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Advice For Creating New Habits In 2022

Hey everyone, it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back to Zainab Chats! Recently, I’ve been talking a lot about new goals for 2022 and what I want to implement. But I actually haven’t shared how you can create new habits – and it’s hard. People say it takes around 21-40 days to form a new habit. So I’ll be sharing my favourite tips for creating new habits this year!

Schedule The Habit

I know scheduling new habits may seem a little bit obvious. But how many of us try to implement a new habit and then you decide to go and do something else because timings clash? I know I’m guilty!
So, set a specific time on the days you want to implement the habit to get it done. Use your planner or calendar app so you have no excuses (something I’m definitely working on when it comes to exercising!)

Have An Accountability Partner

Getting someone to hold you to accountability is the best way to just get the habit done, because you know they’re not going to stop asking you until you’ve actually done it. Try and get someone who you know will keep spamming you with texts or who will keep asking you to do it. This will be slightly annoying, but it works. How would I know that? Because I’m the annoying accountability partner!

Reward Yourself Once You’ve Done The Habit

The best feeling is when you’ve finally wanted to do everything you planned to do for the day. But you should carry that feeling into doing one habit, because you did it! You’re the person that implemented it and did it for today. So, make sure you reward yourself – because you’ve earned it, and it will encourage you to keep going!

Bonus Tip – Read Atomic Habits

Atomic Habits is a book about how implementing small habits into your life can create big changes. The author James Clear goes into detail about creating new habits and their impacts. I’m only a chapter in and it’s already super interesting. I thought it would be super fitting to share it for this post (I’ll do a full review once I finish the book!) Check out the book here.


Thank you all so much for reading today’s post, I hope it was beneficial to you all. I’d love to know some habits you all are implementing this year – let me know in the comments!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a fabulous day!

How You Can Start To Pursue Your Dreams – Right Now!

Hey guys, it’s Zainab. Welcome or welcome back to the blog – pursuing dreams is something we are all really passionate about, and even at a young age you can start pursuing them, and I’ll be sharing how you can start from a blank page!

Tell Everyone About Your Dreams

When people ask you about your dreams, don’t be afraid to share them. That way, it shows your confidence and you know that you can achieve your dreams because you’re telling everyone about them!

Start Implementing Habits That Will Lead You To Your Dreams

Doing little things each day, will help you in a build up to your dreams. For example, if you dreamed of going into the sports field, you would practice the sport every day. Do this for whatever dream you’d like to achieve and it will help you in the long run!

Start A Passion Project Around It

This is similar to the last tip, but having a passion project around it will allow you to develop your passion for your dreams further. Some examples of a passion project are a Blog, Youtube channel, Podcast etc! Once you have one, share your dreams for people to enjoy, and maybe some opportunities will arise for you.

Have A Positive ‘I Will Mindset’

This is similar to the first piece of advice, but you have to always remember you will reach these dreams – this is so key to getting to your ultimate dream because you know you’ll be able to do it!


Thank you so much for reading this blog post, let me know what dreams you’d like to pursue in the comments!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have an amazing week!

How You Can Be More Efficient With School Work

Hey everyone, Zainab here, welcome or welcome back to my blog. As I’ve gotten older, you guys have too – and we are all getting to harder years with school, and we need to be more efficient with our work. So today, I’m sharing some tips on how to be more efficient with schoolwork. Let’s jump into it!

Do Your Homework The Day You Get It

I know this can seem annoying on the day, but doing your homework straight away will allow you to not be consumed by a build up of homework the day before it’s due. It also means you won’t be as stressed!

Have A Planner To Write All Your Work Down

Sometimes when we get given work, or a date for an exam, we easily forget. So, make sure you have a planner to write down everything so you don’t forget and get worried before an exam or assignment is due!

Surround Yourself With Hardworking People

You wouldn’t always think this, but surrounding yourself with like-minded people is one of the best things you can do, you can all support each other and it will really help you in school.


Thank you so much for reading this blog post, let me know in the comments how you keep up with your schoolwork. Also apologies for the short post, I have been quite busy lately, but I’ll be back on the grind soon!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have an amazing day!

How You Can Balance Blogging With Your Life

Hey everyone it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back! So, a lot of us bloggers can sometimes find it very challenging to balance blogging with our personal lives – school, work etc. As I’ve been blogging for almost two years now, I have an idea of how to maintain a balance, so I’ll be sharing these tips today!

