan 2021, I happened to watch the episodes about Thanksgiving and Christmas last night? I think not. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
It’s funny how I’m more invested in the future in a tv show than I am in my real life. Like will Kate lose the weight? Will Kevin find the love of his life? Will William die? Will Randal recover emotionally?
Maybe because I don’t see the bright side in my real life yet, the silver lining,… I think of 2020 highlights and remember the bushfires in Australia (which are predicted to happen in 2021 too), COVID-19 and lockdowns and deaths and illnesses (which still isn’t over and COVID-20 is predicted on the horizon). In 2020 so many people were killed, including George Floyd and many others like him. In 2020 the US elections happened, and the Lebanese elections didn’t. Since October 2019 and things in Lebanon just keep getting worse. Not to mention the wars in Syria and Palestine and other countries and all the Muslims being prosecuted worldwide.
I’ll stop here
If you wanted to read the news, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Is it so wrong that I can’t stand to watch the news and so I watch TV shows instead?
Ask anyone who really knows me, and they will tell you that I am not a tv person, until quarantine happened and now movies and tv shows are my drug, in addition to reading, writing, eating carbs and junk, and any other unhealthy coping mechanism that exploded.
But guess what? I don’t get to play monopoly on pain and disappointment and misfortune and stress. I’m not alone, but I sure do feel really lonely. Or else I wouldn’t feel the need to do all this.
I wrote my weekly plannar for the 1st week of January 2021. My goals since November have been keeping me grounded, but I keep getting distracted by tv shows and sometimes movies, but mostly tv shows. They’re more addictive.
So in an effort to end on a positive note, here are some good things that happened to me in 2020:
I published my 1st book in March, followed by 6 more books. Nobody’s buying them, and that’s okay, because after reading about how to become a better writer, I’m not convinced they’re good enough anymore. I fight the urge to unpublish them everyday, because I need to rewrite them and republish them and I’m too busy with other things.
I got better at baking. I finally kniw how to bake cookies and brownies (I used to only know how to bake cake). I still don’t make my own bread though.
I got better at planning, obviously. I used to write new years resolutions and forget about them but I’m getting better and planning goals and following through. I’m still not exercising daily or eating very healthy but I’m better than I was last year, I hope.
My views on wordpress exploded. Compared to other blogs, I’m a nobody, but compared to my blog last year, my views have multiplied and the quality and quantity of my posts has increased.
That’s it for me. I wish I had more, but the rest is just blah. As for in the world, what positive things have happenedin 2020?
Although I may not agree with everything in the above link as positive news, but I keep my religious opinions to myself. My blog here is a free space so I take what I agree with when I read and reject what contradicts with my logic and religion.
May 2021 be a better year than 2020.
May we all grow into better people.
May we all crush our goals and preserve our healthy relationships and end or at least limit toxic ones.
May corona virus and quarantine end and we can all go back to normal life, whatever that was.
And most importantly, I hope Kate loses the weight and Kevin finds the love of his life. I’m off to watch the next episode of This is us at 3 a.m. to find out.
I know a lot of countries are in lockdown now, including the UK and Australia, maybe even parts of the USA. Meanwhile, other areas are undergoing certain restrictions.
I know there is too much negativity on the news, so I try to steer clear of these topics here and I avoid watching the news as much as possible, but then I’m on instagram a lot so the news kind of follows me.
Anyway, I was doing some self care activities on this application called Joy Score, and I came across some tips on how to stay happy while social distancing and I thought I’d share them here on the blog. I recommend this application if you’re into this kind of thing. I’m a big fan of self improvement any way I can get it: books, podcasts, applications, YouTube videos, etc.
How to stay happy while social distancing
Maintain some level of happiness: it sound rhetorical but basically it means to create your own happiness rather than relying on the people in your life to make you happy
Draw the energy to combat a crisis: drawing and coloring have been known to relieve stress, but drawing more so to express the supressed feelings you have about COVID-19, the economic and political situation, etc.
Increase resilience: adversity builds resilience. You know what they say “don’t pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a hard life” or something like that.
Establish a routine: with everything chaotic and so many things unpredictable, creating a morning and bedtime routine help give you a sense of stability and control over your life. Maintain routines: just like it’s not enough to write down your goals, but you must create an action plan and actually follow those goals, so it is important to follow through with your routines and adjust them when necessary.
Go to bed and wake up on your typical schedule: even if you don’t have anywhere to go, going to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday regulates your carcadian rhythm and in turn decreases stress.
Eat regular meals at regular intervals: trust me on this, because I haven’t been doing this and my appetite is weird.
Exercise : this is timeless advice, especially with staying at home more, don’t fall into a sedentary lifestyle.
Go for a morning walk: I wish I could do this now, but when my son was going to school briefly, I got my steps up to 6,000 as opposed to 2,000 when he isn’t going to school.
