Storytime: A writer must be read

I have so many posts in my drafts it’s overwhelming. Some of them are from April. The ideas are there, but the words won’t seem to flow.

I have a lot of creative ideas. I’ve been organizing the images from my trip to turkey in 2018 for the past month. At 1st I was going to do multiple slideshows, but that didn’t work out. I made one slideshow yesterday and it was nice but it took forever. I did some collages this morning but the templates I used needed internet and thankfully I got that for an hour.

I’m tired, I have a migraine, but I can’t sleep. YourHour app claims I’m obsessed with my phone. I’m afraid they may be right.

So many creative ideas and not enough time, energy, or internet to execute them. Yesterday I turned on my laptop to finish chapter 4 of my novella (I’m going to add another scene), but with only 1 hour of internet, I chose to work on my phone.

When your work demands promotion on social media, the line blurs between work and play. I sit now with the Quran next to me, closed, waiting to be read (I’m trying to make it a habit to read Quran 1st thing in the morning) but the thoughts are finally flowing here, so everything else can wait.

Writing for me is sometimes like exorcism, in the sense that if I don’t get the thoughts out, they possess me and I can’t think of anything else, or I completely forget about them, which to me is much worse.

I can’t tell you how many poems I thought of or began to write but was too busy to finish and that felt like creativity lost in the Bermuda triangle, never to be found again.

I sip on my coffee but eat nothing. I’ve been doing that lately, even though I know it’s unhealthy, but it’s better than eating carbs with my coffee. I’ve gained fat and it’s making me hate myself and my body. I keep saying I need to go on a diet.

Why am I wasting time and energy on collages and slideshows of the pictures we took in Turkey? Because the end result makes me happy, and when I share with my family, it makes them happy too. But shouldn’t I be using that time and creativity to promote my books and work on finishing translating one of my books to Arabic? Probably.

I’ve been getting migraines on and off for a week. I would say it’s because of the change of weather, but I know it’s because I haven’t been sleeping well. I stay up until 1 am, sometimes 3 am, and I wake up at 9 am now, except for some days like today, I wake up at 5 am. I wish I could tell you I wake up, exercise, meditate, etc. I wake up and stay on my phone until my arms hurt and my neck spasms.

I watched a movie called Game Night yesterday. Loved it. Totally recommend. I’m wasting my time with movies too. It helps my mood. I also recently watched The Wife, and something they said in the movie hit deep. If you’re a writer, I recommend you watch the movie. It’s about an author and his wife.

Here is the scene from the movie that struck a chord:

“Did you hear that? That’s the sound of a book that’s never been opened”.

“But a writer must write”.

“No, a writer must be read”.

I have published 10 books so far, and some of them have zero sales so far. How am I to perfect my work if nobody is reading my books and giving me feedback? How am I to fulfill my purpose, to inspire and motivate, if my books are not being read?

I thought my purpose was to write, but if that were true, why does my heart skip a beat when I see the views on my blog skyrocket (like they did yesterday, thank you very much, I appreciate it), and why does my heart sink when a day goes by with only 12 views?

A writer must write, but a writer is not a writer without their readers.

I can’t thank you enough for reading my blogs. You make my day. I don’t get paid for my blogs. I write for me. I write for you.

Please check out my books on Amazon and buy one, or more if you can. Or if you have kindle unlimited, go ahead and read my books for free. Also, don’t forget to check out my novella. Read chapters 1, 2, and 3 but wait for chapter 4 while I add another scene. I don’t know when but soon.

I’m going out with my family today, so that should be fun. I feel like I haven’t been fun to be around lately so I’m trying to change that. My tolerance has become subzero. It’s the whole “people: can’t live with them, can’t live without them, debacle”.

I’m read Quran and I’m off to exercise now. Cheerio.

Chapters 3 and 4 of my novella are out! Read them for FREE

In June 2021, I published the 1st chapter of my novella “Tony and Sandra: A story of love, loss, and healing”. I’ve never written a novella before, which is why this is so hard for me.

