Thursday, October 18, 2012

On blogging

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From Matt and I's honeymoon two years ago... I wanted a computer-related photo, okay?

If you're still reading this after months of me being a "bad" blogger, I've got some 'splaining to do. This month marks my two year anniversary of blogging. For the past few months, I've distanced myself from my blog a bit, which allowed me to really reflect on blogging and its role in my life.

When I first started blogging, things were great. I found community. I made friends. I had a creative outlet to express myself in. It was so positive, all the time. For the first year or so, I posted pretty consistently. Nowadays, I'm lucky if I can get in a few posts a month. So what happened? Ch-ch-changes.

  • I got busy. When I just started out blogging, it was my project to fill my time as I was unemployed and eagerly waiting to move to Japan. Now, with being a full-time student with a job and two internships, I barely have any free time.
  • I felt guilty. I feel like a lot of bloggers (including myself) have these delusions that if you don't blog, the world will be let down. I resented this feeling and because I can sometimes be conflict-avoiding person, I avoided my blog as much as possible.
  • I started comparing myself to others. I have always known that this was the kiss of death for bloggers, and yet it still happened. I looked at seemingly perfect women with their seemingly perfect lives and envied them. I became jealous of them and maybe even bitter at times. I hated that I felt this way. Blogging is supposed to be a place of positivity and inspiration, why did I let my insecurity take over like that? 
  • I felt pressure to buy new things all the time. Being a style blogger, obviously there's a lot of pressure to look good, and with that may involve shopping for new things and keeping your style fresh. I am not in a place in my life where I can do that. I didn't want to always want material things.  
  • I began to dislike my style I moved to LA and started working at Madewell, and my preferences for style changed. I disliked my cutesy girly style and wanted to grow up a bit. 
  • I felt limited by my 'style blog' niche. If I didn't like my style, I definitely wouldn't want to blog about it. 
  • I got discouraged by numbers. I cared about stats too much. I thought I didn't, but I did. Page views went down, the number of comments went down, and so what that said to me (on the deep subconscious level) was - nobody really cares about my blog anymore, so I don't need to put that much effort into it.
  • I began to blog for other people. If I wasn't really interested in style blogging anymore, who was I blogging for? 
  • I started to feel like blogging was a chore
  • I got stuck in a rut

There's that. I realize that the list above makes me seem like I have a lot of issues. I don't. I'm one of the most normal people I know. These are just thoughts and feelings that I've had in the past few months. 

So, what happened in the past few months as I've reflected on these things? 

  • I found myself less and less focused on materialistic things. OH, what a relief. Guys, for real. I'm in a pit of student loans right now. I buy food and pay painful Los Angeles rent and every once in a while I indulge in a sale item at Madewell. I need to not spend money right now. By not posting style posts as much, I don't feel that constant need to keep things fresh and different, which may involve a new item of clothing. 
  • I became more interested in lifestyle blogs. Because I didn't want to buy new things or feel that urge to want things, I stopped looking at style blogs as often as I once did. 
  • I got my fashion fix at school and work. Don't get me wrong guys. I still love clothes, style, and fashion. I mean, I go to fashion school. But now, I am constantly inspired by my fellow FIDM students, as well as my awesomely-dressed Madewell co-workers. 
  • I missed blogging, but not style blogging. I loved having an online journal of sorts. I loved the community. I loved being a part of something. I loved being able to express myself. 

So, what's next? Here's the thing: I'm going to be changing up my content. You may not see as many style posts. You may see more "what I did" posts or "what I'm thinking about" posts or "what inspires me" posts. The point is, I want to keep blogging, but I want to be true to myself. I want to have this outlet to express myself, but I don't want to be limited by a "niche". 

I guess I didn't need to write all this out in order to do that.  I rarely ever spill out my feelings like this on the blog, and to be honest, I feel a bit vulnerable and silly and maybe a bit petty. I mean, #bloggerwoes, right? But I want to be honest and open from now on. 

I'd love for you to keep reading. Whether you've started reading two years ago or two months ago, thanks for being a part of my life. I appreciate it, really.

79 comments:

  1. I've been going through the same thing! Taking outfit photos every day is so hard (especially since I take my own AND it's getting dark out earlier and earlier) and I've been really lackadaisical about posting. But I really like sharing tidbits of my life, so maybe a lifestyle blog is the way to go!


