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.

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.

https://castbox.fm/vb/369821723

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: My wifi is back!

I just had to share this with you all. I felt so disconnected without wifi. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

I visited my family today. I had a blast. I drank green tea with my sister, did a workout with my mom, had a laugh with my other sister, long chats with another. My son played with his cousins. We all ate lunch together. My mom taught me solitaire. I hugged my dad (much-needed hugs).

However, the whole time I was there, there was no electricity, and half of that time, there was no wifi. So why did I get so restless when I had no wifi at home? Because I was alone. I had books to read at home, and I read Roller skates, and I had movies to watch, and I watched Fast and Furious 9. I guess I just didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts.

The situation in Lebanon is scary, it’s like a country that’s dying. Every once in a while, new symptoms come up. Prices rising, no electricity, no fuel, no wifi, in some places no more running water! My solace is dreaming of going to Turkey and using up my savings just to breathe again.

So as much as I appreciate the AC when I have it, the running water, the electricity when I have it, I really appreciate that the wifi is back. I haven’t been applying to online jobs because I was too depressed, but today I thought why not?! Maybe I will, and see what happens.

I also really appreciate everyone who is reading my blogs. I am floored by the views this month, so thank you!

I would like to remind those of you who know and announce to those of you who don’t know, I have 10 books available on Amazon. There are 4 poetry books, 1 self-reflection workbook, 2 self-help books, and 3 mini autobiographies that give a glimpse into my life. None of the content of my books is available on the blog (except for The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships but I’m deleting the corresponding blogs bit by bit every once in a while, and from the book, We all have a dark side, the key to happiness, and more only the 1st poem is on the blog because it is the most viewed blog post of mine, hands down) but it is of similar content. So if you like my blog posts, you will love my books!

Please check out my books on Amazon here to support me and my writing!

Also, check out the videos I’ve been making on TikTok. Wanderlust at its best!

Statistics

Do you ever feel alone, like you don’t belong? I feel like that a lot. However, I love statistics. I use them to track my personal growth. Personal growth and maturity can’t really be measured but I measure how often I brush my teeth, shower, exercise, sleep by 11 pm, read Quran, etc. I feel left out quite often. After living in Lebanon for 22 years, I still don’t fit in. I don’t stand out either. But I find solace in my internet friends. I have real friends too, but I barely see them. Some I haven’t seen in years, because they live abroad.

So let me try to label myself and google the statistics of each label, in an attempt to feel less alone.

I’m a human. World population in mid 2020 was 7,772,850,162

I’m a Muslim. 24.1% of the world population are Muslims. Hello, all my fellow brothers and sisters in Islam. If you’re a Muslim and you read this, comment below! Also hello to all my non-Muslim friends. I respect our differences.

I’m bilingual. Over 50% of the population speak at least 2 languages fluently. If you are bilingual, then you know the struggle is real! From forgetting words in either language to being unable to form a sentence without using both languages in the same sentence, and so much more!

I’m a mom. There are an estimated 2 billion mothers in the world. I salute all the mothers out there. Single, married, widowed, adopting moms, moms who lost a child or had a miscarriage, and those who are moms at heart but are unable to have children. You’re all superstars!

I’m a stay-at-home mom. While 71% of moms do work outside of the home, 29% are staying home. Being between 4 walls is tough. Don’t forget to exercise, hydrate, go outside, take a break, hide in the bathroom, eat ice cream, etc. Working moms as well!

I’m a writer. There are over 1 million freelance writers globally. There is a writing community on Twitter. Follow the hashtag #writingcommunity and give each other a #writerslift. This hack did wonders for me. It made me feel at home on Twitter. Writers do think alike.

I’m a blogger. To date, there are more than 500 million blogs out of 1.7 billion websites in the world. Their authors account for over 2 million blog posts daily. So if you’re reading my blogs, out of all the content out there, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This blog is the only place where I can be myself and talk about my thoughts and feelings. Nobody cares that I contradict myself or change my mind according to my mood, and I’m congratulated for being so self-aware and open about my feelings here. This blogging community is my support system. My family and friends don’t even read my blogs. At least most of them don’t.

I have a podcast. There are currently over two million podcasts and more than 48 million podcast episodes. If you listen to my podcast, thank you so much! Your support is very much appreciated.

