New Year, New Blog: Are you ready for it?

Honey, I rose up from the dead. I do it all the time. — Hi hey hello, friends!

WELCOME TO MY NEW BLOG!

I am high-key cringing that after all the not-so-subtle hyping up I’ve done for the past week or so, I am presenting a half-finished blog (excuse me while I weep in the corner of shame). I couldn’t afford to delay this launch any longer because I have too many plans for 2019 and too little breathing room — so please bear with me and this virtual mess. Everything else should be up by the end of the week. But I digress.

FIRST OF ALL, LET’S ALL TAKE A MOMENT OF SILENCE.*

Here lies That Bookshelf Bitch

17 December 2015 – 08 January 2019.

Here lies the ashes of That Bookshelf Bitch: frustratingly inconsistent book blogger, diverse reader, aspiring writer and poet, spiller of piping hot tea, and good friend to most.

You may be gone from this virtual earth, but certainly, your spirit — bitchiness and all — will eternally live on. May you find peace, hope, & fulfillment in the wonderfully golden paradise that is Shut up, Shealea, where you will — undoubtedly — never learn how to keep your mouth shut.

* This obituary was playfully suggested by none other than CW @ The Quiet Pond, and given my โœจ brand of extra โœจ I just had to go for it.

NEW YEAR, NEW BLOG: ARE Y’ALL READY FOR THIS?

Full disclosure and total honesty. I’ve been doing a lot of blogging-related scheming for the last couple of months, but none of my initial plans involved erasing my blog and creating a new, albeit prettier, one. In fact, I was quite adamant against the idea simply because I knew I could not afford to keep my blog down for more than one or two weeks (you’ll find out why later on in this post!).

However, once I mentioned the idea of getting a more legitimate domain to several friends, I was incessantly, tirelessly goaded pushed into encouraged to go for it. Never mind that my last major blog redesign took two months to finish. My friends believed in me and in what I can do — and that was all the convincing I needed to bleep it and roll with the punches.

It probably seemed like I had this new blog planned out for quite a while, but although I’ve been wanting to make Shut up, Shealea happen for years, this was truly a semi-impulsive decision. I’m not even kidding. After my friends ganged up on me wore down my last defenses proved to be the worst enablers ever convinced me to actually (gasp!) monetarily invest in a WordPress premium plan, I told myself I’d take a nap before committing to a decision. BUT Sleep-Deprived ShealeaTM made an oof, and before I could even blink, this happened:

What followed after that was a whirlwind of confusion, excitement, and oh-look-what-you-made-me-do. I was in a constant flux between working excitedly towards my vision and frequently wondering what the hell I was doing. While occasionally reprimanding myself for choosing to do this a week before several blogging commitments, including the release of Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019.

With all that said, I’d like to thank several friends for keeping my anxiety at bay and for the relentless reassurances that I wouldn’t make a total mess out of everything. None of this would have happened without all your support!

To my college and IRL friends, I cannot thank you enough for your patience and for the extra mile you went just to help me make major decisions (fun fact: one of my friends made a spreadsheet that laid out how much money I’ll spending on my blog for the next five years or so). Jan, I don’t know if you actually read my posts or if you drop by here just to increase my site visits (and I totally love you for it, by the way), but thank you for working with me in building Shut up, Shealea’s brand, for designing gorgeous logos for this blog, and for always being incredibly accommodating whenever I consult with you regarding graphic design, color palettes, premium themes, and everything else in between.

To my bookish and blogging friends, thank you for all the heartfelt messages! I hated myself for keeping all of this under wraps and for making some of you think I’ve left for good, but I was trying to avoid putting additional pressure on myself. Plus, if I’m being honest, I was trying to channel my inner Taylor Swift by leaving a trail of breadcrumbs and frustratingly vague hints. I don’t consider myself as one of her fans, but damn, she’s the level of extra I aspire to achieve — and in case you may have missed it, this post is sprinkled with Taylor Swift references, particularly her Reputation era (I blame my dad for making my sister and me watch the Reputation tour). How many have you spotted so far?

Huge thank you to Kate, Cara, CW, Tiffany, Nandini, and Lili for conspiring with me and for sending reassurances whenever I started freaking out, which happened way too often (I’m sorry). To Jennie, for answering my questions regarding self-hosted WordPress. To my lovely co-hosts, Vicky and Lily, for being really understanding whenever I’d ask for a deadline extension (also, my #YARC2019 sign-up post will be live in a few hours, I promise!). I don’t deserve any of you.