Choose A Suitable Amount Of Posts For One Week

On every blog, a certain amount of posts go out each week. Some do one a week, some do a post every day. But, if you have a very busy personal life, then you’re better off choosing one post a week or maybe two a week, just so you don’t feel the pressure of writing too many posts and neglecting school, plans with others etc! Also, be sure to pick what day of the week and the time they go out.

Pick One Day To Bulk Write The Week’s Posts

Once you’ve decided how many posts to write and when they go out, you need to write them. Of course, you could just write them on the day they go out – but that goes back to a balance again. You don’t want to be stressing about your posts, because you still have a private life outside of blogging. I’d recommend choosing one day a week to bulk write that week’s posts (if you’ve read my other blogging advice posts, you’ll know I always include this tip.) For me, it’s every Sunday because I never do anything on a Sunday!

Use The Scheduling Feature

This tip is key to balance your personal life. Once you’ve written the week’s posts, you can schedule them to go out on the chosen date/ time! I love this feature because then I don’t necessarily have to be on WP or my blog for the post to be published, if I’m busy doing something else.

If you don’t know how to schedule posts on a laptop, on the right hand side click on post, and under status and visibility click on the publish date and choose from there!

On the app, click on the three dots in the top right hand corner, choose post settings, and then schedule for, and then pick the date and time!


I hope these steps have been useful to allow you to still enjoy the blogging process, while not being stressed with it interfering with your personal life – because blogging should be fun! Let me know in the comments your tips to balance blogging, I’d love to hear them.

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely day everyone!

Positive Habits To Start Your Year Off Well

Hi everyone, welcome or welcome back! So, for today’s post, I thought it would be fun to share some habits that can help kick off your new year with a postive start. Let’s jump into it!

Set Your Goals For The Year

I think most people have already done this, but it’s never too late to set your goals. That way you have something to work towards throughout the year – but remember only if you want to, I know some people don’t tend to set goals!

If you want some ideas for goals, you can read my 2022 Goals Post

Set Up A New Planner or Organisation Technique

Some people have a set way of organising their life, but if you don’t (or want to switch it up) the new year is a great time to figure out new methods of productivity. You could use to do lists, bullet journals, whiteboards or other options!

Declutter Your Room (pooja from lifesfinewhine)

Decluttering is such a great idea – start the year off with a clean room to reflect a fresh start for you. We all have unnecessary clutter that we have just been meaning to get rid of, now is the time to do it. A clean room will make ou more inclined to start the year off the right way!

This idea is actually inspired by Pooja’s post on Lifesfinewhine about Decluttering Your Life


Thanks so much for reading, let me know in the comments how you reset for the new year!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have an amazing day!

My TBR For 2022

Hi everyone, Zainab here, welcome or welcome back! So around 2 months ago, I did a TBR of the books I wanted to end 2021 with – and I honestly didn’t get too far with them. So, I decided to do another TBR post as it’s a new year, there are some other books I’d like to add to the list, and we’ll see how far I get through this. Let’s jump into it!

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits is a book that I’ve seen so many bloggers read, and I think I’m finally going to read it! It’s written by habit expert James Clear and the main idea is how to implement small habits into your life that can lead to large positive changes. This blog is all about positivity so I’m really excited to read it and share my thoughts!

More About Atomic Habits on Goodreads

Healing Is The New High by Vex King

Healing Is The New High is a book written by Vex King (he also wrote Good Vibes Good Life). This is another book about positivity, it’s all about how you can heal and radiate positive vibrations after difficult experiences. I really enjoyed reading his previous book last year so I’m excited to read Healing Is The New High and tell you guys about it!

More About Healing Is The New High on Goodreads

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M McManus

One Of Us Is Lying is another book that I’ve seen so many blogging friends read, making me so excited to read it! It’s a YA Mystery book about 5 very different students walking into detention but only 4 leaving alive. Even reading the synopsis sends chills down my spine – so I can’t wait to read this!

More About One Of Us Is Lying on Goodreads

Blood Ties by Sophie McKenzie

Anyone who read my reviews last year knows how much I read Sophie McKenzie, her thrillers are incredible. Blood Ties is about a boy called Theo searching for the father who he thought died as a baby, it seems really dramatic – and I haven’t read a thriller in a while so I’ll let you all know my thoughts!

More About Blood Ties on Goodreads


Thank you guys for reading this post – hopefully some reviews for these books will be up soon! Let me know if you’ve read any of these, and comment your thoughts!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have a lovely week!

