What’s Minimalism Got to Do With It?
In the Blogging Zone
–or vice-versa? What, really does it have to do with the price of tea in China?
This is one of many Minimalism blogs, but I am the first to admit it is hard to classify it as a type of Minimalist blog. My focus isn’t uncluttering, debt reduction, location-independence, family life, health, diet, ecology, frugality, or simple, peaceful living, although I cover those topics every now and again. I’ve let my topics range fairly freely so that my sub-niche would reveal itself over time. In that aspect I share a point of view with personal development and Buddhist-influenced blogs, but I don’t write about personal development techniques or Zen. I’m not a teacher, nor do I want to be. No, I’m someone who has followed the Minimalist path for a while, experienced the changes it makes to one’s mindset, and from that changed mindset I make observations about what I see in the world around me. Minimalism is my point of view, and it is inherently counter-culture. I editorialize.
Over-thinking is a real problem of mine. I catch myself trying to craft a blog like I would a painting or a novel, as if it is a finished product, but that doesn’t work because a blog is never a finished product. It is an evolving entity like we are as human beings. Our moods are not the same one day to the next, our positions can change, our attitudes can change, we grow and move on. So should our blogs. So should mine. I can look at things however I want. In some ways the Minimalist framework is very useful, but I also don’t want to fade out in the midst of too many other Minimalism blogs, minimalizing myself into oblivion. What I am about more and more is having freedom to create and be independent of materialism and certain kinds of conventionalities, like consumerism. What’s in my best interests is what will be the most naturally productive and beautiful and happy and in turn bring that to my family and my readers. Onwards and upwards is my motto: I’m not going to just survive, I am going to thrive.
Lately I’ve picked up a sense of irritation in the Minimalist blogosphere with some go-fer personalities who are hard-sold on making money with their blogs and as a result seem to be doing anything but living a simple, considered life. We follow them and they are exhausting after a while. Too many tweets, too many posts, too many workshops, podcasts, giveaways, whatever. They are like human popup ads. I like to take a middle-of-the-road approach and review a book here and there and sign on as an affiliate because it is also cool to make some money with my writing. But the marketing queen I’m not. So far I haven’t found a way to do it that sits well with either my temperament or my blog. Not saying that it isn’t possible, just that I haven’t found it yet.
Another element of irritation I’ve seen mentioned is the idea that Minimalism is an end game, posing the question “now what?” and saying that it’s dead or boring or self-deluding. I suppose it could be all that if it’s played like a game. Sometimes I pick up on an underlying fear that Minimalism threatens to become Nihilism, a big nothingness. I haven’t experienced that, personally. Instead, it’s cleared both my head and my spirit and actually enables me to see what is in my own best interests, giving me a real chance to thrive. But then, again, I’m not treating it like a game, reductio ad absurdum, but as a form of mindful living.
I read some blog posts this week that really sat well with me, and want to share a couple of them. One is by Ollin Morales of Courage2Create called 3 Paradigm Shifts to Help Make Your Writing Meaningful (I guess I have a thing about paradigm shifts). It’s a good read if you are a writer who is feeling overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the tragedy and injustice in the world (a feeling I am often plagued with). Another post is by Tanja at Minimalist Packrat called Where’s Your Authentic Self Hiding Out? which takes a different tack at not being boxed in by expectations. The combination of the two posts had a really nice affect on my mood
Anyway, feel free to comment on my blogging type, your blogging type, the price of tea in China, or any other observation you like!
And have a lovely weekend.