Speaking of the trail of breadcrumbs I left behind, let’s revisit them, yes? In true Taylor Swift-esque fashion, I dropped a handful of frustratingly vague hints regarding my blogging plans for the year. And now it’s time to reveal a few secrets and schemes! Let’s see if you got any of them correctly.

Hint #1: Blog Tagline (๐ŸŒปโ›ˆ)

Shut up, Shealea’s blog tagline is, as the hint suggests, she is sunflowers & thunderstorms.

I was initially going for something more noticeably bookish, but then I realized that one of my motivations for coming up with a new blog is my wanting to have a more lifestyle blog-ish vibe. Being ‘That Bookshelf Bitch’ was really fun and all, but at this point, I’d like my brand to be about me, not just the books I read.

I have finally arrived at a point that I think it’d be okay for me to just be Shealea — and the Shealea I want y’all to meet (and maybe, in some ways, the Shealea I hope to become) is sunflowers and thunderstorms, that is, a soft compassionate soul and a ferocious force to be reckoned with. It is also my hope to encourage people to do the same — that it’s okay to not be strong all the time, and that sometimes, softness is what we need to be and to feel. You can read more about it if you’d like.

Hint #2: Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019 (๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿšโœจ)

Organizing a reading challenge that’s devoted to the works of Asian authors was an idea that stirred slowly, albeit constantly, in my mind all throughout December. I was more than a little hesitant because it would be a year-long commitment, and the maintenance would occasionally be demanding — so I was incredibly grateful that I found the best co-hosts for this project. For more information about YARC 2019, check out this page or follow us on Twitter: @YearOfTheAsian.

Hint #3: Cover reveal for a 2019 debut novel (๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ˜ฑ)

Yep. Unfortunately, I currently have no plans or intentions of writing a dragon book of my own (this was one of the common guesses, haha!). On a brighter note, the universe has given me the most incredible opportunity to reveal the cover for one of my most highly anticipated Asian-inspired fantasy debuts!

It’ll be my first time doing a cover reveal so I am extremely excited for it! Any guesses on which 2019 debut book it’ll be? I’d say that it’s fairly obvious, to be honest.

Hint #4: Caffeine Book Tours (โ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ“–๐ŸšŒ๐ŸŒŽ)

I believe someone got this hint right! Congratulations!

Anyway, the page for my new venture, Caffeine Book Tours, is still a work-in-progress. This is actually something that I’ve been wanting to do since the earlier part of 2018, but I was always a bit too busy to really work on it. But I am extremely excited that it’s officially A Thing, and I already have a few blog tours lined up for the year. Which means that y’all should keep checking the page every now and then for sign-ups!

Hint #5: Taylor Swift (โ˜ ๏ธ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘€โœจ)

This one is a silly little hint that subtly refers to Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do music video. That’s where I got the image that I used for my old blog’s gravestone (see above meme). Fun fact: I also considered opening this blog post with “That Bookshelf Bitch can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh. Because she’s dead.”

Hint #6: Blog tour for My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva (๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿพโžก๏ธ๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸšŒ)

I am not quite sure if I’m allowed to announce this yet, but I am genuinely hoping that my co-organizers will forgive me because oh my god, I am extremely psyched for this one! If you’ve been following Gail D. Villanueva on Twitter (if you don’t, you should do this now!), then you probably saw this tweet:

Yep, we weren’t just having lunch and exchanging late Christmas gifts. We were scheming! And y’all better be ready for it! Add My Fate According to the Butterfly on Goodreads, and if you can, pre-order a copy via Amazon or Book Depository, too.

Hint #7: Diversity Index (๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ“šโœจ)

As a huge advocate of diverse books, a page indexing all the diverse books I’ve read and featured on my blog is way overdue. I’m pleased to announce that I have finally got it up! It’s still a diamond in the rough, and it will take a while before the index is fully functional, but hey! Baby steps. I’ll get there.

Hint #8: Shut up, Shealea (๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿ”•๐Ÿ’ƒ)

This was a sad attempt of hinting at my new blog name. I was deliberately being very vague because I was so worried someone might actually guess the name correctly! If I’m being truthful, one of my secret frustrations with my previous blog was that my name wasn’t in it. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed being “that bookshelf bitch,” and I received a ton of compliments because of it — but I really prefer being called by my own name. I can vaguely recall a fellow book blogger referring to me as “bookshelf” instead of addressing me by my own name. It was both amusing and uncomfortable. Likewise, there had been occasions of other bloggers shortening my name into “Shea” or “She,” which is actually a huge pet peeve of mine. I’m starting to sound whiny, but regardless, for Shut up, Shealea, I am really hoping to make this blog feel more of a personal space that can better showcase my voice.

