• Alwia

Writing and life update- things are tough

I don't usually do 'update' posts, but lately I've been feeling a bit like Dumbledore in dire need of his pensieve. Way too much stuff going on in my head guys. Usually, I have two options for such bouts of mental and emotional diarrhoea:

1- Unload on my husband- who is absent, luckily for him.

2- Write about my woes on the internet- which is the more fashionable option for people living in this day and age.

My internet family has grown slowly over the past months, so I would like to reward your interest in my content by showing you all why only a masochist would want to be a writer. This is what's been keeping me busy since the beginning of the year:

Writing Projects

- The Tressians (YA speculative novel)- I've revised my manuscript several times but still need more feedback from betas. I've approached a youtuber I like who has shown some interest in reading my manu, but she has exams. So I'm now waiting for exam season to be over, before getting more betas on board.

- The Pearl Diver's Wife (short story) Sent this to a short story competition.

-The One Left Behind (flash fiction) Sent to a competition.

- The Bullied (short story)- needs editing and betas.

- I Want to Live in a Zoo (picture book)- waiting on the illustrations from a friend.

- Wiwi's Teeny Tiny Friend (picture book)- Translated this story which was written by my cousin based on her life living with a hearing impairment. Book should be out in the next few weeks. Super excited about this.

-Magic Fish (Bilingual picture book/ Arabic-English) Still in the drafting stage.

- Papercuts blog- a new post each week. I think I did this minus one week.

- I also have other ideas for short stories and 10 thousand words of research for another novel set in Saudi. I collect info from family and friends on life in the 50s in my hometown in Saudi whenever I can.


-Got an article published by Amaliah.

- Interviewed a rights activist for an article that I'm now pitching to magazines.

- Attended my first writerly event with a literary agent.

- Sent out my first batch of query letters to literary agents. Should hear back from them all within 3 months.


- I think over the past 12 months, I've read around 30 books- including technical books on creative writing, publishing, short stories. I love reading but I have been pushing myself on this front to develop my knowledge of the publishing industry.

- Currently reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. The protagonist is hilariously weird.

- Finished reading a poetry collection by a self-published writer I met online. Will be posting my review of it in the next day or two.

Social Media and just media... stuff

- Launch my website- did this.

- Tried CP Match (critique partner match) which I discovered through author Kim Chance. This is basically dating for writers looking for critique partners. Swapped pages with one potential

writer from Chicago, but she's busy with revise and edits from agents, so we stopped that. Still need a CP.

-Host an Instagram giveaway. I did this.

-Joined Author Influence- a platform that teaches authors how to use Instagram effectively. You should expect to see some major changes to my feed soon!

- Trying to make sure I share my content on:







I was doing well on that front for some time, but lately I've been struggling to stay on top of this.

-Trying to make connections on Twitter and grow my account. Trying and well.. it's meh.


- Registered Maryam in a nursery for the coming September.

-Trying to sort out my driving licence situation in Kuwait. This one is up in the air at the mo.

- Trying to be social- you know- not be a total recluse. Finding the time hasn't been easy with mummy and house duties and writing.

Honestly, been feeling a bit crappy. Trying to become a writer involves a stupid amount of work and very little reward. Lately, I've been feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and just tired. Tired of giving 100 percent and receiving trickles in return. With time it just gets harder and harder to pick yourself up again and gather whatever is left of your confidence and self- esteem. On top of this, after all the work I still get the:

'So when are you planning on getting a job?'

'When you have a job and start working, you'll see that...'

The industry is tough as it is without people belittling all that you're doing to launch your career, like they're just waiting for you to fail and get 'a real' job. Writing is so tough guys. I 've said this before, but I'll say it again: Trying to get published is one of the most heart-breaking, confidence shattering things you could do to yourself. I think the reason why I haven't given up yet is because I've invested so much in my work that failing just doesn't seem like an option anymore. I have this stubborn need to prove everyone wrong and determined to push on.

Bit of sad post this week. Hope everyone is doing well. To all the writers out there, let me know if you can relate and what you do when you're down in the dumps.

Remember to like, share and comment and subscribe on your way out. I really appreciate the support.

See you next Tuesday.

Instagram: the.thought.catcher

Twitter: alwiawrites

FB: Papercuts.


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