A Brutally Honest Post About My 2-Years Blogging Hiatus

by - Monday, April 13, 2020

Reaching out to my blogger/author friends...

Hello and hope you are keeping safe during this period of time. 

How is the situation in your country? Are you keeping safe? Are you under quarantine? How are you spending your quarantine time? 

It is unbelievable how year 2020 started, January was filled with WW3 memes and now we're in the midst of a plague much like the one in 1920s.

As nightmarish as the COVID-19 pandemic that has been putting the entire world on halt, I am keeping sane by focusing on the positive things this outbreak had brought us, and one of them is - T I M E. 

It's currently Day 28th of Lockdown in Malaysia, we have restricted movement control order in place that doesn't allow us to leave the house unless it's for essentials, and that leaves me with ample time on my hands, hence, also the reason why after a long 2 years hiatus and inactivity on my blog, I decided to restart the empire that I've built (I binged too much Kingdom these days) and also to utilize this time to read more. 

If you are an old follower of mine and was wondering "where have thou disappeared to?", please read on. If you are a new guest on my blog, welcome and this is a short history of who I am and what I've been up to for the past two years. 

Starting with: 

 About Dreamland Book Blog (DBB) 

DBB was originally named Dreamland Teenage Fantasy and was first created in June 2011 by a high school student (me!) who loves wandering around the book sphere and was absolutely captivated by the world of book blogging after stumbling across my first book blog. 

However, in 2018, I've decided to rename my blog to Dreamland Book Blog because, 1) I outgrew my teen phase & 2) I started to post more content about mature reads that may not be suitable for younger readers. To avoid misleading branding, the new and improved Dreamland Book Blog is born. I was also bored with the blogger.com interface and decided to revamp the look of my blog. From 2018 to early 2019, I was primarily blogging from Dreamland Book Blog on Wix.com so you can find some posts on there too! 

But, despite all the efforts I put into "upgrading" my blog, to the extent of creating a bookstagram account (@dreamlandteenagefantasy), life got in the way. 

Read more about me here: About Me 

 Why had I disappeared without a trace? 

@EvieShaffer | unsplash.com

I'd like to start this note by apologizing to everyone who has reached out to me over the past two years without getting a response.

At the end of 2018, I was undergoing a huge change in my life. After graduating from university with my new degree, I was having a life-crisis trying to decide what's next in life. I wasn't ready to be an adult (I don't think it's something you can prepare for anyway), but I made a huge decision to leave home and move to another state on my own to start something for myself. 

The adjustment period was longer than expected, not only it was a new company with a whole new environment, the city lifestyle is always more hectic as compared to the islander life I've grown accustomed to at home. Trying to adapt to the new working culture and everything else in between, I struggled with maintaining my social presence & the blogger persona I've built. 

It was a classic case of too many, too much, at the same time. I left home when my blogging presence was at its peak, my bookstagram account was blooming and so was my blog with the number of review requests and blog tours I joined and helped organized. I was also the vice publisher for an independent, non-profit bookish magazine that publishes once every month, juggling between "chasing after every reviewing datelines" with my "work-life", I was so saturated at one point when something ugly happened, my passion turned into an obligation.  That's the final nail in the coffin when I woke up one day and just...stopped. 

I stopped blogging.
I stopped tweeting. 
I stopped bookstagramming.
I stopped checking in on my accounts. 
I was exhausted. 

Physically, mentally and emotionally, but I have no one to blame but myself. 

Priding on my youth and energy, I thought I can sustain it all. But if there's anything I learned from this, it's too much of anything is too much. (Stole this from All Time Low's lyrics). 

Unknowingly, two years have passed until COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on life, and that's when I am given a gift I've wanted since 2018 - T I M E. 

 So, what now? 

@andrewtneel | unsplash.com

I'm doing a Marie-Kondo on my life by decluttering, letting go of the unnecessary and prioritize. 


1. Deleted the 4,000 plus messages on my blogger's email addresses I haven't opened or read since 2018. (I just needed a fresh start...) 

2. Updating the blog and decided to go back to blogger.com as my main domain (because Wix.com is a pain in the a** with its slow connectivity) so you will see more of me here!