Spider-Man No Way Home Movie Review

Hey everyone, it’s Zainab – welcome or welcome back to my blog! So, I’m sure many of you would know of Marvel’s latest film Spider-Man No Way Home. It was a huge hit in December (with many surprises), so I wanted to wait a little while to review it – which is what I’ll be doing today (don’t worry, this is a non spoiler review!)

Official Reviews

Spider-Man No Way Home received so many positive reviews from critics and publications such as 94% from Rotten Tomatoes as well as 71% from Metacritic. IMDb also gave the rating of 8.8 out of 10.

My Opinion

Spider-Man No Way Home was one of the biggest movies of 2021 (even though it came out in December) and there’s such a clear reason for that: it reaches a wider audience. Whether you’re a Marvel fan or not, you can still enjoy this movie because everyone knows a little bit about Spider-Man. The versatility in this movie was executed so well, and by versatility I mean the different themes in the movie. Action, romance, comedy etc! And of course, it’s got everything you’d want in a superhero movie. There’s something for everyone in this movie which is why it’s doing so well!

Another factor that I really think contributed to the success of this movie was the nostalgia. Tom Holland, who plays Spider-Man, said that the film was a ‘celebration of three generations of cinema’ and it couldn’t have been put in a better way. Sort of like what I said previously, but because this film combines different generations anyone of any age can enjoy it because of this combination. Adults especially enjoyed the nostalgia this film gave because of the return of so many iconic villains, and also other surprises which I won’t spoil (if you know, you know!)

My personal favourite part of the film was how emotional it was. The passion from all the actors was so clear and they all portrayed their character’s emotions so well. After I watched the movie, the first thing I said was that it was an emotional rollercoaster – because in a matter of minutes your emotions will change.

This film was incredible, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, whether you’re a action movie fan or not, watching this movie will not be a disappointment!

Synopsis

With Spider-Man’s identity now revealed, our friendly neighbourhood web-slinger is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life as Peter Parker from the high stakes of being a superhero. When Peter asks for help from Doctor Strange, the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.


Thank you all for reading this review, if you watched Spider-Man I’d love to chat with you about it in the comments!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have an amazing day!

Goals For 2022

Hey everyone, welcome or welcome back, and Happy New Year! To kick off my 2022 content, I’m going to be doing my usual new years goals post. Let’s jump straight into it!

Making More ‘Me’ Time

If you read my previous post, you’ll know I wanted to carry this over from last year. More ‘me’ time is something I definitely wanted to implement this year. I actually need some ideas of ‘me’ time so if you have any suggestions please comment them below!

Not Putting Too Much On My Plate

I’m very much someone who tends to overcommit sometimes, and I definitely need to slow down. So, I am going to try not to commit to too much, and instead focus on myself!

Working Out More Consistently

A lot of the time, I go through phases where sometimes I work out a lot and sometimes barely. So, I want to try and improve my consistency this year, even if it’s just once a week, consistency is something I’d love to improve!

Do More Blog Interviews

Last year, I got to start interviewing people who really encouraged positivity – and it was great to chat with them. I’d love to interview some more inspirational people this year on my blog!


So everyone, that’s all for today. Thanks so much for reading! I’d love it if you guys comment some ‘me’ time ideas as well as who you’d like to see me interview this year!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Pinterest – To see my boards and pins!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

Have an amazing year!

Reflecting On 2021

Hey everyone, it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back! So, I’m back from my mini holiday break, I had a lovely week with my family, so I just wanted to wish you all Happy Holidays, although slightly late! So, for today’s post, I’m going to reflecting on 2021. You may recall that at the start of 2021, I did a post called Goals For 2021 so I’ll be reflecting on those goals and whether I achieved my resolutions!

1st 2021 Goal – Not Being Hard On Myself

This was my main goal for this year, and I’m happy to say I did achieve this. I’ve definitely started to be more sympathetic with myself (if that’s the right word!) And I always try to learn from things I get wrong now, and don’t really get upset with myself anymore – which is defintiely an improvement!

2nd 2021 Goal – Working Out More

I’d say I sort of achieved this goal. Sometimes I go through phases of working out a lot, and sometimes I just stop. So, I have achieved this – but with a lack of consistency. However, I have been doing a lot more sports this year, so I kind of got this goal!

3rd 2021 Goal – Making More ‘Me’ Time

This is a goal I’d like to carry into next year. Honestly, this year I was putting way too much on my plate – and wasn’t making any time for myself. I might do the same next year, so I’m going to try and find a way to continue this goal!

