Minimalism, according to that great oracle Wikipedia, describes a movement in art “where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features.” When it comes to writing, Beckett, Carver and Hemingway were masters at saying what they needed to say without a lot of extra words and fuss. This is an inspiring idea when it comes to blogging.
Having recently moved into a new apartment, I have been struck with sudden real-life minimalism. I have large blank walls and a lack of chairs. The American consumerist inside of me is itching to fill up the space with all kinds of conveyor belt-produced tchotchke which is undoubtedly destined for the landfill. Yet on the other hand, living sparsely has its benefits. I know where everything is. I never have to embark on a spelunking expedition just to find my phone bill or a pair of tennis shoes. There’s never a burning to desire to take inventory of an over-stuffed junk drawer, nor do I hear exhausted sighs from piles of donation bags that hope someday they will finally be taken to the local Goodwill. Everything is exactly what it appears to be. There’s beauty in the cleanliness and simplicity.
I’ve seen this simplicity reflected in the some of the blogs I read daily. Many modern bloggers have stripped down the bells and whistles of their blogging sites, choosing only to focus on their content. This is a revolutionary concept for a word hoarder like myself, but given my new Malevich-like lifestyle, it is something that intrigues me.
According to legend, Raymond Carver was pushed into minimalism after an editor at Esquire advised him to use five words instead of fifteen. As bloggers, perhaps we should consider a similar challenge. What if we just gave readers great words, interesting starting blocks for intelligent conversations and cool content? It’s possible our readers would be turned off by the lack of shiny things blinking all over our blog. But maybe without the verbal excess, our company’s true vision and personality would actually have a moment to shine.