I’m married. Only 4.3 percent worldwide are married! That is such a low number. Maybe they included children and widows and divorced people in the population? I know that 50% of marriages end in divorce, so every year I remain married, I pat myself on the back for remaining patient. Not that I condemn divorces. If you’re not happy in your marriage or your spouse is abusive physically or emotionally or cheated or for any reason, you feel you can’t endure your marriage, you have every right to divorce. But for me because of my specific situation, a divorce would be a hasty decision born from anger and ending in regret and heartbreak. So far I’m okay in my marriage and I’m working on making it thrive rather than just survive. Married people, how long have you been married, and do you have any advice for me?

I suffer from anxiety. The prevalence of anxiety disorders across the world varies from 2.5 to 7 percent by country. Anxiety isn’t something I flaunt. I own it because it explains why my body is so sensitive to stress, but it’s not an excuse not to work on my self improvement. Since the pandemic, my anxiety has gotten much worse. I can even feel that I have changed with my family, my in laws, my friends. I’m more withdrawn and it seems like I’m in a bad mood or bored all the time when I’m just anxious and trying to breathe.

I get bouts of depression. More than 264 million people suffer from depression worldwide. (World Health Organization, 2020)

I think that’s enough statistics for now. I feel less alone already, and yet I feel so special. This encouraged me to work on being a better and kinder person, because it’s not about fitting in or being liked. I used to be so sweet and helpful. As much as I appreciate my internet friends, I need real life family and friends to survive. I’m already working on my marriage, and I called my mom today. I’m going to make an effort to build bridges with my in laws again. I don’t know if it’s true or my anxiety telling me they don’t like me, so wish me luck.

WordPress stats so far

Since I started blogging in 2017, one or more of my 818 blogs (up until this blog post) have been viewed 13,000 times by 8,909 different people. I have a total of 523 followers as of August 3rd 2021.

Top commenters on my blog are Cindy Georgakas and Betul Erbasi and the post most commented on is How to publish an ebook on Amazon. My most viewed categories are Writing, Self-improvement, and Poetry.

I have viewers from around the world, most of which are from the US, followed by India and then the UK.

Most viewed post: We all have a dark side has been viewed 653 times altogether.

Underdog (least viewed post, maybe you missed it?): Wants and needs poem had only one view in 2017 when it was posted.

In conclusion, thank you to everyone who has ever read my blogs, liked, or commented. You make my day!

What I’m working on

Hello and welcome to my blog! How are you doing today? It’s amazing how wordy I get once my creativity isn’t trapped in themes, but themes are important for the organization of my blog. Nobody wants to read incoherent thoughts and all over the place ideas.

Today I thought I’d share what I’ve been working on, not just in terms of writing, but in all of my goals. There are also things I want to work on but my plate is too full. I will tell you what I want to work on but can’t, to get it out of the way.

If you have been reading my blogs, you’ll know that the 1st 2 chapters of my kindle Vella are out, and I want to write at least 3 more chapters, but I’m working on so many other things. It’s frustrating because I already wrote the outline for the entire book, and I even reread the outline a few days ago and was immediately inspired to write chapter titles for the rest of the book. It’s the details I choke on. The details are what make a book. Focusing on the 5 senses to make your reader feel like they are in the book, perhaps even make them feel like the main character. Then there is the description of scenes and items and the sunrise and such. I need to clear my head to write this novella. It doesn’t help that I lack the confidence to write it. It took me 9 years of writing poetry to begin publishing my poetry books. And even now, I still feel cringe about my older poems. I have only recently begun publishing self-help books, but only because they were highly appreciated on the blog. Talking about myself has always been easy, so the autobiographies (though I had to censor most of them and strip them down from most of their content to protect my family’s privacy) were easy to write. But I’ve never written fiction before. This is hard, but it is something I must do, but it’s on the bottom of my priorities though I feel most passionate about it.

Now let me tell you what I have been working on to distract myself from the crisis in Lebanon and to control my anxiety and depression:

Healthwise, the goal is to take more walks, exercise daily, drink 1 L of water a day, go to sleep at 11 pm, eat fruits and veggies daily, shower 4 times a week, brush my hair 4 times a week, and brush my teeth daily.

So far I’ve reached my goal in showering and brushing my hair, so as you can tell, I have a lot of work to do.

