Blog Confessions (+ Insecurities)

January 3, 2018

Meghan Donovan at home I wit & whimsy

As I sat down to write my 2018 goals and as I had some time to think over the holidays, I thought about how I really wanted to improve wit & whimsy. More truthfully, I started to think critically about why I felt like w&w was stalling somewhat vs. growing.

Something I particularly struggled with all year was watching my Instagram following decline. I know I’m far from alone in feeling this way given their algorithm but waking up every morning to less followers (and gaining less than 1K in the course of over a year) was disheartening every day and made me feel like I was failing. It nagged at me every.single.day.

So while home with some downtime I started to dive into what I could control and do differently. How I could change. I happened to be reading a book during this time that touched on the subject and it said how much Instagram is about the emotion as it is the visual. I feel like I give so little on my Instagram through captions and Stories. I share but I don’t know if I really let my followers in and let you guys feel like you know me more. I’ve been somewhat crippled by fear that showing more of myself, narrating my life, opening up more… that people will judge me and critique me. And I have constantly allowed that fear to get in the way of doing more.

A snippet of what goes through my head? I’m awkward on camera because I’m not confident about it. Still images let you hide so much more. When I take selfies I have double chins and one eye that closes more than the other when I smile. I’m not camera-ready, perfect-makeup-every-day like I feel a lot of other bloggers are that I follow and it has been intimidating.

I’m also 32. When I started blogging all that mattered were your blog posts and the content you were putting up on your .com. When I started wit & whimsy there was no Twitter. No Pinterest. and certainly no Instagram. I had no way to predict that so many new platforms demanding attention + personality would become a part of blogging! And I’ve posted over 2,600 blog posts in my eleven years. 2,600!! WOAH.

People also left comments on blog posts more back in the day! I feel like I’ve seen that decline so much. I live for your guys’ comments and emails in all honesty! I usually can’t wait to reply to them! But I see so many fewer comments and emails than I used to.

And I recognize that when I started blogging there were far fewer fish in the sea. Now the blogging community is so overwhelming. So competitive (and repetitive sometimes!) It feels like a never-ending stream of content to keep up with. But I of course want to be creating content that makes me someone that you guys trust, want to engage with and get to know.

And because blogging isn’t my full time job a lot of my day is spent doing boring things like building PPT decks, answering emails or doing conference calls. It isn’t all photo shoots and cafe lunches and trip after trip. (I would say that on average 30% of each week of mine is spent doing blog-related things and 70% is spent running my consulting business.)

(On the flip side, a part of me is sometimes grateful for not having a big audience so I am less susceptible to criticism or hearing things about myself that I already know or am insecure about.)

Anyhow, I wanted to open up more honestly here to share what’s been running through my head on repeat of late. After eleven years of blogging and sharing on social media, I feel as though I’ve hit a bit of a wall and I wanted to be open + transparent about it. I feel like I’ve let myself down somewhat and somewhere in the past few months I lost my blog-related hustling mojo. When I look at the bloggers who I really enjoy following along with they have that hustle factor and that openness factor. And while I’ve been busy enjoying their stuff, I’ve managed to misplace the strategy needed to build up wit & whimsy and foster this awesome community that I have in you guys.

If you guys have a few minutes, I’d love to hear your open + honest thoughts on how I can do better. You can share by emailing me directly meghan [@] witwhimsy.com, by filling out the Ask Meghan form or if you’d prefer to be anonymous, you can fill out this form.

I’m going to continue to think on this, read your guys’ comments and recommendations, then take time to further reflect and then begin to strategize some thoughts on what I can do to make following wit & whimsy a more worthwhile experience. Tomorrow I’m also sharing my 2018 goals which will include an item related to this topic.

I hope you guys know how grateful I am for your readership and for following along on my journey. Reach out whenever with questions, if you need outfit help, beauty recommendations or anything! I love hearing from you guys!! Thank you so, so much.

p.s. my hopes for the new year & what I decided to do less of last year.

