Saturday, February 2

Spilling the Beans on All Things Related to Blogging and Life

Hello friends! We haven't done a personal post in quite some time, much less one with all three of us, so, given that we have some news for you, we thought it was high time to create a post like this. We also want to let you know that we will be taking some time off to prepare for some exciting changes to the blog and will be back (and better than ever) on the 15th March! 

I'm sure this will surprise nobody but Uni is HARD y'all, I'm currently working on the best module ever - Children's Literature (I wrote a whole essay about Harry Potter I am living my best life) - but that doesn't mean its remotely easy and I'm basically permanently exhausted at the moment! 

It's all change in my personal life too as in the last couple of months I am finally getting therapy for PTSD and its tough and painful but its working and with any luck I'll be well enough to *gasp* leave the house on my own for a change soon! So basically my mental health has been at the forefront of my mind lately and I am endlessly grateful for all the support I've got from Vera and Ruzi! (Thank you for letting me rant nonsense at you Vera!)

Recently I posted about feeling not good enough as a blogger and the response I got to that was so amazing. It's become my favourite post I've ever done, not because of anything I did but purely because its the post that has made me feel most connected to the community, which ironically was what I was writing about in the first place! 

If you know me then you'll know that I started out over at Dual Reads but have been on a hiatus there for a little while - my sister and I were both working through a lot and didn't have the time to commit. But in the past month I've been working on restarting my blogging over there so if you follow Dual Reads you'll be getting twice as much of me soon (is that a good or a bad thing I cant tell)!

I'm feeling more passionate about blogging - and about reading than I have in a really long time and I'm excited about our plans for the future! 
LONG TIME, NO SEE!!! Well, not really, since I was technically around for a bit in December and have been fairly present elsewhere on the Internet, but this is my official return to blogging since I went on hiatus last September...but not really, since Vera, Clare and I collectively decided on taking a little over a month off to figure out certain things relating to where we see the blog headed and stuff-and let me tell you, things are about to get exciting around here! We'll keep you updated about things in due course, but for now let me tell you all about everything that's been going on with me since you properly heard from me last! 

I just turned in my dissertation and am finally done and dusted with my MSc. To tell you the past few months have been tiring would be a massive understatement because apart from the research project, I also had to meet deadlines for various assignments, prepare for exams, presentations...the list goes on. But what made everything just that bit more hectic was having to complete a short placement in addition to all this as part of our course requirements. I worked at a psychological wellbeing centre connected to uni for a little over a month and it was an overall good experience, though I dare say I would have enjoyed it more had I been less stressed about everything else I had going on then. 

With regards to reading, I just about managed to complete my Goodreads challenge last year. It was only 25 books, but even THAT was starting to seem highly unlikely until I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo on Vera's recommendation and YOU GUYS- it pulled me riiight out of a reading slump! I abso-freaking-lutely loved it and would recommend it with all my heart. Speaking of favourites- Crazy Rich Asians!!! I'm ashamed to say I watched the movie first, but I loved EVERYTHING about it and can't wait to get started on the books! 

Now that all that's out of the way, I have 3 very important personal confessions to make. *deep breaths* Firstly, I haven't been doing very great mentally and physically for quite a while now, and while I'm not ready to talk about both, I'm eternally grateful for Vera and Clare for understanding and bearing with my absences. Shoutout to everyone else that has checked up on me the past few months too- especially you, Roberta! Thank you. Secondly, I will be starting job-hunting soon and as exciting as it may sound, I must admit it really is very daunting for someone like me, who has never worked in an entirely professional capacity before. I'm anxious, okay? Speaking of which...provided all goes well and I actually survive the total stress of it all...I don't think I have really come to terms with it yet, but I am...kinda...getting freaking married this summer, y'all! I'm not really used to talking about it so I hope this goes unnoticed amidst all the other updates but yeah, insha'Allah. AHHHHH. SEND ALL THE GOOD VIBES MY WAY, PLEASE! I promise I'll reciprocate! xx
My last semester was incredibly challenging for me; I had so many seminars where we had to put in work all through the semesters, and just enough lectures that the exams for them really kicked me in the ass during the exam-period. Not to mention that two different classes - a seminar and a lecture - made me feel like my efforts were for naught; I don't feel like I've done well enough in them, despite all the energy I put into studyingThe added stress of getting started on my thesis hasn't helped at all, not to mention the fact that I know damned well next semester is going to be brutal. I'm already tired haha... ha. *dies inside*

Basically, what I'm saying it that I've been busy and tired a lot during this semester, and that made me feel so disconnected from the blog and the community lately. If you've been with us for a while, you probably know that December was really special on The Regal Critiques, with eight of our favorite bloggers guest-posting here. I'm so proud of working on this event and so pleased with how it turned out, which is something I've been very vocal about. So it may come as a surprise that I was struggling with making this series happen - for god's sake, it was Ruzi, who's been on a hiatus, who had to step in and create the beautiful graphics we used as headers, even though I was 1000% planning on doing them. (Thanks again, Ruz!)