3. Taking it slow.

Yes, I am in no haste to return back to my prime days. For now, I'd focus on posting lesser but more quality posts, joining 1-2 blog tours now and then, maybe 1-2 Instagram posts (because keeping up my bookstagram account was what draining me the most), try to interact more with authors/readers and last but not least, READING for the JOY & FUN. 

Ultimately, my passion will always be reading, somewhere along the way, I lost sight of what mattered the most.

That's all from me today! I am currently working on updating all of my social sites (that includes trying to match which password is linked to which accounts), if you are interested to connect with me, please leave a comment or follow me on any of my social links below ;)

Remember, wash your hands and maintain social distancing. Together, we can kick this virub to the curb!

My contact links: 

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  1. Aw Nat, I missed you! I'm so glad to see you back! I totally get it about the burnout though. Every year I go into periods of inactivity on my blog when things stop being fun and start feeling like work, so take your time and take it easy.

    I'm really looking forward to reading your posts!

    P.S. I appreciated the ATL reference 😏 Have you listened to their new album that just came out like a week or two ago? I love it and cannot stop listening!

    1. (My second time posting and I am not sure if my first one was posted ��)

      Aww and I missed you too Lili! To be honest, I regretted the way I left things, certainly didn't help me returning to it any easier! �� But the time off I had in this quarantine period has helped me to really self-reflect and finally got my mess together ��

      Thank you for your advice and I wished the same for you! I would understand if you would disappear at times, been there myself, and everyone needed a break once in a while! I do hate it when something we enjoy turned into something we dread :( It's never a good feeling and I surely hope that we won't have to ever feel that again.

      Thank you and I am looking forward to yours too! (I'm currently stalking your blog as we speak :P) I do want to include more personalized posts in my blog as previously I've been very "robotic" and only posting about book tours & promos. It's so exciting!

      Hehe! ATL never gets old! BUT. THEY DID WHAT? They have a new album??! I didn't even realize! My timeline is populated by headlines of the COVID-19 these days that I lost track of all the celeb news I'm following. Time to remedy that! (On my way to youtube).

    2. Thanks! There has been pretty sparse content on my blog... I've pretty much only been doing Sunday Posts because I just haven't been in the mood for reviewing. It's been about a month and I think I'm gonna be ready to come back and write. Meanwhile I think I'm gonna do some discussion posts and tags. Those are always fun, so I'm looking forward to your more personal posts!

      YES! It just came out! And I totally get about the virus headlining EVERYTHING! I have to step away from social media for a while cause my anxiety just can't handle all the news. I've pretty much stopped going on Twitter because of all this. But I do scroll through IG where I feel like things aren't as covid-centric... at least when it comes to the people I follow (which is a lot of book stuff and a lot of nail art stuff LOL). That's where I found out about the album! It was such a nice surprise among all the craziness in the world. I'm gonna be honest, I wasn't the biggest fan of their last album, so I was a little hesitant going into this one, but OMG I love it! I'm constantly listening to it on a loop! I hope you enjoy! 😊

    3. Ahh, I totally get it when you fall into a reviewing slump, take as much time as you need. I am excited for your discussion posts and tags because I always enjoyed doing and reading them! The good old days where you just blog hop all day, haha!

      I am so sorry to hear that Lili :( YES! Stay away from those headlines because most of them are clickbaits and it is even more important for us now to focus on the positive things. I do agree that IG now is the safest to be now in terms of avoiding COVID-central, and Pinterest too if you are into that ;)

      I do have Pretty Venom & Monsters on loop! And also been replaying Therapy and Remembering Sunday because those were two of my favorite classic ATL's songs.

    4. I do love Pinterest. I actually stay away from Pinterest for a whole other reason... If I just take a glimpse at it, I will be on there for HOURS! 😂 No joke. It just sucks me in so easy, it's insane. Lol.

      I love Therapy too! A lot of those older songs are still so good!

  2. Glad to see your back at blogging! Have misses you being a part of the bookish world!! Happy to know you are/have worked on you and what makes you happy, because that's what matters most. Can't wait to read new posts by you. Hope you & your family is stay safe!

    1. Thank you so much Kaycee! I am taking it slow and try not to have too many things going on at once, I'm focusing a lot on reading too 😂 How have you been doing?? I'm doing well! Hope you and your family are also safe and soun, it's scary what the world has turned into.


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