And so, another month passed away almost in the blink of an eye.

I honestly don't know what I did in September beyond a couple of things. The month felt long but I don't remember the days themselves. It wasn't even a fully packed month. As I write this post, I will go through my social media memories because my brain is empty. Let's find out what I did together.

words on books

I read 11 books this month which is actually less compared to other months. But the number means more because many of my reads were paperbacks.

If you don't know, I mainly read romances and I read them on my Kindle. My physical shelf is small and filled with books from other genres. I generally struggle to go through paperbacks nowadays because they're hard to carry and I want to devote my time to them with proper annotation.

I struggle with picking them up (because I can't decide what to read) and consistently reading them. To try and fix that, I added a couple of new things to my routine and they have worked wonders. I am almost flying through paperbacks right now. The last time I read so many physical books was years back.

Here are the changes that helped:

  • Read one chapter a day. THIS. If you are struggling to read books, try to just read one chapter a day no matter what time. If the chapter is too long, read one section or 5 pages. Reading one chapter a day has helped me get through so many books, especially the "hard" ones like literary fiction.
  • Read a few pages of the next book immediately after the current read. If you have issues with deciding your next read like me, this is a handy habit. After I finish my current read, I go up to my shelf and give myself 5 minutes to pick the next book. And I read a few pages or a chapter. This has helped me get over my decision problem AND my starting problem.

Out of 11 books, I read FIVE paperbacks. I also managed to read one audiobook.

Audiobooks are another medium that I struggle with because I generally prefer listening to music and the only times I try audiobooks are when I'm drawing. I don't draw too often so I don't listen to them that often as well. I should incorporate both into my routine more but I'll think about that later. I will conquer one medium at a time.

illustration art of a person reading on the couch

My favourite books of the month were:

  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I wouldn't say that it was amazing but it was really nice. There were some draggy and confusing parts but once I stopped caring too much, I lost myself in the story. It is a true fantasy. I absolutely loved reading and annotating a full-on fantasy where not everything makes sense.
  • Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Read. I listened to the audiobook and genuinely could not stop listening during the last quarter. It kept me gripped until the end. I really enjoyed it and found Carrie quite inspiring.
  • Revive Me by J. L. Seegars. I absolutely loved the first book of the series Restore Me so when I heard that book 2 was out, I read it ASAP. Unfortunately, this book ends on a cliffhanger and I probably should not have read it until the next book was out but I just wanted more from this author, okay?! They write SO DAMN WELL. This book was brilliant too and I can't wait for the sequel.

I also reread Atomic Habits this month. The first time, I read it as an ebook and I got the paperback to read and annotate. I buddy read it with a friend, too. I still found the book helpful but I noticed the excessive amount of calorie counting encouraged in this book as Seo from tbhstudying pointed out and hence reduced my rating to 4 stars.

Another notable read was Origin by Dan Brown. I've read every other book of his several years back but I don't remember much. I think I liked them well enough. Origin, since its release, was the only book of his that I had not read so I got it and it was sitting on my shelf until this month. Unfortunately, it was disappointing. I liked the discussion about science vs faith in the beginning but once the plot actually took off, I grew bored. As pointed out by others on my IG post, Dan Brown follows a template and reading one book of his is almost equal to reading all of them. I will not be reading more books by him.

For October, my reading goal is to read one chapter a day. Technically, this isn't much for me considering how much I read but I want to prioritize paperbacks and read genres other than romance and this trick seems to work. I am not going to see the number of books finished. My goal is to slowly but surely get through "harder" books.

an illustration drawing of a girl using her laptop

words on blogging

Last month, I wrote a huge essay about my burnout and slump. I mentioned that I will try to blog more but I won't push myself. I stuck true to that and hence did not post anything since my last wrap-up.

I am a little sad about it but I understand that I needed the time to rest. Meanwhile, I have been writing every day to get back into the flow. I've been blogging almost every day on my dump blog and it's been great.

My main problem with getting back to blogging after a slump is being able to write a lot of words well on one topic. I tend to stop and question if my sentences are good or if I should structure the post differently. Writing every day is helping me ease back into writing about singular topics.

My goal for October is to post at least one blog post (other than this wrap-up). I currently have one in mind and I have a rough draft for it ready. I just need to actually write the post.

I also want to blog hop this month. Although I tried to keep up with a few friends' blogs in the last two months, I haven't read many blogs and I want to change that. I'm sure I'm missing out on a lot of great content. I'm lowkey scared to open my Feedly though so maybe I'll just start with one friend's blog and go from there. Let's see.

book laptop chai illustration art

words on social media

I am sucking at keeping up with social media and I feel out of depth on every single platform. Even Twitter, which used to be the one platform where I was comfortable.

I let go of Pinterest during my burnout and I do not have the mood to be consistent with it again just yet, so I won't touch it for a while. It's giving me a little bit of traffic every day from my previous pins and I'm good with that for now. I'm not looking for more.

Twitter has become... weird for me. I don't know why. Nothing I tweet seems satisfying or good enough, I am not able to be social enough, and I genuinely feel lost. I don't know what to do with the platform anymore. I follow various types of people and feel like I don't fit in with any group. I keep seeing people having conversations and tagging each other and being friends while I'm unsure of everything. It's kind of like being the only one without a friend group to sit with at lunch in school.