Not having time for blogging also meant that I was only putting out posts I scheduled weeks and weeks ahead of time. That is not an inherently bad thing, it works for a lot of bloggers and that's valid (obviously, duh) but I've realized that I need to be at least drafting new posts to feel like I'm actually blogging. Before this semester I used to have a long list of scheduled post, but I was also constantly working on new things, and then quickly publishing the shit I was the most excited about. The posts I wasn't too keen on were left there as drafts/scheduled posts longest, which meant that I had an ample amount of time to work out how to make them something I was proud of. Unfortunately, some of the posts I've put out lately I'm just not happy with- it's hard to admit that, but that's the truth. I love the ideas, otherwise I wouldn't have written them, but either the graphics, the post's length or something else left me dissatisfied. 

So, what is my solution? Like I said, next semester is going to be hard, but I'll try to plan in a bit of time every week that will be for blogging. If I can do this, it'd mean that our regular features that... we've collectively abandoned recently - like top ten tuesday or our quarter-year new releases posts - would be coming back. Obviously, they can 1000% reappear without my contribution, especially the new release posts, so definitely look out for those!

So, yeah. That's about it for now. Like we mentioned before, we have quite a few changes happening around here, so we won't be around in this particular corner of the blogosphere for some time...but we will still be around elsewhere in the bookish community, so you will still see enough of us around! We hope you have yourselves a lovely month. See you soon!


  1. I’m in the same boat as you, Clare! I’m finally starting therapy for my anxiety and OCD and I’m honestly excited for it. Here’s hoping we both can feel better!

    And OMG RUZI CONGRATULATIONS!! This is so exciting, sending all the good vibes for a happy marriage. You will make a beautiful bride :)

    1. THANK YOU for the kind, kind words, Em! It's all still so daunting ahahaha <33


    Clare: I haven't known you for long, but the very fact that you're a buddy of my buddies speaks volumes. I'm rooting for you to get better, and I'm following Dual Reads now, since you promised updates! Good luck with uni too!

    Ruzi: I'm crying now. Well, not really, but my eyes were threatening to spill when I saw your shout-out. Seriously, I don't think I did much, but whatever I did, I'm glad it worked! All exciting news on your, I didn't even know you were engaged, and now you're getting MARRIED on me?!? 😮 I hope your fiance knows how lucky he is! All the best for you health, your job hunt and your marriage! Only, don't you vanish from here for good, OK? We can take a small (or even not-so-small) hiatus, but you have to come back ultimately! 😉

    Vera: I'm sorry uni is weighing on you so hard. Also, it sucks when you put all your strength and effort into something and it doesn't repay. But I'm sure you'll manage to power up through the next semester, and of course I'm rooting, which should count for something...right? 😉 And when you feel a little better, I'm sure you'll ACE through those drafts as well. It usually works that way - one day you revisit what you wrote and...your brain is ready to get out of its slump.

    I can't wait to see what you all have in store for us! Mid-March is so far away 😥.

    1. DONT CRY OMG xD You've always been so, so supportive and we are always so grateful for you, Roby! <33 And I'm sorry for springing the wedding news on y'all like this but I didn't know of a better way to do it :D THANK YOU for the wishes! And no, I don't plan on vanishing for good, lol <33

  3. Clare - that's awesome that you are working on your mental health. Good luck with your therapy and with restarting Dual Reads too. And, I agree, uni is hard.
    Ruzaika - Congratulations on completing your degree and good luck with the job search. I hope you find the perfect job. And, WOW! You're getting married! That's wonderful news. How exciting! So many new things on the horizon for you.
    Vera - Good luck with your new semester.

    1. The job search is going horribly tbh- keep your fingers crossed for me, please! And THANK YOU! The wedding news is still very surreal, lol xD

  4. Finally getting around to reading and commenting on February posts... don't mind me!

    Clare: I absolutely loved your post as well - I fell like we don't talk about how much work blogging is really and how so many of us feel like we don't do enough. I always thought I was alone in that sentiment but reading the comments made my day. Made my month, really :)

    Ruz: You're getting married?? CONGRATULATIONS!!! Also, best of luck with all of the job hunting (unless you're done by now because hello April... I'm going to be doing my own job hunting for my first 'fully adult job' ever next year at this time and I'm only freaking out a tiiiiny bit.

    Vera: I relate so much it isn't even funny. This semester has been AWFUL (you can probably tell by how sparse my blog has been...) and the next two won't get any easier. Still, the only way to get to the end is through; you got this!

    I'm looking forward to hearing about all these super secret changes, ladies!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. I AM! Getting married, that is xD THANK YOU! You've been so optimistic ahahah, it's May now and still not a job in sight. It's frustrating but it is what it is, I guess. Good luck with your job search too, and here's hoping you're way, waaay luckier than me! <33


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