As parenting goes, I’m trying to spend one on one time with my son, even if it is just for 5 minutes. I’m also supposed to be studying with him the rest of his kg3 curriculum before he heads on to the 1st grade.

We made a boredom jar 2 weeks ago, and we are doing various activities, from board games to play-doh to blindfolding him and having him feel and taste food and guess what it is. We even did word searches and “All about me” collages. Sadly, he wants me to do these activities with him, and lately, I’ve been exhausted and restless. My son isn’t driving me crazy, but I’m emotionally tapped out. As for studying, his going to camp and karate classes are making him tired and in the afternoon, my mental abilities are shot, so we only have Friday to study since Saturday and Sunday are family days.

Spiritually, I’m working on my prayers and reading Quran.

Financially, the goal is simply to stop spending all my money on junk food.

The prices have solved that for me. Prices are 10 times the prices they were a year ago.

Socially, as I have noticed myself being withdrawn, even from my family, I planned on texting 2 friends a day, calling a friend per week, calling my grandma once a week, and visiting my grandma once a month.

I’m trying, but I’m not there yet. I still feel like avoiding everyone while craving social connection.

My reading goals are simply to read blogs whenever I can and read from a book or pdf book daily.

I’m trying not to think of how many books I have to read but focus on one book at a time. It’s working. Yesterday I finished one of the books I was reading.

Finally, my writing goals can be divided into 2: working on my books (editing existing books to unpublish and republish, typing new books, promoting published books by creating canva designs and posting on Instagram and Twitter), and working on my blogs (writing blogs and creating canva designs for the cover photos).

So far so good.

Of course, I’m not even writing housework as part of my goals. I keep track of the housework I do on my calendar but I can’t add it to the list of 22 goals because that would be too overwhelming.

My ultimate goal is to create a balance between my mind, body, and soul. I want to thrive as a mother and as a writer while keeping myself happy and healthy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t! (comment below if you have seen the movie legally blonde)

What are you currently working on?

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:

Why I need to write things down

I write to-do lists to motivate myself to be productive. Otherwise, I give in to laziness and depression. I get anxious if I don’t write what I need to do because as a stay-at-home mom, I have a lot to do. Some people may think I just sit around and do nothing, and even though I do waste my time binge-watching sometimes, but I do get a lot done in a day. Maybe not as much compared to those housewives who cook and clean all day, but my productivity is about balance. For example, today I exercised and read Quran and prayed, and made sure my son studied. I did the dishes and laundry, watched 1 1/2 episodes of The Good Doctor, and did other little things, like making the beds and tidied up, and listened to my son, and assessed my goals for last week (something I usually do on Monday).

I write my goals to keep myself focused. Otherwise, I’ll just wander through the day passing the time. Besides being a mother and a housewife, I consider my writing my job. I take it very seriously, but I don’t force myself to do it. Yesterday I didn’t feel like writing, so I didn’t. I was in a mood all day because I hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before, and I was also trying to be productive while spending less time on my phone (I’m currently doing a productivity challenge on the 21 days challenges app).

I’m also doing a journaling challenge on the app because I need to self-reflect as well. I write to let things out, but I can’t write well if I don’t know what it is exactly what I need to let out. I called my mom yesterday. My relationship with my mom isn’t one I write about on the blog, but it is a bit complex. I love my mom. I do, but I’m still working on accepting her as she is and not expecting her to be like other moms, all while trying not to be like her while finding out I’m more like her than I care to admit. As I said, it’s complicated. Watching tv shows helps me self-reflect because I observe social interactions between the characters.

I write blogs to let my thoughts and feelings out. I’ve learned the hard way that nobody cares. Rarely anyone ever wants to know how my day went, except for my older sister sometimes. I share big stories that happened during the week with my family on Saturday, like when the glass fell on my arm and bruised it a week ago, and they make good stories. I’m good at telling a story with my family, as long as it doesn’t involve deep conversation. I find strangers are more invested in how I feel than my family, and can relate more.

I write my goals and tasks so that I don’t forget.

Grammarly doesn’t catch all mistakes, so I still had to reread the posts and edit more than 40 mistakes per post.