A novella is a short novel. I wrote the outline and I have a lot of the details on paper, but I’m having trouble letting the words flow into chapters.

In July, I published the 2nd chapter of the novella, and it wasn’t until today that inspiration struck, and out came chapter 3 (and half of chapter 4, but I can’t publish that until it’s complete).

Anyway, you can click on the highlighted words to read chapter 1, chapter 2, and chapter 3 of Tony & Sandra: A story of love, loss, and healing. Enjoy. Let me know what you think!

You can also find the blog posts in which I talked about the novella here:

The 1st 3 chapters are free, but chapters 4 through 10 will need tokens to unlock.

Update: I published chapter 4 of my novella today. Be sure to check it out!

September Sale just for you!

1st of all, hello and welcome September! I’m so excited! My favorite season of the year is Autumn, and my favorite month is October (not just because it’s my birthday month) because September is still a bit hot and in November, it starts to get cold. October has the perfect weather. A little bit of sunshine, a little bit of rain, the perfect balance of nature.

Since I’m so happy today, and not just because one of my sons baby teeth fell out today (the 3rd one so far), but also because Fall is in the air, I decided to give you all a special surprise.

Starting today, all my books on Amazon are available on kindle unlimited for FREE for the next 90 days!

Kindle unlimited is the premium version of kindle, which is an app where you can buy and read ebooks on Amazon. The nice thing about kindle unlimited is that for just 10$ a month, you can read any book that is enrolled in kindle select for free. So instead of paying for each of my books, you can pay 10$ and read them all. Isn’t that awesome?!

Register now for kindle unlimited if you’re not registered already, and you can read all my books for just 10$ a month! Don’t forget to let me know when you read my books. I would love to know your feedback!

Just click here to go to my author page where you will find all my books on Amazon.

What I want to achieve by 40

I don’t have a 10 year plan. Not even a 1 year plan. I make monthly goals and weekly plans and daily to do lists.

However, last night I listened to a podcast by Joey Kidney and it inspired me to think about where I want to be in 10 years.

My goal is not to be a millionaire or to own a fancy car or a mansion. I want enough money to be able to buy gifts for my friends and give charity regularly. I mean my own independent money, not my husband’s.

I currently have 10 books on Amazon. I want 20 books on Amazon and I want one of them to be a best seller.

Part of me wants freedom and independence and to travel more, but I know it’s not realistic, and part of me wants another child so my son has someone to play with (he keeps requesting a baby boy) but I don’t know what God has in store for me.

I turn 30 in a month and looking back 10 years ago, my life was completely different. I was in 4th year of university, studying for a degree I hated, and I failed a subject because I was sick when I took the test. I was also bad at Pharmacology. I had no idea that 10 years later, I would be married, with a 6-year-old son, a blog, a podcast, and 10 books on Amazon!

At the time, my 10-year plan was to finish my Ph.D. in pharmacy and teach at a university. After graduating, I worked in a pharmacy for 2 months and hated it, then worked as a tutor for 3 months before getting married and continuing my master’s degree. I wasn’t able to continue my Ph.D. because it involved travel and as a married woman with a baby to a traditional Lebanese man, travel was out of the question. I put my whole life on hold for 4 years (I don’t regret it for a minute) before I published my 1st book. My friends and brother encouraged me to go for it.

That’s why I don’t make 10-year plans because my life went in a completely different direction than I had planned. So will one of my books become a bestseller? I don’t know.

We are in the middle of a pandemic, the economy is falling in many parts of the world, and Lebanon is in shambles. The future does not seem bright. I’m trying to get freelance jobs, but it’s so hard to find jobs online with no electricity. The farthest I’m looking is going to Turkey to blow off some steam and spend my savings because why not.

Life is pretty hectic here and I’m doing everything I can to ground myself and live, love and laugh. I’m reading, writing, listening to music and podcasts, reading Quran, playing with my son, practicing mindfulness and gratitude, etc.

What do you want to achieve in 10 years?