The blogger and book blogger parts of Twitter were where I belonged. After my break, it feels like everybody kept up with their blogs and conversations and I suddenly don't know what is going on with anyone.

I know that I'm imagining everything and Twitter is a generally weird and chaotic place for everybody. I'm just not able to socialize there anymore because I fell out of touch for a while. Hopefully, I warm up to everyone again and find my rhythm there.

Lastly, I'm still trying to be consistent with Instagram. I have posted quite a bit in the last month and I'm letting myself explore different types of photos, editing styles, and filters. My feed looks like a mess and does not look aesthetic at all, but it's my exploration period so it's fine.

Surprisingly, engagement with my posts has gone DOWN ever since I started being consistent. I thought it was supposed to increase?? Or does the algorithm care only about reels now? Or maybe it is my chaotic feed that is so ugly that no one likes it? I don't know. My follower count is surprisingly very stagnant with no ups or down. I was considering giving up on IG yesterday but I remembered that small periods of consistency aren't enough to determine anything. We should keep going and keep improving.

The filter I'm currently using is pretty nice and I'm also trying to add doodles to my posts which I find cute. I want to start taking photos outside or with props or something. I also want to learn to take better photos in general. I'll continue experimenting and learning.

Besides, I'm having fun sharing my annotations even if only 30 people actually see my posts. So I'll continue posting. If you want to check out my posts, here's my IG!

illustration of a person in warm clothes holding a cup that says "coffee"

words on life

September was a surprisingly low-key month. I meant to rest more and somehow, the universe listened to me by giving me fewer things to do. I did not go out much on the weekends and only worked during the weekdays. I didn't do many things of note.

Even my memories/archives on Instagram and Snapchat are less during September. I genuinely did not do much.

The main notable event was a 4-day vacation that I went on last weekend. It was something I impulsively signed on for in August. It was with a friend and two people I did not know but I actually had a nice chill trip. I did not worry about being with new people because this wasn't my first trip with strangers. And it was a location that I really wanted to visit.

It was 4 days of chill and fun. I needed that break and did not want to come back to work. It was really nice.

I do not have any outgoing plans for October. I think I will stay home this month and have a good daily life. I do not want to go out much on weekends as well. This weekend, my only plan is a sports plan. I stayed home all day today and it was really nice.

I do have some new daily plans. Because I did not do much last month, I've been feeling a little restless. I really want to start something new or commit to a low-key project. I want to do something that other people are doing so that I can share my progress and be motivated by others.

October is the perfect month for something like that because there are two major events in my circles—blogtober and inktober. I did not plan on joining either until the end of September but felt like joining on the 1st of October after seeing others start the challenges. Resh and Sai encouraged me to jump in as well so I'm doing my own version of them.

During October, I will either blog or draw every day and I will share my progress online. I'm not sure if it'll be on Twitter or Instagram (maybe both?) but I will share in order to keep myself accountable and join in with others. My goal is not to post a blog post or a new drawing every day. It is just to have some progress every day.

Blogging because I need to get back to it and drawing because I want to improve in it. Despite having started digital art almost two years back, I don't think I've had much improvement and I haven't even experimented with styles and brushes. I barely draw for no reason or just for fun so I should change that. I mean, the entire reason I bought an iPad and the Apple Pencil is for Procreate. I should draw more.

Here are my exact goals, to be specific:

  • Draw at least one object. It can even be a small leaf. It can be a standalone drawing or a part of a larger drawing.
  • Write at least 100 words for thewordyhabitat and not for my dump blog. I want to focus on getting back to publishing new content here.

In conclusion, I'll be doing a little bit of 3 things every day in October—reading, blogging, and drawing. And as I said, blogging OR drawing every day. I'm stealing the term that Sai came up with and calling it blinktober (a combination of blogtober and inktober). If you want to follow along, do follow my socials! I'll make sure to share my progress on all 3 every day. (Since I'm forgetful, I set a daily reminder for this haha.)

illustration of a typewriter with paper loaded in it.

share YOUR words!

How was your September? Did you read any good books? Did you have fun?

Do you have any plans for October? Are you participating in any challenge or making up a challenge of your own like me? Tell me in the comments!

stay wordy, Sumedha
photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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  • Epsita says:

    I love the idea of reading a few pages of the next read! Definitely going to try it.

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      hope it works out for you too!

      Reply ➔
      • Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts) says:

        "Audiobooks are another medium that I struggle with because I generally prefer listening to music" I'm feeling so very exposed right now, haha. I'm the same way, though I've tried rereading just to slowly ease myself into audiobooks. (Still struggling, though. Here's to hoping we'll both conquer audiobooks one day!)

        Twitter feels super relatable for me; I think that and just the drama that leaks onto my feed just didn't bring me as much joy, so it made sense for me to just retreat into my corner and kind of just go with the flow at my own pace? I don't know. I hope you'll find your rhythm with Twitter again, though!

        I do recall one of the higher ups (CEO?) of Instagram saying that they're working to be a video platform, so I'm not surprised if the algorithm cares about reels more to better compete with TikTok.

        I love that you're doing a combination of both! I kind of just realized blogtober was a thing, but I feel like it's a bit much, so I might think about joining during blogmas; I'm not sure yet. Hope October will be good to you!

        Reply ➔
  • saima @ storieswithsaima says:

    I'm glad you took that 4-day vacation, it's good you took a break! I hope October is a restful month for you <3

    Reply ➔