As the year draws to a close and I’m coming up on the two-year anniversary of this blog, I’m starting to ponder the future. While I have no plans to end “Recovering Shopaholic” (so don’t worry about that!), I may want to change it in some way. I have some thoughts about how I might want to do this, but it’s not only my opinion that matters!
A Brief History of this Blog
When I launched this blog back in January 2013, I had no idea how many people might read it. As is true of all blogs, it started out small. I was mostly writing for myself at first and chronicling my own personal journey. Before too long, I had a handful of readers and was thrilled to get my first comment towards the end of my first month. Things grew steadily from there, with a few bursts along the way as a result of guest posts on more established blogs like “Project 333” and “Be More with Less.”
Fast-forward to today and I have a relatively large following. There are now hundreds of readers who are receiving my posts via email and through feed readers and social media. I feel blessed that my words have been able to reach and touch so many people and I am thankful to all of you for tuning in.
Please Complete My First Reader Survey
As I consider making shifts to the focus and direction of my blog, I would like to get your input. As such, I have created my very first reader survey and I hope that many of you will do me the favor of completing it. The survey includes just 5 multiple choice questions and should take only 2-3 minutes of your time. For those who want to provide additional input, there is an optional text field at the end, but that’s only for those who have the time and inclination to share more.
I would greatly appreciate your taking the time to complete the survey. It may be accessed via the following link:
The survey is completely anonymous and I want you to be as honest as possible in your responses. I write this blog for you and I want it to be the best possible resource for this community. I am dedicated to helping other shopaholics (and women who are dissatisfied with their wardrobes and style) reach a better and happier place. Your survey responses will help me decide on future post topics, as well as potential products and service offerings I may consider launching.
You’re welcome to provide feedback in the comments section of this post as well. As the holidays are coming up and most of us will likely get busier and busier, I would appreciate your completing the reader survey on or before Friday, November 21st. After I’ve had a chance to read and process all of the responses, I will share a summary of what I learn in a future post.
Thank you in advance for helping me to make this blog an even better resource for those who struggle with overshopping, cramped closets, personal style struggles, and other related issues. It is my pleasure to write this blog and interact with all of you! I’ll be back later this week with a regular post, and I’m also hard at work at finishing my second e-book, “End Closet Chaos.”
Stay tuned for news on when this book will be available through Amazon.com. In the meantime, I invite you to check out my first book, “UnShopping: Recovery Solutions from an Ex-Shopaholic.” Many thanks to those who have already purchased and read “UnShopping.”
Before You Go… One More Thing to Share
I know that many of you also subscribe to Bridgette Raes’ blog, but for those who don’t, I want to alert you to a post you may wish to read. In today’s article, “How to Save Clothing Before You Ditch It,” Bridgette mentions her work with me and how I’ve been chronicling my experience here on “Recovering Shopaholic.” She also writes about the blue jacket that was pictured in both my “January through June Purchase Analysis” and the post on Bridgette’s advice regarding my casual skirt outfits.
Bridgette not only shares a look board of ideas for re-styling my jacket, she also presents five more examples of how subtle tweaks can make the difference between disliking and loving an outfit. In many cases, it’s not the pieces we’re wearing that are wrong; it’s that we’ve combined them the wrong way!
I highly recommend that you check out the post for some great tips and suggestions for improving your outfits. Although I didn’t enjoy seeing one of my cringe-worthy ensembles plastered on the Internet another time, I learned a lot from Bridgette’s visual representations of looks that don’t work and how they can easily be fixed through simple styling tricks. Bridgette really is the Clothing – and Accessories – Whisperer!
Congratulations on your second anniversary, Debbie. Even though I do not comment often, there is still a lot of wisdom to ponder over. I traded a full closet for a much smaller one (don’t know about the fuller life), and I will never go back. Just for the heck of it, I jotted down what I wore to work for the last two months, and I am surprised how much variety there is in a curated wardrobe. Sticking to mostly neutrals with great accessories is my game plan. Keep up your great work — there are nuggets for many women to be found.
Thanks, Cornelia. I’m glad you’re still around even if you don’t comment often. How great that you’ve been writing down what you wear. I agree that there can be A LOT of variety within a smaller, curated wardrobe. I think your plan of combining neutrals with great accessories is a very wise one!
I can’t add much more than Cornelia already has said except here’s to many more years of enjoying your blog!
Thanks, Abgurl. You’re one of my longest-term readers and I’m very happy you’re still here!
So glad you are still blogging. Also think it’s great you put the survey out for input… Keep doing what you are doing!!!
I appreciate your support, Paula, and I’m very happy you like my blog!
I completed the survey. I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for all of the hard work you put into your posts. I feel very fortunate that I have this community through your blog.