    Good for you for taking time to step back and figure things out :)


    xo,
    Shay

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  2. I feel like this is a really common feeling right now. I was just talking to a friend of mine the other day about how style blogging has changed lately. It isn't about remixing anymore but more about new and fancy things! So its hard when you are on a budget and trying to make it work.
    So all the power to you for doign whats best for you!!
    And you still have a reader in me!!! :)
    Kirsten
    {travandkirk.blogspot.com}

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  3. girl you know i'm not going anywhere.
    love the new look.

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  4. Part of my love affair with your blog has always been your anecdotes and sharing the exciting things you are doing with your life. I was always in awe of how you paired certain pieces, sure, but YOU were what brought me. Not your style or daily outfit posts. So I applaud your brave admission of your changing place in life and plan to be here still as you transition into a new type of blog that feels more true to you.

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  5. you just explained exactly how I have been feeling about blogging. Thank you,Kristine! I know what you mean about being bitter towards other bloggers. I've been disgusted with bloggers who can afford $600 shoes and $200 sweaters and stuff. It's ridiculous.

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  6. I really really love this. your lifestyle post were always my favorite. :)

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  7. I love this post! thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
    These are the kinds of things I love reading. So inspiring and real.
    I love your style but I'll love it even if it isn't a style blog too :)
    Blogging should never feel like a chore. And once something you once loved starts feeling like a chore, there needs to be some change. And I'm so happy for you that you found that change for yourself.
    Keep it up girl & I hope you keep blogging <3

    happyleeliving.blogspot.com

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  8. Love the blog and love hearing from you. I haven't ever come for your outfits ;)

    Good luck with everything!

    trudyisawesome.blogspot.ca

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  9. Thanks for sharing this Kristine! I can relate to this on a lot of levels. Between work and school (and the occasional rut) blogging can most certainly start to feel like a chore. I do still love blogging and sharing outfits, so I hope to find a new balance as school starts to wind down in the next week.

    Looking forward to seeing where your blog goes and how it grows!

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  10. oh Kristine, you know I have absolutely adored your blog for all 2 years. I think what I have enjoyed the most about your blog is that you turned even the most stylish of posts into ones with little tid-bits from your personal life. It gave me reason to love and connect with you as a blogger, not a fashion blogger. For that reason, I keep coming back and enjoying whatever you post, regardless of when you post. :)


    Love your honesty with this post, especially since I think I'm going through something similar right now. Best of luck to you in where you take your blog moving forward! I'll be reading! xo

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  11. I love you Kristine. I love your raw honesty. Everyone goes through similar emotions at one point. I'm so happy you shared your feelings with us. I'm one of those that started following when you started. I felt an instant connection with you once I found out Matt served in Japan and you guys were moving there. Though, I rarely commented I loved following you on your adventures in Japan. I'm excited for this new transition in your life. It's going to be so great.


    I'm loving the new look of your blog, by the way! ;)

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  12. I am looking forward to the general lifestyle change over. I used to read some of your old posts and I really enjoy them. I DO look forward to seeing how your style has changed too though. I am kind of struggling finding my own style as an adult.

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  13. I love how honest you are Kristine, I have always loved your blog and have often logged on to read only your blog when I've felt down or in great need of a confidence boost or 'cutesy' boost. Your writing is so great and I really do admire where you are and all that you have done in your life so far - and obviously I don't, and probably won't ever, know everything that you have done and been through. I remember throughout my university days, I struggled a lot and didn't know what I was doing there and I felt I wanted to give up so many times. And I don't mean to sound cheesy, but honestly you did help me through, even in the slightest of ways. Even if just inspiring me to go on, by seeing how you're making it through your life! I realize this could sound quite crazy and kind of obsessive, but I'm not. Just admiring your blog etc. you actually emailed me back a few times as I was looking to move to Japan last year, which unfortunately didn't go to plan :( but thank you for that too.
    Me and my boyfriend are actually moving to china in the next week or so to start teaching English! So maybe the universe was just telling me Japan wasn't for me at that time.
    The thing is, as you are saying, certain moments in life get you down and can make you look too into situations too much, and everyone's heads can get a little boggledy sometimes. We all go through it, and I really wish you the best of luck in whatever you end up doing blog and life wise.
    Remember that no matter the size of the statistics, you always have your fans, they may just not check in as often because of other things in their lives. I wouldn't take it personally :)