Storytime: You always have a choice

As I sit here, with no electricity (they are removing it 10 hours a day in my area, while other areas don’t get electricity for 48 hours in a row sometimes), just reading blog posts to pass the time until the electricity comes in an hour, I ponder on a few things.

I had a spirit lifting conversation with a friend today. We spoke for hours and I only had to go because I needed to heat my lunch in the microwave before the electricity went off. For reasons beyond my control, I no longer have wifi when there is no electricity. It would have helped a lot of I did, but on the bright side, it helps me leave my phone a bit (not for long obviously since I end up playing candy crush and reading blogs. I can read saved blog posts offline but I can’t click like so I will not un save them until I have clicked like).

A few of the things I could be doing if there was wifi right now are:

  • Create Canva designs of parts of my book “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships” and post them on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Gather links of my podcast into a blog post (my podcast is now available on Spotify, Anchor, Breaker, Radio Public, and Google Podcasts).
  • Start translating my book “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships” into Arabic.
  • Make a few TikTok videos of my time in Turkey in 2019.

Besides the situation I’m in (feeling creative but not being able to work due to no electricity or wifi), I’m sleepy. I haven’t been eating well or sleeping well lately. I think I may be stressed out. I don’t know if it’s because of the situation in Lebanon or from being at home too much or my issues with my family or the problems some of my family members are going through and I can’t do anything to help, or maybe it’s my marriage issues, or my hormones, or the heat.

Truth is, I can blame my lack of self care on any of these things and it wouldn’t matter. The result is the same. I’m feeling anxious, lathergic, erratic, I either overeat or don’t eat enough. I stay up late reading novels, sometimes all night. I’m not taking care of myself. I need to do better.

One thing my friend told me today:

“You always have a choice”.

These feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are not an excuse to self destruct.

I have a choice to sleep early, to put my phone aside at bedtime (I did just that last night but only because my phone battery was 17% and the charger is too far from the bed).

I can choose to eat healthy food (I have been occasionally eating more fruit but I also ate a lot of junk food on Monday and tuesday).

I can choose to not let the little things in my marriage bother me, to let them go, to have compassion and tolerance. Some things I need to fight for but I can’t change anyone. I can only change my perception, my reaction.

So as soon as the wifi is on, this post will get published, and I will do what I said I would do. Until then, I choose to read blog posts instead of playing candy crush.

Self-reflection Sunday: Deep conversation topics part 10

Hello and welcome to my blog! I didn’t have wifi all weekend, so this post is a day late. I also had a crazy day today. I almost lost my number. Long story, but let’s do some self reflection, even though Sunday is over.

Deep Conversation Topics:

10. What have you been most proud of learning lately?

I’m proud of how much I’ve learned in terms of learning to market my books. I kept telling myself it’s nothing, but now my sisters, who have opened brand shops on redbubble, are coming to me for marketing advice. I’m giving them tips about hashtags and how often to post and which social media platform is best to promote your products. I’m surprised at how much I know. I still need to learn and apply much more to get my books to sell, but I’m working hard on it. I made an author page, I’m promoting my books on Twitter and Instagram. I’m even trying to mention them on the blog as much as possible. It’s funny how I work much harder on my blog, which is free, than on my books, which are for sale.

What about you?

If I were rich and famous

Hello and welcome to my blog! I was binge reading blog posts and I came across a post about how to upgrade your wardrobe and it got me thinking. I would love to upgrade my wardrobe but I don’t have the money to completely change my wardrobe, and I don’t exactly enjoy shopping. Nor do I have anyone to take me shopping. Also, my husband wouldn’t let me upgrade my entire wardrobe anyway. With the economic crisis, we are being mindful of our spending as prices are skyrocketing and darker days are awaiting us in Lebanon.

However, if I were rich and famous, and if my husband wasn’t the way he is (let’s leave it at that) and I had the freedom to employ whoever I want and do whatever I want, what would I do?

I’d go on talk shows and talk about my books and my life.

I’d give money to charities and help the poor and needy.

I’d have a stylist and personal shopper to buy all my clothes for me and pick out my entire wardrobe. I’d have a walk-in closet like Hannah Montanas.