I write about my thoughts and feelings so I don’t ruminate over them. The blog is like a brain dump for me sometimes. If you ask me to reference my blogs, I honestly can’t remember. I edited a few blogs from 2017 a few days ago, because back then I used to write one paragraph and I made many grammatical mistakes.

These are the blogs I edited from 2017

I started this post aiming to write my progress with my goals, but I guess I’ll just take a picture of my assessment instead, like I did last week.

Physical goals increased 19% compared to last week, while emotional control decreased 14% compared to last week.

I keep obsessing over my stats. On the one hand, I noticed most people aren’t getting past my home page lately, which to me is bad. On the other hand, I have more views in these 6 months of 2021 than I had in all of 2020. Just a tiny bit more but still, it feels good.

5,725 views in the last 6 months compared to 5,711 views last year.

Also, I’m starving. I had a bowl of coco pops at 9 am and it’s after 1 pm. I also really need social connection but I also don’t feel like talking to anyone. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy today. However, my son is starting to get bored, and he has been mouthy with me lately, but I don’t want to expose him on the blog. I’m hoping I’m able to deal with him with wisdom. For the time being, I’m practicing patience.

In conclusion, writing for me is a need and a want. I appreciate every one of you who takes the time to read my blogs, like, comment, and/or share. I don’t get paid to do this but I find a sense of belonging here more than I do with my friends and family. So thank you for being here with me on my rollercoaster journey, as I try to understand myself and as I reach out to you and try to give advice. I tear myself apart and bare my soul to you so you can understand yourselves better and hopefully help me understand myself better.

I write here because I need someone to write to, and in my life, I don’t have someone who will listen. Everyone is either busy or simply doesn’t care. I do have people who occasionally listen. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the loved ones in my life, but they don’t read my blogs, so I very much appreciate that you do.

Thank you my readers from the US, India, UK, South Africa, Canada, and Lebanon.
Thank you my fellow bloggers who read the most. Thank you to those who read from Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, no matter how few you are.

When I 1st started my blogging journey, I never imagined I’d get here, and yet here I am, with so far more to go. I just wanted to stop and acknowledge the progress I’ve made as a writer and to thank you my readers because I couldn’t have don’t it without you. With all the reasons in which I write, you are one of them. I write for myself, but I also write for you.

I’m off to eat lunch and then draw superheroes for my son because that was the deal. He studies and I draw things for him.

He has me draw the ones that are too hard for him to draw. I drew the 1st row. He drew the 2nd row.
He drew his dad as a superhero as well.

Motivational Monday: Be your motivation

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today has been a long but productive day. I cooked. I cleaned. I watched 2 episodes of The Resident Season 2. I spent a lot of quality time with my son, all the while my neck and shoulder were hurting because I slept on the same side all night.

Here are some gentle reminders for you this Monday

Be the reason someone feels welcomed, seen, heard, valued, loved, and supported. 🖤

I try to motivate and inspire others, even when I’m not feeling so motivated or inspired myself.

Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.

This is so true. When I feel beautiful, it usually has nothing to do with my appearance, but my mood. Naturally, when you feel good, you take care of yourself more. You eat healthily, exercise often, sleep early, and it reflects in your appearance as well.

Be proud of yourself for being so strong.

You are so strong. You have been through so much but you are still trying. Keep going!

It’s okay to be scared, but you have to get out there, make mistakes, learn, be stronger, and start all over again.

Growth does not happen when you’re in your comfort zone. Bit by bit, get out of your comfort zone. Before you know it, your life will be much better and you will be happier.

Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.

I wish I encouraged and motivated myself like I did my loved ones. I often beat myself up for my mistakes and feel like I’m doing a lot of effort with little results, so I give up or slack, then hate on myself for slacking.

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.

This is something I’m working on. Life keeps getting in the way but I’m making room for the things that make me happy.

The sooner you start believing in yourself, the sooner you’ll start seeing results.

Another thing I’m working on.

Every day is a new opportunity to change your life.

Now say it like you believe it!

Take care of yourself, be healthy, and always believe you can be successful in anything you truly want.

Hang that on your fridge or bathroom mirror.

Do more things that make you forget to check your phone.

When I visit my family on Saturday, my phone usage goes from 7 hours to 3.

The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.

Mindfulness is key.

This is your Monday reminder that you are amazing and you can handle anything 🙂

And with that, I wish you all a great day and a great week!