Updates And Future Plans

Dear friends,

It’s been a long time––and for that, I apologise. I’ve been reading through your many comments and the number of well-wishes and general positive sentiments not only surprised me, but reminded how many of you are still watching patiently (both for your own posts to be published and for words from me). In particular, I was moved by how many of you found meaning here.

That said, I want to break the silence that’s been hanging over The Book Addict’s Guide for so long.

So, what does the future look like?

New Commitment From Me

First off––I am committing to be present here. I did previously make an attempt to return before I was really ready, but this time, I’m making a commitment to be here. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to be as present as I once was when I was healthy. However, I’m going to be setting aside regular time specifically to put towards you and our wee community.

To make sure it actually does happen this time, I’ve made a plan of action.

The Fate of Your Submissions

I’m going to start first with your writing, slowly sifting through that massive backlog of wonder that you all have left me. And gradually, your writing will see light.

While I’m playing catch up, submissions will temporarily close. I’m only one person, and part of the reason I didn’t return successfully in my last attempt was that I didn’t make it doable enough for myself.

Changes & Housekeeping

When eventually, the wreckage has cleared enough that I re-open the submissions, it’s likely that I’ll change a number of things about the process, so keep your ears open for news of that.

Behind the scenes, I’m also going to re-visit and update the site policies, FAQ, organization and other such things. As I do so, I’ll be brainstorming ideas for new content.

Where Have I Been?

While many of you have lurked here with me for many years and know something of why I’ve disappeared, some of you have walked in on a confusingly empty room. For that, you have only me to blame.

I’ve been in Hades, and by that I mean dealing with some rather complex health challenges. Some of these challenges I’ve grown accustomed to, learned how to adapt my life around and ultimately taught myself to manage. Others have about six heads, and do not want to be caught, named or looked in the eye. They’re not going anywhere (besides down), so invariably, there will be bumps in the road that will sometimes affect my response times on this site.

Whatever time decides, I’m thankful for your patience, support and general excitement about MTBI. I’m looking forward to many moons of shared geekery.

-Arvid

7 thoughts on “Updates And Future Plans

  1. First off, greetings and good wishes. You must have had a very hard run. My mother has fibromyalgia and other chronic health issues, which in no way allows me to know anything really about what it’s like, but I do know it is a tremendous load and in an odd sort of way I rejoice for your presence here again because it means you’re doing better or managing better, or have more time, which is all good.

    You’ve changed a lot, I imagine. For one, you called your minions dear friends. Do you think you’re still the same person that started this blog?
    It’ll be interesting to see the difference in your tone and posts compared to how you communicated through posts and comments in the past.
    I have a lot of questions about various topics but I guess it’s better to ask them when the official questions place here opens again? God bless.

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    • Greetings to you as well! I appreciate the good wishes. You’re write to imagine that I’ve changed. I’ve learned new ways of being, which comes with knowing new levels of hell, but also with getting out of my comfortable INTJ social-isolation box and developing my ability to connect with other humans. That’s not to say I’m good at it, but I value it more than I did previously. Connection is a kind of rare treasure that’s hard to get when you’re introverted and ill, but it’s reason enough to keep going.
      I’ve also learned to slow down more, to take time to breathe, to sit and watch a candle flicker, or rain slipping off the window sill.
      I’d love to hear your questions, but (full disclosure) it may be some time before I get to them—which in no way reflects my interest in them.

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      • Apologies for my late reply, I was under the impression it had sent when I first typed it up.
        New levels of hell tend to do that to people. Its interesting to se how much the human oerson really can endure when forced to it. How did you learn to get out of your comfortable intj social isolation box; was it really that comfortable?
        It is reason enough to keep going. Your comment is wholesome and heartening. Thank you for responding in a personal way, it surprises me, and I wonder at how you mentioned those things you learnt without me asking directly about them. Is such communication part of the connection thing for you?

        I need to learn how to do those things more, and to enjoy them, and allow myself to have full moments of such rest and experience. Do you have any advice about that for people who can’t let themselves stay in one spot when they start to get comfortable? For people who constantly move from one thing to another and don’t let themselves stop to slow down and breathe and watch rain and candles?

