Important Notice

Dear SJ Barnard readers,

Today, I wanted to share an important decision I’ve come to. From now on, I will stop posting on SJ Barnard.

This is a bittersweet moment for me since I began blogging around three years ago on here. During that time, I met many bloggers I would now call friends and have encountered countless kindness. It’s sad to think this will be ending, but it does not mean I will stop blogging altogether…

I will be moving to a brand new site (which just launched today). I’m super excited and nervous about this project, but my hope is that, if it sounds like your cup of tea, to join me on this new journey.

I have loved blogging on SJ Barnard and hope I will love blogging on my new platform and meet new people along the way. For those of you who might be a bit concerned about the change, here’s a quick run-down of the reasons for it:

  • I want to broaden the scope of things I talk about on my blog. SJ Barnard has been mainly about reading and writing. On my new blog, I want to expand the topics.
  • I’m a slow writer. I think something that was hard for me was realising I wasn’t going to be the kind of writer who would be going after publishing straightaway. Publishing a book is still a goal for me, but probably not any time soon. And I realised I’m actually okay with it. I want to keep writing and if publishing is God’s will for me, I will…but in His timing.
  • My aesthetics changed. I know, this one sounds a bit mundane compared to my other reasons. But. Although I love the clean, cozy-academia aesthetic of SJ Barnard, it has made it a bit harder for me to talk about certain topics…

At the same time, although I will not be posting here regularly, I may come back to post notices/updates for my WIPs. And, I definitely will continue blogging on my new blog, so be sure to take a peek!

Thank you everyone for making SJ Barnard one of my favourite places on the internet. I hope that you will continue your writing/reading journeys & may God bless you & direct your paths.

My Summer Bucket List & Short Notice

Hullo, world!

Life has been a bit hectic for me and as a result, I didn’t have enough energy to post this month…(Not to mention I went on an impromptu camping trip.) Although I’ve had my share of literally break-neck busy July, this July probably wins first place. I had to assess and then reassess my priorities, and even then, things sort of fell apart towards the end.

But enough of the doom and gloom! Today, I wanted to share a bit about the more “sunshine & sparkles” side of July and reflect on the things I could have done better. (I know, usually, this post is reserved for Afternoon Tea, but sometimes a change of pace might be good, IDK.)

i. my summer bu-jo & bucket list

One of the things that really worked out for me was creating a brand-new bullet journal for the summer! I started this in June. Already back then, I knew my summer would become hectic (2 uni summer classes/2 times/week + work on all the rest of the days = disaster, duh), so I wanted a map to help me stay focused on the things I wanted to see happen & also to rest. REST, by the way, is something you hunt down ruthlessly.

Some of the things on my summer bucket list that I absolutely loved doing are:

  • cleaning my bookshelves & making an inventory
  • listening to Brahm’s Requiem (Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45)
  • setting up my notion–daily hub, life hub, university pages, &c.
  • making acrylic photo key chains
  • going to a friend’s place for a sleepover
  • going on a picnic
  • going to the beach
  • starting my annual Tokyo Ghoul & Re: re-read
  • getting cool T-shirts from Hot Topic & UT
  • going to a ramen restaurant
  • starting a new bookstagramme account (@bookish_bishop)
  • summer playlist!!!
  • going on a mini-camping trip….

ii. mini-camping trip & fireworks competition 🙂

And yes, camping. For those of you who don’t know, one thing I loath about summer is the camping trip. Yes, we’re living in the great white north, no, that is not the reason for everyone to love spending long nights in nature. I had work and university and all that, so I really didn’t want to go…

But I’m glad I went.

(And for my mum who forced me to take a break.)

It was honestly one of the most refreshing and faith-inspiring camping trips I’ve ever had. We went with the homeschool co-op group my siblings are in, and I got a chance to lead games, listen to daily devotions by the dads in the group (and the teens!), and overall, had a blast. We went on a picnic by the beach on the last day, too, which was one of the highlights.

Also, we had our first fireworks competition in two. three years…and one of the participating countries was Japan!! Obviously, things couldn’t get better…

iii. going forward…

But then again, this month burnt me out. From the way my mental health took a nosedive (and from the fact I couldn’t muster up enough strength to write this month), I think it’s probably a good idea for me to take a break. I really don’t like how I haven’t been able to post consistently here this year, yet I guess it is a good time for me to think things over–what does posting on SJ Barnard mean to me?

Obviously, I love it whenever I can post here. But because of the way things have been in my life recently, I am not sure if I can be here all the time. Would it be okay for me to post a little more irregularly? Or is it time to take a longer break off? I want to keep blogging, but I don’t know if Saturday works for me anymore. Should I re-arrange my schedule so somehow I can keep blogging in there? And now that I know that my road with writing will probably be slower than everyone else’s, will it be okay to still call it an “author” blog??

*insert heavy silence*

These are some of the heavier questions on my mind. I don’t know all the answers to them, but what I do know is that writing sparks joy inside me. I genuinely want to keep writing even if it’s just me that reads it. And maybe, it’s okay to go from there.

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For the time being, I will take August off and see where God’s leading me to do. Thank you for being there even when I have not been able to “be here” consistently. Do let me know how your summer has been & I hope you continue to have a wonderful rest of the summer!

May Hitouts Notice

Hullo, everyone!

I’m here to put up a notice that I’ll be on a short hitout during May–and here are the reasons.

i. In which I get a new job

Yes, that’s right! I’m now happily working at a tutoring centre that offers anything from phonics to college prep (like the SATs and the ACTs). I love this job because I love studying and helping others find joy in it, but it’s a lot of work–and not to mention I have classes on Saturdays. So, until I get used to the routine and finish my training, I don’t think it’s realistic for me to be posting on Saturdays. And as you might know, Saturdays are special days for me–so I would like to continue blogging on that day. Hopefully, I’ll be back by the end of this month to tell you all about May in my Afternoon Tea post.

ii. In which I try to write. To the end.

Another thing I’m attempting this month is to finish my 0.5 draft of Osthauptstadt. I’ve been working on and off on this WIP, and I think if I push through, I might be able to finish this draft…

Which is kind of a big deal.

Okay, every WIP that has a tentative “The End” is a big deal, but this one especially–it was the WIP I started during the pandemic which sort of grew with me throughout that time. Also, I haven’t been able to see a WIP to the end in about three years. ( ; ›ω‹ )

So, (again), hopefully, I will be able to keep plugging away at my draft till I reach the end.

iii. In which I try to re-focus my total brand identity.

Recently, I found Notion, the dream online journal/planner/organizer thing I totally didn’t know I needed. While sorting out my tasks on there (like work, school, &c.), I realised it’s been a long due to taking a review on what I do here on the blog as SJ Barnard–and elsewhere.

I love blogging, and as it’s something that sparks joy inside me, I will continue doing it. But I think I need to reassess where I’m at and also have more cohesiveness on places like IG (which I disappear off from on a regular basis).

But overall, thank you for being an SJ reader & being patient with me as I figure things out! I will see you at the end of May. ⸜( ´ ꒳ ` )⸝♡︎