Practice self-compassion: turning my anger into compassion is something I am working on with others, but being kind to yourself is a prerequisite to being kind to others. Accept and forgive yourself for what you may not accomplish. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can. Be mindful of negative thoughts: notice them, acknoledge them, then let them go.
Express gratitude: towards everything you have. So many people would kill to have the life you have. Be content with what you have and don’t compare your life to that of others. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it.
Be kind and compassionate towards others: everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, and usually the ones who need love the most are the ones who ask for it in the most unlovable ways.
Last but not least, spend more time at home, with your family. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and they’re even staying COVID-20 is on the rise, so wear a mask, maintain a 6 foot distance from others, wash your hands, avoid crowded areas, and if you don’t have to go out, stay at home (nature walks excluded).
Hello 👋 reader and welcome to my blog! Thank you so much for tuning in to read about my thoughts and feelings and my ideas about the world.
If you’re familiar with my blogs, you’d notice I’m into psychology and everything about the self (self care, self improvement, self love, self reflection) and so today I have come to an important realization.
I have come to this realization time and time again but as humans do, I tend to forget and pine after what I don’t have and forget to apreciate what I do have.
What I have noticed today after interacting with a few friends and my sister is that I felt loved. I don’t feel this everyday. My mood fluctuates a lot and sometimes throughout the day. For example, I got angry several times today, even enraged a couple of times. But right now, I just feel loved. I don’t know how else to describe it.
That brought me to the realization that all we need and all we ever needed was love. To love and be loved.
Whether you’re a sibling or parent or child or friend, all you need is LOVE.
I know it sounds corny, but hear me out. No matter how much money you have or how many things you buy or how much entertainment you fill your time with, it all comes down to who you love in your life and who loves you.
Rich or poor, married or single, old or young, we all need someone to care for, and someone who will care for us. In the end, we are only truly happy when we have someone who laughs at our jokes, listens to our stories, reassures us that we’re not crazy when we talk about our pain.
Even children, I’ve read about it so many times, don’t need elaborate parties and toys. They need someone to sit with them and tell them that they love the way they draw and love them no matter what.
In this world, the miserable people are the ones who need the most love but don’t know how to ask for it, and the unhappy people are the ones who truly and utterly feel ALONE.
So in this holiday season, though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish everyone happiness, health and togetherness. I hope you are all giving and receiving tenderness, love and care from your families and friends.
It’s a week until New Year’s and 2020 will finally be over. Here’s to hoping 2021 will be a better year. Despite the rollercoaster of a year filled with tragedy, I still managed to achieve some goals and restore some order to my life by making monthly goals for November and December of this year.
Today I’m reflecting on my December goals (I know December isn’t over yet but since my son will be taking a 2 week vacation from school so I won’t have much me time to focus on my goals in these 2 weeks, hence the early reflection)
I don’t celebrate Christmas because I’m a Muslim and it’s a Christian holiday (Christmas symbolizes the birth of Jesus as Christians consider him to be God or the son of God استغفر الله) but as a Muslim, I believe in 1 God and Jesus is his messenger. However, since I live in a multisectarian country with Muslims and Christians, schools must take both Muslim and Christian holidays (good news for students and teachers but bad news for parents).
This month, I made 20 goals (I know that’s overwhelming but last month I made 29 goals so I’m getting better). I won’t go in detail about each goal, but I’ll tell you that I categorized them into personal, social, spiritual, reading, writing, and physical. I tried to stick to 3 goals per category.
This last week of December I’ll be reassessing my goals and what I need to focus on in the future, and I’ll be planning for a better 2021.
How will I plan for 2021?
I did this in 2020 for the 1st time. I printed out a calender where each month had a quote on it and there was an empty page where I drew and decorated.
This year I will print out another calender but I will decorate it differently (no sneak peaks, I’ll show you when I make it).
2. Monthly goals
Since I really enjoyed making goals for November and December (although a bit overwhelming), I decided to continue this into 2021, but I will try to limit myself to 2 goals per category.
The categories may change as well once I write my mission statement (I printed out the template and action words and I plan to fill them out before new year’s).
3. Weekly planning
I haven’t done this before, but I’ve been reading a lot about time management and Stephan Covey said weekly plannars are very important so I’m going to give it a shot.
4. To-do lists
I’ve been writing these for years, but this time I’ll try to do them differently. I usually jot down 20 tasks to do per day, or nothing at all. I’ll try my best to not put more than 10 tasks on my list and to create a morning and evening routine such that I don’t even have to write it down. I’ll also try to prioritize the 3 most important tasks and do them 1st if I can.
I hope you enjoyed this overview into how I plan my life. There is a lot of unplanned events that I don’t write down. People can be very unpredictable. My mood and health throw me off balance too sometimes. It’s important to plan ahead and work on your goals but to also be flexible so that when something happens (a death in the family, sickness, bad weather,…) it doesn’t discourage you from working on achieving your goals.