[Bekka Palmer Photography]

25 comments on “Blog Confessions (+ Insecurities)”

  1. Love your blog! Your weekly roundups are my absolute favorite and something I look forward to each week (my bank account not so much). Appreciate the consistency with your content.

    I’ll be transparent as well. I’ve tuned out from reading other blogs for some of the reasons you cited, repetitiveness and not relateable. I find myself feeling down from seeing and reading about these glamourous blogger trips as I head off to my 9-5 desk job. For me, I read blogs to feel good, inspired and gain ideas. Your blog does just that. Hope this feedback helps! Happy New Year!! Thank you.

    1. I LOVE doing the weekly roundup so am thrilled to hear you enjoy them. Thank you so much for the kind words! I really always want this to be a positive, uplifting & relatable space and need to remind myself of that on certain days! Really appreciate you following along, Betsie!!

  2. I really enjoy your blog posts, especially weekly roundup. My only criticism would be the price point of some of your clothes are out of my range for casual wear (I’m a middle aged working professional mother and my casual wear is less of a focus for me personally, no shade). I’m probably not the demographic of your typical reader but I will also say I enjoy the ‘reading’ content more than just pics of outfits. I say spend less time on posed photos and more on your ideas, thoughts, insights, articles you like, etc.

    1. Susan you hit on something I’ve been struggling with. I have photos and then sit down to do the post and am at a loss for words. It may be a quantity vs. quality thing I am dealing with that I hadn’t fully realized. Focusing on “ideas, thoughts, insights, articles” is a great way to sum it up and am going to look to do this more moving forward. THANK YOU for taking the time to comment!

      1. I’m with Susan! The photos are great, and you obviously have lovely personal style, but what is most interesting to me is your writing and your recommendations for books and articles. The internet is full of noise, and I love having a blogger I trust who can recommend other great content that’s got substance. Don’t try to compete with all that superficial content – yeah it’s pretty, but it’s got no soul!

        1. I am so glad you find my recommendations trustworthy, Liz! That means the world to me!! Thank you for the uplifting words + taking the time to share them!!

  3. Love the honesty of this post, and I so relate in so many ways. This kind of work is a constant mind game- opening yourself up, being your own boss, being your own harshest critic, being forced to do a “competitive analysis” every time you scroll instagram just because you can’t help yourself- I SO GET IT. Not easy, but when it is rewarding, it is just the best, right? Keep on keepin’ on, Meghan! I adore you and your blog!

    1. Jenn, THANK YOU!! So appreciate you relating and completely agree with the sentiment of the nature of what we do being a mind game on certain days. Some days I feel like “I’ve got this!” and others I’m telling myself I’m a complete failure – ha! Need to find a better balance of what works. So glad to have met you through our blog/online world oh so long ago!! Appreciate your words <3

  4. I just found your blog this year, and it’s been a highlight for me, so know that you added at least one new fan this year (on the blog and IG). I’d guess I’m a bit older than most of your audience (I’m 47), but I like to think that style and good taste are ageless. 🙂 I appreciate you sharing your concerns and insecurities – we all have them, and I think sometime just acknowledging them makes them seem smaller and less of a burden. At the very least it’s a burden you no longer have to carry alone.

    A couple of thoughts for you. Disregard what doesn’t help, and keep whatever does. 1) I have found that sometimes when we feel stuck, we are often already in transition; we just haven’t fully found our way through yet. But it’s coming, as long as you keep paying attention. 2) Being hard on yourself is almost never the answer. Giving yourself a break and allowing yourself to feel what you feel but also cutting yourself some slack can work wonders in finding the way forward. 3) Keep focusing on the quality, rather than quantity. But 4) Don’t be afraid to take risks, because that’s where the magic is found.

    You already seem like someone who hasn’t been afraid to step off the ledge and take those leaps of faith. Keep that faith, and know that you have more support than you realize, even if we’re not always vocal about it. Happy New Year and wishing you growth and good things in 2018!

    1. This comment, Marcia!! <3 Thank you for the uplifting words and reminder of what's important. I am going to keep coming back to this as I think these are such good notes for times when I feel stuck or down. So love having you as a reader!