4th 2021 Goal – Being More Grateful

Gratitude is definitely something I’m continuously working on, but I definitely think I’m getting better. These past months have really helped me improve my gratitude, even saying simple ‘thank you’ more often is improving gratitude!

5th 2021 Goal – Get To 500 Blog Followers

Although I haven’t gotten there yet, I’m super close to 500 – and I’m so grateful for more of you guys in the community. It’s not about numbers, it’s more about having more people to chat with in the blogosphere, so I’m definitely happy to have connected with more of you!


Thank you so much for reading this post, I’d love to know how you did on your 2021 goals. Let me know in the comments!

You want to see more of me and get exclusive updates on my blog? Well check out my socials!
Instagram – For exclusive updates on posts
Goodreads – You can see any books I’ve read or even recommend me one!
Contact Me if you would like to collaborate or have any other inquiries
Any suggestions or feel like chatting? Comment down below!

See you in the new year!

Interview With Nadine Jolie Courtney – Talking Diversity, Muslim Representation, Writing & More!

Hey everyone it’s Zainab, welcome or welcome back! I’m super excited for today’s post, as it’s my final interview of the year. Today, I’ll be interviewing Nadine Jolie Courtney – best known for writing All American Muslim Girl. We’ll be chatting representation, writing and more, let’s jump into it!


Thank you so much for coming to chat with me for my blog, Nadine! To start off can you give a brief introduction of yourself?

Sure, I’m Nadine Jolie Courtney; I’m a novelist, a TV & Feature writer and also a freelance writer. I live in Santa Monaca.

My father is a Muslim – he’s Jordanian, Circassian, my mother is American. She was Catholic and then when she married my father, she converted to Islam. So, I grew up without very much religion because my father was very much focused on being American and trying to fit in, so I grew up with Christmas trees and my father drinks alcohol so he was very conscious of trying to embrace American culture (which I’ve talked to him about before, I’m not throwing him under the bus). And in All American Muslim Girl, the character of Mo is very much based upon him.

On my mother’s side, she came from a typical American family where there was almost a sense of disappointment that my mother had married a Jordanian. I like to follow the royals, so like with Harry and Meghan and what baby Archie would look like: that’s something my mother’s family said about me. Like, ‘What is she going to look like? She’s marrying a Middle Eastern.’ So, even though my parents were wonderful, I always grew up with this sense of not fitting in with the other American kids and in my dad’s family, not being able to communicate with my Teta (grandmother) as I couldn’t speak Arabic – but I did eventually get an Arabic tutor.

So I never really felt like I belonged in any room I was in. And that sense of not belonging but desperately wanting to is what I put into the character of Allie in All American Muslim Girl. And a lot of the situations and characters is true to my life. My upbringing really influenced how I write and what stories I’m interested in – which led me down the pipeline to All American Muslim Girl!

Photo From Nadine’s Instagram (@nadinejoliecourtney)

That’s so interesting – when reading the acknowledgements I noticed some of the characters are based off of people in your life. So, could you share a brief premise of the book?

So, the book is about a 16 year old girl called Allie Abraham – Alia Abraham – and she lives in Georgia with her parents and she is new to a large public high school, she is used to moving a lot because of her father’s job as a professor. Allie is used to trying to change herself to fit into new situations because she doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin and ultimately doesn’t feel she’s good enough. And that’s because she comes from a family where she’s told she’s Muslim but doesn’t know what that means because her father wanted her and her family to be as American as possible.

While she’s at this school, she decides to learn more about Islam and explore her heritage, and the book is about her internal exploration and how that changes her and about how that effects her external relationships with her new friends, as she join’s the muslim study group, and also how it effects her brand new relationship with a boy she started to date, and wonders if she’s even allowed to date as she learns more about her religion.

So, you just talked a lot about how the book has a lot from your own life but where did the original idea spark to write the book? Was it more a lightbulb moment or something you’ve wanted to write for a long time?

It was something I had always wanted to do – I had always had a character called Allie Abraham in my head. And I first started writing about her when I was around 25, and at the time I made Allie a similar age to me, where I envisioned a scenario where she visits her family and is then thrust into that world. Then, I thought: no one would publish this and thought nobody would be interested in reading about this girl. But, the industry has really changed in what they’re willing to publish, so I kind of shelved it – yet she was always in the back of my mind.

