WHERE I'M AT SINCE MY LAST POST
Since my last post I have finished the first draft of This is for You and am diving right into edits for my next full length novel which is due to my editor in ten days! It's crunch time.
I am really happy with what I've been able to accomplish in the last month, but there has definitely been some things weighing me down. Hence this post. Enjoy.
WHAT YOU CAME FOR: FIVE THINGS I'M STRUGGLING WITH
1. THE INSTAGRAM
Instagram and I have a complicated relationship. I don’t think I’m alone when I say being a part of the bookstagram community as an author is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, I use Instagram to build my platform as an author, promote my books, share my journey as an indie author and make connections with other authors and readers.
On the other hand, I find myself sitting on my couch scrolling through my feed for a lot longer than I should, liking photos, commenting, and looking at stories. While I can argue that this is all part of the hustle to building my platform, it takes away a huge chunk of time and can be soul sucking.
I realized that I needed a social media detox so I downloaded the app “Digital Detox” and gave myself restrictions. I started with 1 open per hour and 2 hours of total usage per day.
So far it has really helped me and makes my time on Instagram a little more intentional. The past few days, I’ve just left my phone in my purse when I get home from work. I still try to post once a day, but then I’ll put my phone away for a couple of hours so I’m not constantly checking my notifications.
I love Instagram and I love the bookstagram community but at the end of the day, I shouldn’t be as devoted to it as I was. Especially when seeing prettier photos/lives/books/success pushes me further back on my own goals and dreams instead of motivating me currently.
Which brings me to my next “get real”.
2. PERFECTIONISM AND OVERWHELM
I’m an INTJ. If you don’t know what that is it basically means that I am a to-do lister, a goal setter, a doer, a thinker and a perfectionist that will send myself into overwhelm if I’m not intentional about what I put on my plate. I’ve done it repeatedly over the years and have finally set rules and boundaries for myself. After reading the book Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist, I followed her idea of making a list of “Things I Don’t Do”
I have this in plain sight near my mirror so that when I sit down to do my makeup every day; it is there in front of me as a reminder. Right underneath that list are my “Dreams to Achieve” and a few Bible verses and motivational quotes that nurture my soul.
If you are a perfectionist that has dealt with overwhelm and have battled doing too much and failing at it, I encourage you to try one of these methods. It has really helped me stay grounded.
3. INTENTIONAL HABITS
Habits I have tried to commit to and have failed over and over:
Drinking 64 oz. of water every day
Stretching every night before bed
Working out at least three times a week
I could go on, but I’ll spare you.
Those three are at the top of my list to stick with. So far no luck. The most recent habit I have been able to stick with is flossing every night. And that’s really only because I don’t want to shell out another two hundred dollars for fillings. (Getting really real, folks.)
They say if you can do something for 30 days, you’ll be able to continue doing it. While I agree, I believe it also has everything to do with a mindset shift regarding the time, energy, and benefit of said added habit.
Going back to being an INTJ, one of our traits is that we don’t do things we think aren't worth our time and energy. Half the battle with me is trying to convince myself that the above three things are worth it. I do believe it is directly related to how much time I spend on Instagram and other mindless activities when I could do a 30 minute workout instead. Since having a limit on my Instagram intake, I do feel like it has freed up some time in the evenings. It also helps that I now have a dog to walk. The water issue, I’m still working on.
We spend a lot of time doing mindless things that we think don't take up as much time as they actually do. If you are feeling like you don’t have enough time to get all the things you want to get done in a day, I encourage you to remove something from your life or limit one thing and see if it opens your schedule.
4. STAYING IN PERSPECTIVE
I wish this one wasn’t on this list. I wish I could say that I don’t check to see how many books I’ve sold or check my Amazon ranking every day. I wish I could say that I don’t wonder why other authors are getting more reviews or followers. Sigh. I don’t really want to admit any of that, but this post is all about getting real. So that’s reality.
On my list of “Things I Don’t Do” one of them is: “Compare instead of celebrate others.”
Staying in perspective is really hard for a perfectionist like me, so I actively have to tell myself that every one of those authors was a nobody like me once. They put in their time. I still have years to go. This is my first book and it came out three months ago. Self, you need to calm down and celebrate that you’ve sold more than just one copy to your mom.
I have big dreams planned for myself and while I plan on pursuing those and achieving them if God wills it, I also need to sit back and look around once in a while and compare myself ONLY to myself three months ago, a year ago, etc. to understand where I started and where I am now.
5. MY HAIR
Let’s end on a less serious note, shall we?
First off, in writing this I feel like I’m Elle Woods in Legally Blonde 2 when she gets up to speak and ends up talking about her hair instead of her planned speech.
This might be a weird topic, but I know I’m not the only one out there struggling with frizzy wavy hair that doesn’t respond well to any product I put in it. I’ve tried so many products that promise results and have followed so many hair tutorials that don’t work. I’m to the point where I’m throwing my hands up and internally screaming “IT’S ALL LIES!”
I just want to find the products that WORK ALREADY.
*clears throat* (Am I really going to publish this post?)
Anyways, if you are struggling with your hair too, I see you. Welcome to the “hair in a braid and bun forever” club.
And if you’ve reached the end of the post, thanks for sticking around.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
What are you struggling with? Any of the above resonate with you?
I'm Alia. A writer, reader, traveler, dreamer, and to do list maker. You'll find a little bit of it all here.