        Alright, I’ll keep that in note.

        Also, I’m glad to hear those things. They’re good. :)

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        • The social isolation was comfortable, but it had grown to be harmful to me in that it prevented me from getting health needs met and also decreased my overall growth as a human. I genuinely think that any MBTI type who forces themself outside of whatever comfort zone they are in is capable of significant growth.
          Yes—communication is definitely part of the connection thing. Sure, it’s possible to connect without language, but it’s much harder to get anywhere that way. For a while, I was in a kick where I watched YouTube videos about social development and conversation tips, and have since been practicing what I learned when I can.

          I think my advice would be twofold. First, remind yourself often of the reasons why you want to slow down. For me those include (among others):
          – increased intuitive power by allowing me to stop and hear more fully what me instincts are saying
          – burnout prevention/management
          – less brain fog (your brain works better with adequate rest), thus, increased task efficiency
          Reminding myself of these things makes it significantly easier to convince myself to take breaks.

          Then, literally schedule the breaks into your life. This may look different for you than it does for me, but for me, this means:
          – Leaving deliberate blank space in my daily planner despite the urge to fill it up
          – Forcing myself to pause for lunch/dinner and actually eat something without multi-tasking
          – Maintaining firm boundaries around when I am available to other people and how many tasks I agree to do for/with others in a given time span. These can be as specific as not accepting any phone calls after 8pm, or as vague as “accepting fewer” delegated work tasks this week.
          -Literally blocking in self-care tasks such as taking a shower or in my planner

          Keep in mind, this advice is coming entirely from my own personalised regimen and may need to be similarly personalised for you to get the full benefit

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          • That advice seems to be too particular to yourself and how you do your life to work with me, but thanks. I don’t have a daily planner and the few times I do I rarely keep to it. Maybe when I’m older and more organized it’ll be more applicable. I do have something you could give advice on that might be more beneficial though. What might an INFP do to take them out of their comfort zone for personal development/growth? If you’d like a more ambitious suggestion, what about a list of ways to go out of one’s comfort zone for each function?
            A full answer to this comment might require something of an article length, so I understand if you don’t get around to answering fully, (or at all).

            I went through a phase of watching conversation tips as well, it was mortifying.
            May I ask, are you still a freelance writer? You’re done with uni?
            Any blogs out there kind of like this one?

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          • I might at some point be able to make a full post about this topic, but I’ll give you a short version here (since it may be a long time before I catch up on all the questions in the Ask An INTJ Anything queue).
            A few ways to develop the Fi function include spending more time thinking about other people’s feelings and finding ways to improve the way your actions affect or don’t affect them, and practicing outwardly expressing feelings that are uncomfortable for you (so the social skills practice can definitely come in handy there).
            For Ne, and this is specifically for FiNe (so NFPs), it can be beneficial to pay attention to how Ne thought-jumps can be confusing for other types and then try to find ways to make your ideas more accessible to them when you speak/write. Other ways to develop Ne include leaning into your creativity in areas where you may not have applied it as much, or where you may be repressing it (for example, at work, or in a specific relationship).
            For Si, spend time working through thoughts and emotions surrounding uncomfortable or traumatic past experiences and apply things you’ve learned to your present.
            For Te, learn organisation and time management skills, and consider thinking about how your creativity could involve more action (are there dreams you haven’t pursued because you’re too scared, for instance?). Hopefully that’s a more useful answer than my last one.

            As to your other questions, I am still freelance writing, and as part of that I manage several other blogs on various topics, though mostly for clients and consequently they’re all quite different from this one. I also have a fair amount of creative writing in circulation that seems so be doing alright for itself. And yes—while I did have to take a few years away from uni for my health, I did eventually finish my Master’s degree. I’m still undecided as to whether I want to do a PhD. Most of my goals at the moment are directly related to my physical and mental health.

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  2. Welcome back friend :) I’m one of those sorry souls who would regularly check back on this blog to see if you or someone had posted. You had a great thing going and I’m glad you decided to commit to posting despite your health issues. Of all the things going wrong in the world today, it’s nice to have this brief escape from reality and all its complexities. Here’s to great writing 🥂 and better health (hopefully).

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