And then, after Trump got elected and after the Muslim ban, I watched the protesters and l literally started to cry as it was the complete opposite of what my father had always told me to do. He always said to not tell anyone I’m Muslim as I look American. Number one, it’s a really screwed up thing, but Number two, it’s a really damaging thing to hear. I grew up feeling I was shameful from my own father, while I was also getting this from society. Therefore, it was so impactful seeing people willing to identify with Muslims and embrace them and to ‘take the metaphorical bullets for you.’

So, I literally opened to old word document I had and started working on it that day and made some changes evolving her into the character there is now.

That’s really cool that you wrote it from activist spirit. So, you mentioned she went to the Muslim Study Group at school, so if you could put yourself into the book – let’s say you were a member of staff at Providence High, what piece of advice would you give to Allie and her friends?

Oh my goodness, I think that I would just encourage them to keep exploring. When you’re that age, you’re so susceptible to what everyone around you thinks. And I’d just want to wrap them up in a little cocoon and tell them,

‘Even if you’re getting any negative feedback from anyone in your life, just keep your head down and continue your exploration. And know what you’re doing is the right thing, and know you don’t have to get any external validation from people in order to know that it’s okay to do or explore something that maybe seems scary.’

It’s cheesy but, just because is popular, doesn’t make it right. So, if you’re doing something that might seem uncool it doesn’t make it wrong. I’d tell them it’s wonderful what they’re doing – so keep at it!

What lessons would you want young people to take away from the book? (Readers, other young people, Non-Muslims, etc!)

So, I think with this book there were 3 trains of thought running through my head as I was writing it.

On the one hand, I wrote this book for girls like me. Girls who never grew up seeing themselves on the page, girls who always felt like they were hidden – even in their own families. Where there would be literally no room they could ever fit in, even within their own community.

Number two, I was writing for other Muslim girls (or boys!) Just wanting to add another reflection onto the page of our community, and how amazing I think it is to be a Muslim and to be exploring your religion. Because I know (at least in America), we live in a society that’s so much more progressive and tolerant than it used to be – but there’s still Islamophobia!
And because I have light skin and look stereotypically American, I’m subject to the mildest microaggressions (I call it ‘death by a thousand cuts’) where because I look like someone else, people feel safe saying really offensive things to me. Which is a very different thing, than someone who wears hijab, or someone with much darker skin, etc! They have to face things incredibly different, which is incredibly horrifying. But, it’s a very damaging thing to go through the world like that.
So, there’s still a lot of room to grow – so I wanted to reflect this Muslim community that I love and to put that on the page.

And then number three, you want to have the widest possible audience when writing a book. So, I wanted to pour all my love into this, but for an external-facing audience as well. Like, when I first started writing the book, the first half has any Arabic in italics (as Allie doesn’t know any Arabic) and then in the second half, none is in italics anymore, because it’s kind of become part of her by that point. So, at the beginning I do explain some Arabic words and phrases but it ends up where, I don’t think any part of it is othered and I hoped non-muslim readers would walk away understanding a little bit more what it’s like to be Muslim.

That’s what’s really gratifying to me, when different readers from different backgrounds say they really identified with this book – so that’s what made me really happy!

So, with the Arabic, it’s as if the reader is going on a journey with Allie?

Yes, that’s exactly it!

Why do you think that more good muslim representation is needed in the world?

I think more good muslim representation is sorely needed, I think we’re so lucky we’re seeing more and more if it (such as books and TV shows), I don’t think there’s many movies though, so that kind of needs to be resolved. Yeah, I think it’s so important to see ourselves on screen, it makes us feel seen and respected – because Hollywood and books have so much power. And I think it’s so important to see other stories (from all different backgrounds) not just for us, but for other people, to recognise the world is so diverse. Which can lead to more tolerance, more understanding and more empathy.

Photo From Nadine’s Instagram (@nadinejoliecourtney)

I totally agree, I want to talk to you more about All American Muslim Girl in a little bit, you were formerly a beauty editor and writer for many publications (Vanity Fair, Vogue and Oprah to name a few!) , so what was your journey to becoming an editor for a publication like?

Sure! So, I went to college in New York, and while I was in the city, I tried to take as many internships as I could. Basically, I gathered as many names on my resume as I could, so when I graduated I applied for many magazine jobs – and I was lucky enough to get an interview for one of them, called Lucky Magazine (which sadly isn’t around anymore). Which allowed me to kind of get my foot in the door, as Lucky Magazine was part of Condé Nast (a media company) it grew very quickly, and it became a really good name to have on my resume. Which then I started swinging from job to job, magazine to magazine.