    I apologies for this essay. Sheesh... My bad!
    Take it easy, and it's always good to get some clarity in your mind outside of blogging.
    Peace x

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing this. I actually was wondering where you went or what happened because I always really liked reading your blog. I look forward to the content you are going to be bringing forward. My blog has always been kind of a mix of style and lifestyle, which has suited me, but it isn't for everyone. A lot of style bloggers don't like to share personal information about themselves on their blogs and a lot of lifestyle bloggers don't like to really showcase their style so much. The great thing about your blog is that it is YOUR BLOG. You can make it into anything you want or DON'T want it to be! I wish you well in all your new ventures with your blog and beyond into your own life. I will follow you still because, like I said, I love your writing and I like hearing all your little adventures. I've only been blogging for about a year and a half and I've already felt all of these things you did as well. I got married last month and didn't blog for like two weeks, which was unusual for me but it was JUST the revamp I needed at the same time. It's crazy what you can learn about yourself when you step back and look at things unplugged.

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  15. i like how you have decided to blog for you! i am sure that will translate over to a new love for blogging. and as far as reading goes, well i'm excited to see what the new kristine or polly brings :)

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  16. I made the transition from reading style blogs to lifestyle blogs earlier this year. I still love to keep up with fashion, but I want to read something with more heart. I look forward to where you are taking this blog, and I know it will be fabulous as always!

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  17. i haven't been blogging nearly as long as you have, but i went through the same rut (envy, pressure, student loans, and an interest in lifestyle blogging) really recently and came to the same conclusion. we run our blogs--just like we run our lives. if we're not happy, it doesn't matter so much if anyone else is happy. if i like my outfit and find a spare moment to snap some photos on my iphone, that's awesome, but i don't have to feel like the quality of my blog has gone down if my page views suffer, my photos aren't high-res, or if i post about my thoughts/feelings. the way i see it, we're opening ourselves up to a larger support group and community, especially by blogging about our rut instead of pretending it isn't there. you were one of the first "style" blogs i ever read and i'm so glad i've gotten to follow along, as i will continue to do through this transition.


    ps. i LOVE your new layout. it's perfect and i think it will inspire you to do the kind of writing you're meant to do.

    writeslikeagirlblog.blogspot.com

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  18. Hi, I've never commented before and I may have had too much wine right now... but I'm super excited about where your blog is going. As some others have said, I didn't just come for your outfits! I look forward to hearing more about your lifestyle and whatever else you want to share. Thank you for being so honest, I often wonder if the feelings you explained is also felt by a lot of other style bloggers... :)

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  19. My favorite posts are the ones where people are honest and even a little vulnerable. You should keep it up! I've loved your blog for awhile. It was nice to hear you say these things because I relate to those feelings and I bet a lot of people do!
    www.funsizetessa.blogspot.com

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  20. I love your blog Kristine! It's so nice to read about somebody who is so honest. Your blog should be for you, not everybody else. I'm excited to read your lifestyle posts. I love your style posts, but some of my favourite posts are your Japan posts and your currently posts. As you said, they have more heart. Also, I love your blog's new look. It looks so nice and clean!

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  21. your blog will always be one of my favorites!

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  22. I was feeling that you were headed this way and I'm proud of you for it. My life has become much better since I quit my style blog. You can't help but feel scrutinized all the time, and not in ways that matter. I have a lifestyle blog, more of a random journal, now and I feel much better. Sometimes I get the urge to do a personal style post, but I'm afraid of the slippery slope. I don't want to feel so dominated by materialistic urges. I have also seen some style bloggers just fall apart recently because they ignored or sugarcoated their personal lives. Anyways, I'll stop rambling now. - Leah, leahwise.wordpress.com

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  23. I feel like I was nodding for the entire time I read that. I agree, my dear! I cannot wait to see what those new posts bring!
    xoxo

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  24. Awesome! I am super glad you are going in the lifestyle direction. I love the combination of style and lifestyle. I actually don't love when style bloggers only wear designer items and have nothing to say. Really hard to relate to, so super excited to see what's next!