Hint #9: First book tour of the year (๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ’ญ๐Ÿ“•๐ŸšŒ)

Yep! The emojis are a hint regarding which book it is. Any guesses?

Hint #10: Pinterest (๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ“Œโœจ)

I’ve done something I swore I would never do: create a Pinterest account. I don’t have a problem with it per se, but the idea of manually pinning my blog posts and creating pinnable images for every post I write? I think I’m too lazy for that.

However, I had a ton of fun with making new aesthetics for this blog so I figured Pinterest just might be worth the try. I am still embarrassingly clueless about how it works, to be honest.

Pin this post on Pinterest!

You can share this post on other social media platforms, too — check out the buttons at the bottom of this post. If you really enjoy my content, maybe consider supporting me with a cup of coffee?

I’d love to hear from you!

๐ŸŒป What do you think of Shut up, Shealea so far? How are you liking the new look and new name?

๐ŸŒป What do you know about Pinterest? I’m totally lost, to be honest. Do you know of any guides, blog posts, or resources that can help me understand the site better? Better yet, leave your Pinterest account via comment and I’ll follow you as soon as I can!

๐ŸŒป How many Taylor Swift references did you find in this post?


Twitter: @shutupshealea โ€ง Pinterest โ€ง Goodreads โ€ง Bloglovin’

77 thoughts on “New Year, New Blog: Are you ready for it?

  1. Congratulations Shealea, for the new blog. It looks fantastic. Loved the new name and tagline and off course the new theme ๐Ÿ™‚ You are now motivating me to redesign my blog as well ๐Ÿ˜› Canโ€™t wait to see your future endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you! I am so glad you like the changes because I was more than a little nervous. ๐Ÿ˜‚ If you do decide to redesign your blog, then I hope you know my DMs are open for scheming and plotting! Iโ€™ll support whatever you do. ๐Ÿ’›

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the new look, Shealea! And the new blog name is soโ€ฆYOU. Itโ€™s a compliment, I swear. I am also trying to learn Pinterest to grow my blog stats. Best of luck with this new era of your blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jennilyn @ Rurouni Jenni Reads

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaaah, Iโ€™m glad my โœจ extra-ness โœจ has been well-received. I was more than a little nervous about disappointing people, tbh.

      Thank you so much for your support and kindness! ๐Ÿ’›

      Like

    1. Honestly, some people thought I was migrating to booktube. Nothing against booktubers, of course, but Iโ€™d die in front of a camera. Iโ€™m more comfortable with hiding behind my words. ๐Ÿ˜‚

      But aaaah yes, Iโ€™m a lot happier with this new blog โ€” and Iโ€™m glad that yโ€™all have been very supportive. ๐Ÿ’›

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am SO SO SO proud of you, and I am glad that your work wasn’t wiped completely off the internet. I love the new theme and now that you explained your hints I am surprised I didn’t get them! Love the TSwift refs, hahaha

    Love your Diversity Index, I put one together last year and it has really helped me to see where my gaps in reading diversity are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kaleena, Iโ€™m soft. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ’› Thank you, thank you, thank you for your love and support! Iโ€™m glad my TS references havenโ€™t annoyed you โ€” the Reputation tour is still stuck in my head. HAHAHA.

      Iโ€™ve also decided to include diversity tags in my book reviews, which has been more time-consuming than I anticipated (based on my review of The Gilded Wolves), but your work in helping international readers has really inspired me to do what I can in helping diverse books get into the radars and hands of diverse readers. No matter how time and energy consuming it gets.

