Guys, we made it! 2017 is here and even though technically nothing really has changed in the past four days, the new year marks a time for reflection and renewal for just about all of us. For the past five years, I’ve used the time between Christmas and New Year’s to reflect on what we accomplished in 2016, what missed the mark, and what would excite me in the future. More than anything, it’s become a ritual dedicated to embracing change.
In 2014, I made a significant content shift on the site. When I started Wit & Delight, I wanted to attract freelance clients for my design work and spend my extra time flexing some creative muscles. Then, like we all do, I grew up a bit and got to know myself. I wanted Wit & Delight to be more than pretty pictures of pretty things, because while life isn’t always pretty, it’s beautiful in it’s honesty. While I had lived long enough to understand that our struggles often leave us changed for the better, I had no idea if writing about my experiences with therapy or my divorce would resonate with people, or if it would turn loyal readers off. It was scary to put it all out there on the internet, but you, dear readers, responded with more positivity and support than I ever could have imagined. That said, what we write here is not a personal project. I’m so glad my personal experiences offer a perspective, words of encouragement and solace. I write those stories not for myself. I write them because those experiences were painful and difficult to navigate and it was hard to find voices that spoke openly.
We’ve had great conversations about a wide array of personal topics, and it’s been incredibly meaningful and gratifying to watch unfold. I didn’t know where this conversation would take us, but in the back of my mind, I’ve worried about reaching my limitations as a “writer”. I also wondered about the larger internal conflict I’ve had around sharing pieces of my private life when I’m much more comfortable remaining behind the scenes. Because the intent of this site has never been to share aspects of my day-to-day life, I’ve wrestled with how to evolve the site so I’m able to give more value to our readers while keeping the personal boundaries needed to enjoy my work and keep some of my life private.
W&D’s readership reflects a wide array of ages, experiences, and interests. Many of you are young professionals, some of you are still in college. Many of you have offered guidance on experiences I have yet to live through, and some of you give advice with six decades of perspective under your belt. The one thing that does unite us all? Most of our readers are women. And the men who read Wit & Delight? Well, from what I can tell from your emails and comments, you’ve got some incredible women in your life. You are not only interested in her likes and dislikes, you’re sharing experiences together as friends, lovers, sons or fathers.
As I look at all we’ve discussed together, I begin to think about W&D as a platform not for myself, but for the modern women read it. The inspiration behind Wit & Delight has always been in it’s name: a bit of humor mixed with a bit of beauty, found in everyday life. In many ways, Wit & Delight is about taking your pleasures seriously. To be relentless in squeezing as much joy out of life, or finding your path to self-acceptance and peace.
People often ask what I hope to accomplish by having a blog. I’ll admit I didn’t know the answer when I registered the domain witanddelight.com. But I can tell you that writing about lifestyle topics has taught me that our identity is not a sum of the images we project on the surface, but in the duality of our interests, the tensions in our contradictions, the friction formed by our dreams and our realities. My life is messy, my interests vast, and identity fluid. It’s possible to read the New Yorker and still keep up with the Kardashians. It’s possible to be a feminist while adopting traditional gender roles. One can appreciate fine dining and equally enjoy a dive bar. I can keep my kitchen tidy and my room a disaster. We are all many things.
No matter how large or small the platform, our voice and our actions have meaning. I use to feel that talking about beautiful things or making something for pleasure was too indulgent of a career. Now, I believe that we all have our own talents, and if you want to make a difference, the quickest way to make an impact is to find a way to use that talent for good.
Being a woman has never been easy, and 2017 feels like the right time to put our words, humor, and energy into action. While my personal experiences have helped many, collective experiences can help even more.
What does this mean for W&D?
It means a wider range of topics, more voices, more action, more philanthropy, and more fun. Each month we’ll be introducing a new theme with a series of essays, illustrations, and stories inspired by them. You’re even going to hear from some male voices, my husband included. We will also be offering weekly email edits, which will include a round-up of weekly content, special offers, products, and articles. You can sign up for this list here.
At it’s core, vulnerability and beauty will always be the cornerstone of our content. It is my hope that with this new direction, Wit & Delight can mean as much to you as it does me.
Lastly, I want to thank you for supporting us up to this point. This shift would not be possible without sponsors, which gives us the opportunity to pay good people for their time and talent. Without project management, photography, and a couple extra hands on set, there is no way we would be able to put as much out there as we did this year. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store.
Please let us know what you think of this new direction. Emails, comments, and suggestions are always taken into consideration and some of our best ideas have come from readers.
Image c/o Studio DIY
BY Kate Arends - January 4, 2017
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
Easily navigate all our recommended products across beauty, fashion, decor, and wellness.