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  25. I guess you can tell from the number of comments on this posts that people still read your blog, and that they still will! The choice is obviously completely yours, and you shouldn't "have" to do anything that's uncomfortable. I'd like an inside scoop into your life and inspiration, especially now with Madewell and school, so that sounds great!

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  26. You're growing and changing, so it makes sense that your blog would evolve with you. Looking forward to reading your new posts! :)

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  27. Thank you for this post. I can totally relate. Ever since I've had a fashion blog I've never felt so materialistic and I don't want my readers to feel the need to shop all the time either. Your blog will inspire other no matter what you write about.

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  28. And thiiiis is why we like you so much. You "keep it real" with both us and yourself, and that's always a good thing. I'll be looking forward to more of what's been swirling around in your mind lately. Glad you're "back"!

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  29. This is a great post. I just started reading your blog a month ago and fell in love with your style. Now I am in love with your writing. Whatever you do I'll be there listening :)


    Alexis


    swaney e

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  30. Thanks for sharing all this. I like your style, but I also like your words and thoughts and it's that that really draws me to your blogs. Don't get me wrong I like clothes, but I steer away from straight up fashion blogs because they make me want stuff on a surface level that I'd rather not have deep down, even if money wasn't an object.

    http://alisonleighjones.blogspot.com

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  31. Oh girl, don't worry. We've all been there. We all get insecure about our blogs as we look at stats and other bloggers who seemingly have perfect and happy lives, with perfect wardrobes and little families to match. But comparing, like you said, is the "kiss of death". I think once you stop putting pressure on yourself and get back into doing it for yourself you will love it again. Hope to read from you soon, whenever that may be. I'm still a follower ;)
    xo TJ

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  32. Tour blog is really cool ! J'adore !

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  33. Hey Kristine! I've been reading your blog for over a year now (I'm not a commenter sorry) and I would love to read whatever or whenever you would like to post. I would be sad if you stopped blogging. Thanks for keeping it real.

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  34. Amen, and good job being true to what really interest you. :)

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  35. I'm a new follower. I really like your blog! Being in my 30's, I feel like I've grown into my own and know what I want and what matters to me. You're still young. Don't be too hard on yourself. You've got a good thing going here. It's so impressive! Whatever you decide on will be great too. IF you lose folllowers, whatever. You may gain a new audience as well. Either way, do it for you and love what you put out into the internet world and this blog can continue to be very rewarding! x


    http://lovelyunnecessities.blogspot.ca/

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  36. I read your blog alllll the time and I'm glad you're not going anywhere. I'll try to comment more - deal?

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  37. yes.. keep blogging.. i would love to keep reading your blog.. :)Irene Wibowo

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  38. Aw thanks Amanda :) And you totally don't have to comment more - I'm terrible at commenting! It was super irrational of me to equate comments to success.

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  39. Girl, kudos to you for taking your own outfit photos. That is admirable. And yes - it is such a hassle to take outfit photos, especially when you have to get the right lighting and everything :\ I totally feel you. And thanks :)

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  40. I think it's a really common feeling, too. I know every now and then I'll read posts just like the one I've written. I guess a lot of bloggers get in ruts sometimes. I think a lot of them just have really high standards for themselves and their blog. And yes, I agree with you that style blogging has definitely changed! It's a different atmosphere out there.

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  41. Sarah, you are awesome. Thanks for being so supportive all the time. I mean that!

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  42. Totally. I mean I know a great part of the blogging community is that there are all kinds of people, but it's hard to not compare yourself to those types sometimes...

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  43. Oh good! This is so awesome to hear :)

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  44. Thank you so much! I agree with you about "once something you once loved starts feeling like a chore, there needs to be some change". So true. I'm glad I realized that rather than giving up blogging altogether.

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  45. I am so glad we can relate to each other! I know we started blogging around the same time, and I know you are one super busy woman, so it's so great to hear that you've been feeling the same way. I look forward to seeing where your blog goes, too!

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  46. Katrina, thank you so much for being so amazing since day one! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support. And I hope you get out of your rut as well - I love your blog!

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  47. one of my friends on twitter said the other day that she's not interested in more followers, she's interested in readers...i loved that! being 100% true to what you want to share may change the number of followers you have (or it might not!) but will keep the readers around...which is really cool. i'll be reading along as long as you're posting here, cute girl!