  5. I love you and your blog precisely because you aren’t “camera-ready, perfect-makeup-every-day” like other bloggers. That is wholly unrelatable – who really lives like that?! As a 30-something New Yorker with a demanding day job myself, I love how relatable you are. Keep being you!

    My guess is that most of your followers are like me and follow you because you are like us, and you opening up more will only make us like you more! Hope that helps and can’t wait to see where you go in 2018 🙂

  6. Meghan,

    You are one of the first bloggers I followed and continue to follow. Most I follow and then unfollow as I find them to come across as unrealistic or unrelatable. I envied how you left OPR and followed your dreams and passion. You took a risk and while you think you stalled, I see you as extremely successful! I enjoy reading your blogs and seeing how you style clothing. I especially enjoy when you do round ups and I bookmarked the post on places you love to shop online. Try not to be too hard on yourself and compare yourself to others. There is a reason why you have so many followers. While the # didn’t grow like you hoped, you do have a loyal following already and we love you! 🙂 On a personal note, I am finding this book extremely helpful in helping me with my insecurities, comparisons, etc. You should check it out. Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff, PhD. Good luck and happy new year!

    1. Laura – hi!! So lovely to hear from you & thank you for following along all of these years! Love that we go all the way back to our OPR days! I so appreciate your encouragement and am glad you love the roundups + other recommendations I share. It means the world to hear that! And I just added that book to my Amazon cart – THANK YOU for the reco. It sounds like the perfect read for my mindset + this time of year!

  7. So glad you’re keeping it real and sharing. I often feel this way even NOT having a personal style blog.!It seems everything in this moment of time demands building up a public personality and picture-perfect content; but it’s all about comfort zone and what feels natural. I have followed you since the beginning because of this and will always have Wit & Whimsy as a first read of the day; no matter the platform. Lots of love!

    1. Thank you, thank you Jenna!! You’re so right that it’s not limited to bloggers – this pursuit of pretty and perfection! Need to remind myself that being me and just me is ok!! <3 you

  8. Hi there! I am a relatively new follower, and I just want to echo what others have said. I love the weekly roundup, and I agree – I would love to hear more of your voice. Those are the blogs that I have stuck with over the years – not the ones where everything seems posed. Really appreciate this post!!

  9. Dear Meghan,

    I am from Europe, and when I moved to the US you were the first blogger I started to follow. While we have many bloggers in Europe too, where I am from, Switzerland, it is not as popular. I immediately fell in love with your blog, the pictures, the classy style and writing content. I started following other bloggers and honestly you are one of the only ones I really enjoy. Instagram became so unrealistic and superficial with all those posts. You are keeping it real and relatable, so the only one I will actually never unfollow. You are different from all the other bloggers with your intellect and class!!!! I am inspired by your blog and hope to have my own blog one day as well. All the best!!!!

  10. I don’t know how long I’ve been following you + your blog, but it has been a while and I always look forward to your content! It’s real and relatable which is what I look for these days in a blogger. I love anything fashion related, travel posts, and as a fellow New Yorker, any NYC recs! You’re doing great on the blog front, so keep it up 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Kaitlyn! So glad to have had you hanging around these parts for quite some time 🙂 One of my personal goals this year is to explore more new-to-me NYC spots so keep an eye out for that! Really appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  11. Dear Meghan, I love your blog! And you are so lovely, and very polished and camera ready from where I am sitting!!!! I really enjoy your fresh and effortless aesthetic. I used to live in NYC. Your bright, thoughtful content and sweet street style makes me miss those endless walks and even longer subway commutes where you can just reflect on it all. We are all with you! Navigating life and trying to figure it out.
    Don’t forget to enjoy the journey, remember our twenties? I can’t, because I was too focused on what comes next. But we did it! We have arrived! I echo the above comments, keep doing you! Authenticity and quality is what keeps me coming back! Plus, Yay to all the neutrals!

    1. Claire, THANK YOU!! It is so true that we are all navigating and I appreciate you reminding me of that fact! LOVE the sentiment of having arrived in our 30s – HECK YES! Truly, thank you so much – so lucky to have you following along!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.