I really appreciate your kind words and support, Tonya. I feel very fortunate for this community, too, and I’m excited to have already received over 200 responses to my survey!
Survey completed and I second what Tonya said! Thank you Debbie!
You’re welcome, Terra, and thank you for completing the survey!
Survey completed, just make sure you enjoy what you do from here on in Debbie, it’s your blog!
Thanks for completing the survey, Saltbox. You’re right that I need to enjoy what I’m doing with the blog. I have some ideas for changes, but it would be wonderful if what I want is also what most readers want. We shall see!
Hi Debbie, congratulations on your second anniversary! You continue to inspire me. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication. I hope your blog continues for many years. I enjoy reading your blog along with the comments which help in my journey to more thoughtful purchases and becoming an ex shopaholic.
I’m so glad my blog has been helpful in your recovering shopaholic journey, Sharon! I know that I wouldn’t be as far along as I am if it weren’t for blogging and my wonderful readers, so it goes both ways!
Done and done! As always, it’s what works for you, but I appreciate the request for our input. The back and forth (whether in comments or a forum type set up) is the part I enjoy most. I think we all enjoy the honesty and authenticity behind every post. 🙂
Thanks, Mo! Based on the responses I’ve received thus far, a lot of people seem to want a forum, so hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to implement that. I love the back and forth, too, and would love to do what I can to facilitate more of that. I love your blog, too, and am so glad you launched it. You have a lot of wisdom to share and I’m enjoying it!
I don’t want to be a downer, because in theory I would be interested in a forum too, but I gather they are quite overwhelming to run – moderating is a huge job and I think they may be quite expensive to run. I’m sure you’ll do your research before you commit to anything, but I would just like to add my 2 cents – just because people want it doesn’t mean YOU necessarily have to give it to them. A blog can pull you in all kinds of ways as it is, trying to please other people. I think most of us who enjoy this blog would rather see you happy and enjoying doing this rather than overwhelmed by a forum 🙂
These are some really good points, Joanna. I’m going to wait and see how it goes with Bridgette Raes, who is setting up a forum on her site now. I don’t want to create too much work for myself, that’s for sure. Another option is a closed Facebook group, but the anonymity would be lost there, as people would have to use their real names. There are trade-offs under both scenarios. You’re right that a blog can pull one in all different directions. Your comment is a good reminder for me to think long and hard about taking on new projects!
For me, the appeal of your blog is its intimacy without getting too personal. You are intelligent, human and thoughtful. I think that’s why I keep reading your blog. Usually I will follow someone for a while, but then drop them because I just don’t feel like they are speaking to me or that they are being totally genuine. Thank you.
I really appreciate your kind words, TAGgirl. I feel fortunate to be one of the bloggers you continue to follow. I do my best to stay genuine in my posts, no matter how many readers I have. It can be a bit scary sometimes, but I want to stay true to the vision of my blog no matter what.
I’d love to see how you have restyled some of your wardrobe items – sort of a then and now comparison – so that they work better for you. I’m also interested in the “full life” part because I struggle with that too. Enjoy all of your posts though and find you a thoughtful and engaging writer.
I definitely plan to show some restylings, Juhli, especially in terms of the suggestions that Bridgette gave me for some of my trickier items. I think the “full life” part can get harder as we get older. I know I think more about it now than I used to. I feel that my priorities have shifted in mid-life and I care more now about fulfillment than “success” in societal terms. I plan to focus quite a bit more on the “full life project” in 2015. I’m not sure exactly how that will look yet, but there will be more posts on that topic.
Thanks for a great two years! Hope to read for many, many more.
You’re welcome, Amy. I hope to be around for a long time coming with this blog. I certainly have no shortage of things to write about!
Did the survey too. I check your blog almost everyday! I’ve curbed my compulsive shopping considerably the past year because of your blog. Your frequent posts really helps to keep me in check. Thanks for all your hard work.
I’m so glad my blog has helped you to curb your compulsive shopping and stay on track, Wendy. Thanks for completing the survey and for being such a loyal reader!
I also filled out your questionnaire early this morning. I have been following your blog since a few weeks after you began it. These past two years you have been very instrumental in helping me get my own head on straight about my shopping habits and as a result I feel like I have a wardrobe that is truly in accordance to who I am for the first time in my adult life!
From you I have learned how to track my wardrobe and purchases in a way that makes sense for me, a concept I would have never considered before in the multicolored fashion explosion that was my closet.