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  48. I just love this post! I love your blog, it is seriously one of the very few fashion blogs that I actually enjoy reading. I love lifestyle blogs, and I think if your life changing, it's okay for your blog to change too :) Lifestyle blogs are great. I love them, and they seem a lot less narcissistic than a lot of other fashion bloggers' sites.

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  49. <3 you, pretty lady! Can't wait to read more about your LA adventures!

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  50. Thanks so much Sasha! Can't believe you've been reading for so long. And I can't believe I've been away from Japan for so long either :( And thanks for noticing the new look!

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  51. It's kind of a funny thing, right? I don't know what changed or how it changed exactly, but the things I used to like aren't what I like now. And it's also a matter of how you want to present yourself, too. Tricky tricky. And thanks :)

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  52. Ok, first - CONGRATS on moving to China! That is so exciting. I am so happy for you, even if it isn't Japan ;) I know you guys will have such great experiences. Moving out of the country is a huge life-changing experience, and I am so excited for you. and your boyfriend. I hope you blog your adventures!


    And wow, thank you so much for your kind words. It truly, truly means so much to me!

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  53. You are totally right Frannie. I think in my mind I just created a box, and it was nice and neat and filled with things that make sense for a style blog, and working outside of that box scared me a bit. I finally just felt like I needed to stop overthinking it and just blog what I want! And CONGRATS on the marriage!! That is super exciting :)

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  54. I started following you about a year and a half ago. It's funny because I didn't follow you because of your style posts. I followed you because you had recently moved to Japan with your husband, and at that time I had recently moved to England with my husband. I loved reading your posts and seeing pictures of Japan. My husband is obsessed with Japanese culture and really wants to visit. I also could really relate to you about being in a different country and how it's definitely a learning experience. We will be moving back to New York in January and i'm super excited! I love how you admitted to your insecurities and jealousy. I would much rather follow someone who admits to their insecurities, rather than a blogger who's life seems perfect. You are lucky to have so many people who care about what you write. I have started a couple of blogs but I never stuck with it because I felt no one would care about what I have to say. Sorry for the long comment! I will keep reading as long as you keep writing!

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  55. Love you and this post. Can't wait to read your future blog.... Even with less style posts!!! :) good for you for being honest. Keep blogging! Xoxo

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  56. love your honesty and i feel a lot of the SAME feelings as you!!! i started out as a lifestyle blogger and now am slowly becoming a fashion blogger and sometimes feel like im blogging for others which is not good! and looking at other fashion blogs makes me buy too much as well!! AND i want a more sophisticated and not cutesy look too!!!

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode

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  57. this past year, i've had to let go of blogging obligations i was holding myself too. it's so nice to just be able to step back and stop posting so much for awhile, when needed. so good for you.

    i can't imagine how hard it would be to keep up with fashion blogging. i fully support the change, and i'll be reading as long as you're posting!

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  58. This is not petty at all! I love the honesty! I had a "style blog" for a few months a couple of years ago and I went through all the same feelings you just described. So I just made that blog private and completely stopped updating it. It was fun at first, but it quickly becomes a chore and the comparing sets in... and yes, the constant need to buy MORE clothes! I already have to fight that urge enough WITHOUT a style blog! But I did/do love your blog and have always admired your style. But I respect your decision and that you honestly explained it to everyone.

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  59. i love this post. i'll follow you regardless of content bc you just seem so sweet :) but i know what you mean, i feel like a lot of us "fashion bloggers" have been getting sick of standing in front of the camera like lifeless poles. i know im over it, its fun to include more natural photos of actual life instead of having it feel so forced. i am excited to see your journey in california!










    Xo,
    steffy
    Steffys Pros and Cons

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  60. You know what? You spoke for me about how I feel about blogging. I have a craft (mainly card making) blog for two years, and I feel constant (and delusional) pressure to buy new tools and materials and show new design and techniques, etc. I want to try something different and sometimes I want to write about something completely unrelated to crafting, but I limit myself because I care about popularity (=statistics). I have loved your blog for your honesty, sense of humor, and love for Japan (I am from Niigata, Japan, right next to Toyama prefecture where you used to live) any way, so your change in style doesn't affect me at all. Change is what's expected since you're still so young and full of potential. Don't get stuck. Move on. You can even stop liking Japan! I hope you enjoy everything you do. Any post will be appreciated by me and many other readers.