I’d have a personal chef who curates diabetic healthy delicious meals approved by my dietician just for me. All I’d have to do is eat at the appointed times.

I’d have a personal trainer who exercises with me. I’d have exercising equipment in my house.

I’d have a personal coach who encourages me and gives me tips to grow my career and grow as a person.

I’d have a marketing specialist who would run my author’s social media accounts and promote my books and blogs for me. I’d still make my designs on canva but they would know when and where to post, which hashtags to use, and which captions.

I would spend my time reading, writing and creating designs and watching movies and tv shows.

I would travel all around the world and take my friends and family with me.

And when it all gets a bit too much for me, I would go to a cabin in the woods to recharge and disconnect from people and technology.

And when I sink into depression, I’d talk to my therapist about it.

What would you do if you were rich and famous?

Motivational Monday: Go after your dreams

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to motivational Monday where I send you off with some motivational words to kickstart your week. Some people love Mondays, but most people get the Monday blues and need a few reminders to make it through.

Last night I slept, exhausted, but grateful for everything. I could barely keep my eyes open, but I recorded a memo to remember what was on my mind and I was supposed to listen to that memo today and write a blog post of more or less what was in it. But that was then and today I woke up exhausted and I had a busy day so far, so writing that is out of the question.

Also, yesterday was the 1st day of Dhul Hijja which is a very holy month in Islam. It’s the month in which Muslims can go to Hajj and those who can’t, myself included, can do a lot of good deeds, like charity, and get many rewards. If I find the time and energy, I’ll write a post about this soon. I also need to finish chapter 2 of my novella Tony and Sandra, but for some reason I’mdoing everything but that. So for now, here are a few reminders for the coming week:

Motivational Monday: Go after your dreams!

It’s a lovely day to go after your dreams. If you dare to pursue your ambitions, they can all come true. Make sure that whatever you choose makes you happy. Don’t put any restrictions on yourself. Many people place limitations on themselves based on what they believe they are capable of. You can go as far as your imagination will allow. Remember that you can achieve whatever you believe.

Trust your life’s timing. Things don’t just happen; they happen for a reason. Throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, and catch the trade winds in your sails, because twenty years from now, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So explore, dream, and discover.

Think about how many battles you’ve already endured. You’ll win this one as well, because every time you thought you couldn’t go on any longer, you did. Remember it won’t transform you unless it challenges you. Growth does not happen in your comfort zone!

Have a great day and a great week! Follow me on Instagram @sajidahaddad and @lostinthewoodswithnotv if you don’t already. Don’t forget you can find my books on Amazon. My latest book is The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships. I also recently republished the kindle versions of Growing up between USA and Lebanon, and Find your voice in the middle of the noise. I also published a paperback version of these books. You can now gain points on Amazon for buying books and redeem them for ebooks!

Top 5 posts in June 2021 and most recent posts

Hello and welcome to my blog! June has been a rollercoaster month for me, in terms of everything. However, as I choose to focus on the good things, such as my son graduating from kindergarten, I’ll ignore the fluctuating stats and that June stats are lower than May stats, and I’ll focus instead on the top 5 posts this month (most viewed).

Top 5 posts this month are:

We all have a dark side from my book “We all have a dark side, the key to happiness and more”.

Pros and cons of wearing your heart on your sleeve from my book “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships”.

Promo for “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships” and free sample.

Motivational Monday: Be your motivation.

Poetry Friday: It’s summertime but I just want to sleep

If you like my blogs, you will love my books!

Check out my Amazon author page here!

Most recent 5 posts are:

Newest book available in paperback version!

Guess what? My paperback, “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships,” is available to buy on Amazon for just 12.99$.

The content of the book is still currently on the blog, but you’ll have to read my blogs to find out where exactly. I’ll give you a hint. Advice.

I’ll delete most said blog posts soon for marketing purposes but you can always read a free sample of the book on the kindle app (go through my blogs to find out where. It’s in the title).

Did you check out the link to my paperback?

If not, why not?