When I learned to analyze, I then saw patterns of dressing and was able to figure out what I actually wore in my real life, and what garments hung on the rack (for years in many cases)–like wallflowers at the dance–because they didn’t really suit my life, only a fantasy notion of what my life might be. And in some cases, because I hadn’t really considered them realistically before, I saw where perhaps they weren’t that flattering on the real me. This is a pretty powerful breakthrough over the course of this time when you think about how I’d previously enjoyed decades of wardrobe gluttony!
Deby, me too! Although I had already culled my own “multicolored fashion explosion that was my closet” (love your description) and had it edited down to a careful, small collection, I still had lots of learning to do, and I deeply appreciate this journey of discovery with you and Debbie and with many of the others who comment and share.
You have grown in leaps and bounds, Deby, and I’m very happy to have played a role in your amazing transformation. You, Terra, and the other frequent commenters have helped me a lot, too. I’ve enjoyed seeing all of your grown and I’ve taken your feedback and challenges to heart. It’s been quite a ride thus far and I’m sure it will continue to be so!
As many have already said, congratulations on your second anniversary of blogging, and thank you for continuing to share your story in such a brave, insightful and transparent way! As you move forward with changes, please feel the freedom to focus on what you want it to become, even if you lose a few readers over it. You will certainly pick up others who are more in tune with whatever direction you choose. I only found you this summer but have spent a great deal of time catching up on your archives, as each post speaks to the issues that challenge me daily. We are very similar in coloring, size and taste and I sometimes feel like I have found a virtual, on-line “twin” in you.
If you are open to a topic suggestion, I’m hoping that the onset of the holidays might bring some words on how on earth to get through the season without over-shopping. Every year I decide I will buy myself “one nice thing” since I have a small family and don’t really receive holiday gifts. That usually turns into a landslide of post-Christmas sale purchases for myself that somehow seem justified by the fact that I wasn’t showered in holiday excess by friends and family. Just writing that makes me feel like a brat, but it’s the truth. What’s even worse is that when people compliment me on these items, I say I got them for Christmas because it hurts to admit that my mother doesn’t think gifts are important; not a money issue, just a lack of sentiment or attachment on her part. I love Christmas and spend a great deal of time and money choosing special gifts for the people I care about, even though they cannot reciprocate. I need to focus on paying off debt, not accumulating even more. Does anyone else struggle with this even more at the holidays?
TexasAggieMom, I tend to do the exact same thing with buying myself gifts. You are not alone in this regard. I do like buying special gifts for family but as I’m trying to embrace minimalism more I find myself wishing everyone in the family would just agree to sponsor a child or family for Christmas. None of us truly need anything and it feels like we’re just swapping money.
Debbie, thank you sooooo much for your blog! I love the blog and the community and I come here every day to read. Ditto to this from TexasAggieMom: “As many have already said, congratulations on your second anniversary of blogging, and thank you for continuing to share your story in such a brave, insightful and transparent way! As you move forward with changes, please feel the freedom to focus on what you want it to become, even if you lose a few readers over it. You will certainly pick up others who are more in tune with whatever direction you choose.”
Thanks for your kind words, TexasAggieMom. I’m not quite at the two-year mark yet, but will be once January rolls around. Just trying to be proactive before the holidays 🙂 I did a few holiday posts last year, but will address such topics again (I’m always open to topic suggestions). In the meantime, here are two posts for you to check out that may be helpful:
All of the issues you mentioned are things I’ve struggled with, too. I like Kim’s idea of sponsoring a child or family for the holidays. I think we need to find other ways to find meaning in the season and/or to make ourselves feel special and valued besides buying things. I will ponder this some more and write about it in an upcoming post…
Debbie- I agree with everyone else, this blog is amazing and I enjoy it immensely, but I also want you to enjoy writing each post! I also completed the survey and I like many of your suggestions. Please don’t allow this blog to overwhelm you, but I hope you know that it has helped me personally in SO many ways. I never would have come this far without you! YOU got me thinking about what I was doing and why, YOU inspired me to take so many steps to get to where I am today, and YOU are the reason why I even started this whole journey in the first place! Thank you a million times over Debbie!
I’m so happy to have helped inspire you, Meli. I think you’re doing great! Thanks for what you wrote about not wanting me to be overwhelmed. I do need to look out for that and I definitely don’t need to take on anywhere close to all of what I mentioned. One thing at a time!
Just completed the survey! This blog has helped so much in my personal life. Thank you very much!
Thanks for completing the survey, Michelle, and for letting me know my blog has helped you. It always means a lot to me to receive feedback like that!
Survey completed! I also wanted to add my thanks to you for this blog. I can’t even begin to express how much I’ve gained from your posts and also the comments.
I’m so glad you’ve gained a lot from this blog and from the comments, Kayla. I’ve learned a great deal from you and the other regular commenters, too. It’s really a win-win!