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  61. I think it's so interesting how many people out there are transitioning to reading lifestyle blogs as well! Maybe it is the "heart" aspect you mentioned. Thanks!

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  62. Bridget Hunter-LynottOctober 20, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    Now here is the Polly I know. The Polly I've always known. The Polly who after a long non-eventful day still would huddle on the couch with me and talk about nothing. Welcome back. Love you.

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  63. I've had you bookmarked for over a year and it was great to see your journey in Japan and back and all the outfits along the way, but not really for the clothes (although they were wonderful!) as much as the writing that went with them. I think anything you blog, whether that's an outfit, idea, recipe, outing, or deep thoughts, still has YOUR personal stamp on it, which makes your site so special. So keep doing YOU. Glad to see you've hit the "reset" button and can do things the way that makes the most sense to your life right now :)

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  64. Aw, Bridget I miss you. I hope I can visit you sometime soon! You still owe me that phone call ;)

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  65. Haha, I would never stop liking Japan! Thanks Mariko :)

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  66. Steffy, it's super refreshing to hear you say that, since I admire your fashion blog so much. I'm glad I'm not alone.

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  67. Haha, right?! I don't need ANOTHER reason to buy more clothes. And thank you, I find it really interesting that so many people have felt the same feelings.

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  68. I like this - I feel like bloggers have this pressure that they need to post so consistently - but once you just step back a bit it's like a breath of fresh air. I love your posts all the time, even though you don't post as often it is always a treat. And thanks, Angela :)

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  69. I have read your blog for at least a year- I am so happy to hear that you are focusing on lifestyle! I used to read style blogs, but I found that after awhile they leave you feeling empty. I think sharing real life is beautiful and i'm happy to see what you share with us. I was always most excited to see your adventures, not just your clothes :)

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  70. Good for you!! One thing that is fun about this blog is that you don't seem afraid to embrace change and do your own thing, whether in style or life. That is a pretty unique quality to have. I am excited to see your new "grown up style" and hear about your adventures! yay yay yay! :D

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  71. Hey Kristine! I love this post so much I referenced it in my blog. I hope thats ok. BTW I love reading about what you are doing because I was very close to going to the same school when I was younger.
    -Shannon
    Stylewithshannon.com

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  72. I am from Spain.
    I discovered your blog thanks to Clothedmuch. I started reading fashion/style/beauty blogs like 2-3 years ago as an inspiration, but than I discovered that they had a lot of different looks meaning : 400 trousers, 5000 skirts, 200 shoes, etc., they made very little use of the same garment, a very expensive high brands wardrobe and also they go shopping like every week (called New in). I saw how 20 year old or so bloggers can buy very expensive stuff, I am 31 I have a daughter and a mortgage and that seems like tooo much. The truth was that at first I started to buy clothes a lot more than I usually do from Zara, Mango, Topshop.... and I can't afford that.
    I was very happy to discover Clothedmuch and your blog not only because it was more budget friendly, but also because you made it look stylish and gave me a lot of ideas on how to use the same garment and make it look different. Also you have a great taste and you mix patterns VERY WELL.
    But I also understand that you can feel pressured.

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  73. I'm pretty late to add my comment, but I've always enjoyed your blog, outfit posts or not! I have the tiniest blog around, but even I feel pressure sometimes about what I post, so I can't imagine how it has been for you. So congrats on this new leaf, and I look forward to seeing your blog evolve!

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  74. Such a good post! Thanks for sharing. Really, I'm scared of getting caught up in those things too and it's good to hear your honesty about it.

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  75. It's your blog, and it can be whatever you want it to be. Don't compare yourself to others - we like YOU! I can't wait to see how it evolves! I know mine has. And it seems healthy - we evolve and change as people, it makes sense that your online life would do the same. Bring it on :)

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  76. I love this post so much! Your vulnerability has given me the courage to be more me and to stick to my heart regarding my blog. I don't (and, prolly will never) have nearly as many followers as you but I feel the same way. I felt the pressure to have my blog become a certain way and after much thought, Ive decided to keep it simple and very me. Thanks for opening up!! xoxo

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  77. Kimberly DoblanderNovember 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    I love this post! I was exactly that way when I first starting blogging and now I have gotten to the point where I eliminate any of those negative thoughts or feelings from my mind and replace them with positive ones.

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