      I look up to you so much! ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’›

      Like

  4. I’m so, so happy to see you back and your new blog looks fabulous, I love it so much โค Congratulations on making the movie and on all of your projects, current and upcoming, you're doing so much for this community, it wouldn't be the same without you. โค โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you, Marie! Iโ€™m a teensy bit worried about burning myself out, but everyoneโ€™s kindness and support (especially yours!) keep me going and I think โ€” fingers crossed โ€” that Iโ€™ll be fine. ๐Ÿ’›

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I really hope you wonโ€™t burn yourself out, but take it easy and slowly and everything will be okay. Always here if you ever need to talk about blogging things, or anything, really. Youโ€™ll do amazing, I know that ,youโ€™re brilliant. โค

        Like

  5. Congratulations Shealea! I’m happy to see the progress of your blogging career!! More blessings to come and hoping for your long successful career! Proud of you friend. โค

    PS. Thanks for the memories That Bookshelf Bitch chz
    PPS. Love the new design. Sablay soon ha ๐ŸŒป

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I canโ€™t believe you actually read my content. OH MY GOD. ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Thanks, fam! We donโ€™t talk often, but Iโ€™m always thankful to have you around. To-follow muna yung sablay na yan. ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒป

      Like

  6. I absolutely love this new theme, especially that tagline! I’m so excited to see what all you’ve been planning for this site ๐Ÿ˜ All the very best โค๏ธ
    I also followed you on Pinterest, I’m just getting the hang of it ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I followed you back! Hopefully, weโ€™ll get the hang of Pinterest soon. ๐Ÿ’›

      Thank you for your support, Charvi! As always, you are amazing and Iโ€™m so thankful to have you. ๐Ÿฅฐ

      Like

  7. RIP That Bookshelf Bitchโ€ฆYOU WILL BE MISSED! but uh ASDFKLSAFJKLASDFJKASLJ IM SO EXCITED FOR THIS NEXT PART OF YOUR BLOGGING JOURNEY SHEALEA โค This is going to absolutely amazing. I am always always here for you to freak out to, too ๐Ÿ™‚

    I can’t wait for all the amazing things you’re going to accomplish along with this new blog. (Finally found out what Tiger Rice Star is BUT I NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED YARCโ€ฆbut at least I guessed the blog tours one correct!! WHOOOO โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TIFFANY, I DO NOT DESERVE YOU. ๐Ÿ˜ญ Thank you for all your help in setting this up! And for all your patience because, I swear, I was a huge mess for a while. Iโ€™m always, always, always grateful to have you โ€” and of course, Iโ€™ve got your back, too. ๐Ÿ’›

      Your guesses made my day, honestly. BUT YAY YOU GOT ONE OF THE GUESSES RIGHT!!!

      Like

  8. Shealea! Iโ€™m so excited for you!! I definitely understand how terrifying it is to switch to a premium account (I did that last year and oh boy is it something else) but I love how you are focusing more on creating a website for yourself and what you want and switching the focus to that (though Iโ€™d be lying if I said Iโ€™m not still grateful for all the bookish content). Iโ€™m super excited to continue following you on your next step and if you ever need anything, Iโ€™m always in your corner! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you, Nicole! โ˜บ๏ธ Upgrading my plan felt like the HUGEST commitment, and I literally spent days weighing the pros and cons. It was… an experience. HAHA!

      Books have always been a huge, huge part of my life, so bookish content is definitely here to stay! You can count on that. But Iโ€™m also really excited to explore new areas and find new interests through this blog (recently, Iโ€™ve been looking into bullet journaling ๐Ÿ‘€).

      Anyway. Thank you for your kindness and support! It means the world to me to know that youโ€™ve got my back, and of course, I hope you know that Iโ€™m always here for you, too. ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’›

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right!? I was definitely super nervous when it did it, too, but I’m also really glad and feel like it was the right decision, in the end.

        Ooooh, I bet your bullet journals would be so amazing! I’m not skilled enough to do something that artsy, but I’m excited to see what else you discover on this new blogging step in your journey!

        Always! โค โค โค

        Like

    1. Annie, thank you so much for your enthusiasm! I was a teensy bit afraid of disappointing everyone, but aaaaah, yโ€™all have been really supportive and I truly donโ€™t deserve any of you. Iโ€™m currently working on a potential lineup of blog tours right now, and Iโ€™m crossing my fingers that itโ€™ll all run smoothly. ๐Ÿ’›

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Fran! Iโ€™m hoping to help diverse books get into the radars and hands of underrepresented diverse readers. Iโ€™ll be including diversity tags in my reviews, too! โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ’›

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my god, Iโ€™m sorry!!! I was a huge ball of anxiety and chaos, and I didnโ€™t want to put any more pressure on myself. But Iโ€™m so thankful that yโ€™all have been extremely supportive!

