Today, Xiaolong is sitting by the water, her head stuck in a big book. She seems to be so engrossed in whatever she’s reading that she doesn’t notice you approach – which is so unlike her!
You sit down at a comfortable distance away from her – you know that some people don’t like to be interrupted when they are reading! – and decide to take in the sights and smells and sounds of The Quiet Pond.
Finally, Xiaolong takes the leaf by her side and inserts it in between the book’s pages. “Hello friend,” she says, closing the book gently. “I got really into my book and didn’t notice that you had arrived! Sorry, friend.”
You smile and ask how she is. To be honest, Xiaolong doesn’t quite look like her perky self – her gills are a little droopy, she doesn’t have that bouncy energy that you usually notice right away, and her eyes don’t have their usual mischievous glimmer.
“I’m okay, friend!” says Xiaolong, who gives you a big grin. “Well, actually.” Her smile falters a little bit. “I’m a little behind on everything. The Quiet Pond may be quiet but it’s also a lot of work, and sometimes I get a little stretched thin.” She gives you a small smile. “I suppose I am burning out.”
You listen, nodding along to what she’s saying. What about a break? you ask.
Xiaolong tilts her head. “But… I can’t take breaks! I have so much to do at the Pond and everyone is depending on me!”
You smile. You understand how that feels. You tell Xiaolong that she isn’t alone in feeling this way, but even super-axolotls and Keepers of the Ponds need a rest too, especially if they are burned out.
Xiaolong considers this for a moment. “I think I needed to hear that,” says Xiaolong. She gets a little teary, realising how tired she is. “I think I need to take a break.”
Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, friends! Welcome back to the Pond.
As you may have guessed from your talk with Xiaolong, The Quiet Pond is going to be taking a little bit of a break. Running The Quiet Pond has been such a pleasure – but it’s also been a big task that can get pretty draining sometimes! So, Joce and I have had a little talk and we’ve decided to put The Quiet Pond on a short hiatus so we can both have a bit of a breather.
But, there’s also another reason for why The Quiet Pond is going on hiatus beyond Xiaolong feeling a little burned out and needing a rest.
For a long time, I’ve wanted to make big changes to the Pond. However, these changes will require quite a bit of time and trying to produce content every week has made it really difficult to find time to be proactive with my blog!
What am I planning for The Pond?
1. A full revamp!
I’ve been talking about doing a revamp of The Quiet Pond for a long time, but I’ve never got around to doing it. When I started The Quiet Pond, a lot of the characters were simply ideas – they didn’t really have a story. Over time however, the more I wrote about the Pond and the more I brought the characters to life through art, I felt like the characters wrote themselves. I want a blog revamp that reflects that growth so far.
My goals for my blog revamp:
- A new blog banner! (Xiaolong and friends don’t really match what they look like now.)
- Possibly new post banners (I’ve been toying with a few design ideas but am a bit stuck! I hope to dedicate some time to creating something fresh and interesting)
- Make my blog interior design and worldbuilding a little more consistent.
- Possibly give Gen the Tortoise Apothecarist a new look.
2. Finish my to-read list.
I’ll never ever complain about having too many books to read because I am so lucky to have books to read at all, but I really do need to get ahead with my Goodreads Challenge (7 books behind at the moment!) and finish all the ARCs that I have sitting on my bookshelf!
3. Get my act together and put together the ‘Our Friend is Here’ feature
A long time ago, I mentioned that I’d love to invite book bloggers, writers, creators, or anyone involved in publishing or bookish-related activities to The Quiet Pond. I have all the ideas, but I just need a week to organise and plan this feature!
4. Induct and get my new co-blogger started!
As you may have heard, I’m currently looking for a new co-blogger at The Quiet Pond! Now that I have limited free time, I’m hoping to use this break to get the successful co-blogger comfortable with The Pond Book News, make sure they’re feel welcomed, awesome, and confident, and get them prepared to start posting! Exciting stuff!
5. Write/Draw the content I said I would publish.
To be fair to myself, I have oodles of half-written posts sitting in my drafts. I just need some time to finish them! Currently in the works:
- Finish the The Pond Gets Loud: International Book Bloggers Share Their Experiences series.
- A Book Blogger Resource post with tips on how to run a blog when you’re time poor.
- A post about my inspiration for The Quiet Pond and tips on how to build your blogging brand.
- Actually write my ‘If You Liked This Anime, Read This Book’ book recommendation post.
- A very exciting feature with a very exciting author who has written a book I am very excited to read! 👀
- A million recommendation posts that are all written; I just need to illustrate for them! Expect book recommendations of: ‘Marginalised Stories in Historical Fiction’, ‘YA Books with Disabled Characters’, ‘Books About Food and Identity,’ ‘Diverse Retellings’, and ‘Relatable Teen Experiences’. Someone yell at me to draw.
6. Work on The Pondathon
It’s planned for January – February 2020, but it’s definitely happening and in the works! I’ll be organising a readathon with RPG elements, where you can team up with one of your Pond friends to protect the Pond from the forces of evil (and bigotry)!
But wait, we’ll have content for you!
Although book reviews, book recommendations, The Pond Book News, and features will be put on hold, I thought it would be a really cool idea if you got to know Joce and I a little better. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be featuring some of our all-time favourite books and maybe a little bit about why we love it!
So this is not goodbye! The hiatus will be indefinite, but we will definitely return better than ever.