Then, in my mid-twenties, I started a blog about the beauty industry called Jolie in NYC. Which became very popular, very quickly. And I was saying things about the beauty industry that were secret at the time. I wrote about things such as photoshop, basically behind the scenes industry secrets – yet it was anonymous. So, it quickly became like, ‘who is this secret blogger?’ and the New York Post did an article about that, Regis and Kelly had talked about it.

So, I ended up getting a book agent from that as I was one of the first beauty bloggers, and I was doing more beauty blogging and freelance writing. And then I ended up writing my first book which was a non fiction beauty guide called: Beauty Confidential.

I was actually about to ask you about Jolie in NYC (but you got there before me!) Since you were an original blogger, and this is being published on my blog, do you have any advice for bloggers?

I think honestly the most important things are: consistency and a point of view.

When you’re starting a blog (or social media) the most important thing is consistency. If your readers know what to expect e.g every Monday you have an interview series or every Friday you have advice posts, they will start to expect that from you and come back, and maybe forward it to their friends! You could be the most genius writer in the world, but if you post once and then don’t post again for another three months, your readership will fall apart.

Then I would say, it’s obviously important to have the point of view. You have the strong voice. And what you’re putting out there is top quality.

I’m sure my readers will be thankful for this, so I want to talk a bit about TV writing – which you’ve mentioned before! So what do you think is the biggest different between writing for films and shows compared to books?

So, I think that publishing is obviously a business, but when you write a book, you write whatever you want to write. You start sending out to agents and editors, and then the editor can work with you if they’d like to, and help to edit. But, it’s basically free, the book editing process doesn’t cost a lot of money.

But, with TV & Film, it is first and foremost a business. Because it costs millions and millions of dollars to make TV shows, and even more to make movies. And yes, the foundation is the script. So, I have faced a higher barrier of entry to TV & Film, even though you can write a script much more quickly then you can write a book. You could, theoretically, write a TV Script in a day – it is impossible to write a book in a day.

So, it’s much easier to create a TV script, but in my experience, it’s much harder to get it made. There are much higher barriers to entry, because of the high costs involved and so many people behind the scenes. But, it’s been a fun challenge – and then you have to start thinking about casting challenges.

For example, I really want to put out characters that we haven’t really seen before, and I want to write Muslim girls and Middle Eastern Girls, people who represent me and my experiences. And it’s hard, because it’s a business, and nobody is going to hand you millions of dollars for a movie to star some girl that nobody has ever heard of. The problem is, there aren’t that many A-List actresses that are Muslim or Middle Eastern that age that people would be willing to green light a movie for. Obviously, people want authentic representation too, so it’s a really difficult challenge – so casting directors also need to do a better job of getting out there and finding people from all around the world.

Photo From Nadine’s Instagram (@nadinejoliecourtney)

I guess that’s why there’s so much more need for open call auditions from all around the world?

Yes, that’s a conversation I’ve had where I’m in meetings and a question that’s always repeated is, how could we cast this? What about casting? It’s almost like a double-edged sword because when they do take a chance, but the actor isn’t perfectly representative of that character, people will get upset – because people are allowed to want proper representation.

But the executives will then got spooked, thinking they shouldn’t do anything then. Where they’re already so terrified of getting a foot wrong, but also scared of spending money. Like I said, it comes back to the casting – I think we are making baby steps but it just needs to happen faster.

You also created the Crescent List which highlights Muslim TV writers in Hollywood, so why do you think it was important to highlight them? (You kind of touched on this with the acting side)

So, many writers were asking, how can we find other writers like us? How can we champion writers, that maybe nobody has even heard of? So, Twitter became a great mobilising force for underrepresented writers to put their foot forward. So I decided to put together a list of Muslim TV Writers, because I wanted to connect with other writers like me. So, I put a call out on Twitter for people to send me their bios and links to their scripts, and I put together this list. Which is exciting, because now you can kind of get yourself out there.

I think that’s really cool, and I can’t wait to hear more about them, so as you are a TV Writer – just to round this off – could we ever see a TV show or Movie of All American Muslim Girl, or a branching of the story?

Stay tuned!


Thanks so much to Nadine for agreeing to be interviewed, it was so much fun to chat to her and her answer to the final question was so exciting! And thank you so much for reading this interview. Let me know what you learned from Nadine and check out her links below!

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