      AND AAH, I SEE THAT YOU FINALLY HAVE A BLOG. I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU โ€” AND I CANNOT WAIT FOR YOUR CONTENT. ๐Ÿ’›

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Alexia! Your support means the world to me. ๐Ÿ’› AND YES OH MY GOD WHEN I MADE THAT TWEET ASKING FOR PRETTY WORDS, I FELT REALLY BAD ABOUT USING A WORD THAT NO ONE SUGGESTED. ๐Ÿ˜ญ But Caffeine Book Tours feels just about right! And Iโ€™m excited to work on it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you, Justine! I canโ€™t believe Iโ€™m only noticing your icon right now, but oh my god, you look really adorable!!! ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’›

      Like

    1. Thank you, Nicay! And itโ€™s okay โ€” thereโ€™s no need to apologize! Iโ€™m nonetheless grateful to have your kindness and support. It really means so much to me. ๐Ÿ’›

      Like

  9. All of the Taylor Swift references in this blog post makes me want to watch the Reputation tour all over again! I swear when you were hinting about this, all I can hear on repeat is “Are you ready for it??” Also girl, your new blog design is looking fierce! With that said, I’m here for every shenanigan. Stay slaying, Shealea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BIANCA, I KID YOU NOT โ€” R U READY FOR IT WAS ON LOOP WHILE I WAS WRITING THIS BLOG POST. It was truly the anthem of my blog rebranding. ๐Ÿ˜‚

      As always, Iโ€™m very grateful for your support! Youโ€™re a gem and I love you. ๐Ÿ’›

      Like

  10. Welcome back Shealea! I was worried when I saw your tweets, I thought you won’t be coming back! ๐Ÿ˜ญ I’m in love with your new concept and excited for your upcoming content, they sound fantastic! But first, I’m so in for the Year of Asian Reading Challenge and heading off to signing up now!! ๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the scare, Tasya! I feel really bad about it, but I was also trying to figure things out and didnโ€™t want to put more pressure on myself so I felt like I had to be secretive for a while. But aaaah, Iโ€™m so thankful that you havenโ€™t given up on me! Your support means a lot. ๐Ÿ’›

      Like

    1. GO FOR IT GO FOR IT GO FOR IT! ๐Ÿ’› Iโ€™m still drafting my post about rebranding (because I want it to be as helpful as possible!) but it should be up within the first week of February.

      Thank you for all the kind words! ๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒป

      Liked by 1 person

  11. So glad to see you back, Shealea!! I’m excited to read your upcoming posts and book related projects this year. I love your new blog name. โค I won't be able to join The Year of the Asian challenge this year but I will be reading books written by Asian authors (I'm already reading The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco). Congratulations! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you, ate Bea! So glad youโ€™re on board with the changes โ€” I was a little nervous. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

      Iโ€™m sad that you wonโ€™t be able to join YARC, but Iโ€™m excited to hear that youโ€™re starting The Bone Witch trilogy! I know youโ€™re a huge romance reader so I can guarantee that youโ€™ll adore the second book. Iโ€™m looking forward to your review! ๐Ÿ’›

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thatโ€™s a common criticism about the first book, tbh. I also struggled with the pacing (although my reread was a lot more satisfying!). ๐Ÿ˜‚

          But The Heart Forger is more plot-driven and moves more quickly. I think youโ€™ll appreciate the first book more once youโ€™ve read the sequel. ๐Ÿ’›

          Like

  12. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

    Shealea, I’m so excited for your 2019! And I know I’ve been aware of all your shenanigans but seeing it all to come to fruition (or at least being halfway there) IS LEGITIMATELY MAKING ME FEEL SO SOFT. I can’t wait for you to show us everything you have up your sleeve. AND I AM SO EXCITED FOR My Fate According to the Butterfly!

    Take ass and kick names bb. I got yo flower!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH KATE.

      Always glad to share my secret shenanigans with you and Cara!!! AND EVEN MORE EXCITED TO CONQUER MALAYSIA WITH YOU. OUR BLOG BETTER BE SPAMMED WITH DOCUMENTATIONS OF OUR TRIP OMFG. ๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒป๐Ÿ’›

      Like

  13. I’m so glad to have you back!!! The Year of the Asian challenge is one of the things I’m most hyped for this year. I can’t wait to become the tapir I’ve always wanted to be. I didn’t see your hints on twitter but I laughed so much just now seeing how far off I was from guessing ANY of them (I mean, caffeine book bus? that’s the closest I could get oops). ๐Ÿ’–

    Liked by 1 person

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