On March 2nd 2020, I published my 1st book on Amazon. My publishing journey has been a whirlwind since I decided to publish in October 2019. Once I decided to actually try to sell my poems because all my friends said “you should sell your poems”, the Lebanese revolution began a few days later and my hopes to publish in Lebanon went up in flames. A few months later, I remembered an instagram friend advised me to publish on Amazon a year before because she wrote a parenting book on Amazon for free! I said why not.
By the time I gathered my poems from 2015 and edited my manuscript twice, found a bank I could use, I finally took the leap and published.
I was then hit with another roadblock, how to market my book. I can tell you so far that all my half hearted attempts have been futile, since I’ve been stuck at home with a husband and a 5 year old boy and consistency is not my strong suit and I have developed a love for binge watching tv shows and watching tv during this pandemic and depression hit me more than once during these 10 months since the initial lockdown and the situation in Lebanon has gotten worse day by day, so here is yet another attempt. I won’t try to market all 7 books at once.
Let’s start with my 1st book
Motherhood in poems : Healing from PPD
Why did I choose this book?
Nobody gives you a course in motherhood before you get married. You watch a lot of romantic movies, dream of the perfect man who will sweep you off your feet so you’ll live happily ever after, and you see the babies in the pampers ads look so cute you get baby fever, and next thing you know, pregnancy does not make you glow and the doctor is handing you a baby and explaining about all the ways you need to nurture him physically and emotionally and you’re like “huh?” and the doctor literally says “you didn’t think you were just going to feed him and change his diapers, right?” and you go *internal screaming* and not even the doctor explains ppd to you.
It took me a year to realize I had ppd (post partum depression) because I was crying all the time, feeling overwhelmed and despite the help I got from my mom and in laws, most of the work was on me and I was expected to devote myself to my child while holding a household and adhering to society’s standards of perfection and blending with my traditional in laws and getting to know my husband while feeling so utterly alone and if I even thought of complaining about anything (not just the baby stuff) I was hit with “why can’t you just appreciate motherhood? It’s such a blessing”
It wasn’t until I read Chrissy Taegan had ppd that I looked it up and resonated with it and started to heal myself. The poems I wrote during this year were therapeutic, and they pulled me out of this depression, and I hope that they will do the same for you.
This brings me to my next question. Who is my audience?
Mothers, especially those with newborns or pregnant or even people who want to become mothers (in case you want to reconsider before it’s too late). I want to give insight on what it’s like to have ppd and about how to get over it. My target audience was worldwide, but I found out kindle isn’t available in any of the Arabian countries, especially not in the Middle East. Also the paperback version is half the time not available in Lebanon and the other half has 50$ shipment fee. Besides the fact that the dollar vs lira value has plummeted and my 12$ book now costs a fortune in Lebanese liras, not to meantion the added 50$ shipment fee. So as much as I would love to sell to my lebanese followers and friends, my target audience are Americans, Canadians, Austrialians, UK and maybe one day European countries if I even get that popular.
Let me walk you through my book. I categorized it, as you know I love to be organized, by topic.
Part 1 is about negative encounters. You know when you have a conversation with someone and you just want to punch them in the face? That kind of encounter.
Part 2 is about depression. Obviously, this is a book about healing from depression, so I must put poems that describe how I felt. Don’t worry though, it gets lighter.
Part 3 is about anxiety. My blog is basically about mothering with anxiety. I’ve had anxiety since I was 20, or at least that’s when I was able to label it as anxiety. And to become a mother while already having anxiety is no easy task.
Part 4 is about love. It’s mainly about my relationship with my husband and how my love for him held me together, even though he didn’t really help with my depression because he didn’t understand why I was lashing out and crying, but nevertheless, he tried his best to support me as a husband should. The fact that I could stay home and didn’t have to work was a bonus, but I do wish he understood my need to go out and about more. In his defense, our son was born with a weak immunity and was very fragile for the 1st 6 months of his life.
Part 5 is about motherhood, or at least the positive aspects of it. The love, the care, what it feels like to be a mother, anxiety and depression aside. It truly is a blesding, but I guess they should write “may cause ppd and beware if you already have anxiety” in the fineprint.
Part 6 is about optimism. I had to start developing a positive mindset in order to get through my depression and function as a mother and as a human. Optimism is key but it’s not easy to reach.
Part 7 is about friendship. Wherever you are in life, you need a support system. You need friends you can vent to who will validate your feelings, give you advice and make you feel loved, and I’m glad I had friends like that by my side, even though most of them are in different countries, but they are just one text away.
Part 8 is about prayer. Without my faith, I wouldn’t have been able to make it out of that long dark tunnel I was in. I’m grateful that I was able to see the light and prayer helped me develop patience and perseverance.
I hope you enjoyed my walkthrough of this book. If you want to, you can order it as paperback for 12$ here and starting December 3rd for just 10$ as kindle ebook here (it’s currently enrolled in kdp select which means if you have kindle unlimited you can read it for free with your 10$ per month subscription and I get payed for the amount of pages you read).
If you want some snippets from this book, go to my author instagram page here and check out my latest posts.