I just got a note from a reader, Anita, who discovered the 2011 All-Star List of Minimalist Bloggers for the first time. For those who don’t know, it is a list of 120+ minimalist bloggers that I published earlier this year. Anita started running through the links and realized many of the blogs are now defunct.
Anita wrote, “Hi, this is a fabulous link and I have subscribed to a number of them. Sadly a few of the bloggers listed have now stopped or moved their blogs elsewhere – still a useful resource.”
Thanks for dropping that comment Anita, because it brings me to an inner conundrum I’ve been having lately. I first wrote that list when I’d been blogging for just a few months. Each new minimalist blogger I ran into was such an amazing and exciting moment for me. I’d been living my minimalist life with Patrick and suddenly there was a whole world of people out there interested in the same thing as me. It’s like being the solo member of the flying chipmunks club and suddenly discovering hundreds of other flying chipmunk fans out there. ;)
In an unrealistic moment of overachieving I set out to make the biggest dang directory on minimalism out there, and then when I’d been working on it for a while, Francine announced on twitter she was planning a directory as well. Francine, from Miss Minimalist, being the gracious and lovely person that she is, offered me the names she’d amassed and told me to run with it. Very sweet! (Thank you Francine.)
And so I did. The All-Star List of Minimalist Bloggers had over 120 active minimalist blogs in it’s list, and that was even with some accidental but very notable exclusions (mnmlist anyone?oops!).
I had a lovely adventure creating the All-Star list, but just like you mentioned Anita, I noticed the list got outdated very quickly. Here are a few things I learned about creating the list:
-Life Keeps Going: People change, interests change. It seemed the All-Star List was only out a few months before familiar names left their blogs and the list became less timely. Many simple living friends I’d made online moved on to other interests and stopped blogging. Somehow I hadn’t expected that. Minimalist Packrat was my first venture into blogging and I had simply assumed the people around me would continue to be the same, adding more people in to the community, but not subtracting many. I’ve learned I was wrong. There is a beautiful ebb and flow in life, where interests develop and change. Change is good, and it’s wonderful when online friends decide to change interests. It keeps things fresh. It also makes a static list like the 2011 All Star Minimalist Bloggers list outdated very quickly.
-Boundaries Exist: Putting this list together also made me realize I didn’t have a clear idea of where the concept of minimalism begins and ends. My version of minimalism and your version of minimalism may be very different. For some people it’s all about downsizing the stuff, for others it’s all about philosophical treatises on the concept of choosing less, for others it’s how to make homemade laundry detergent. I had no boxes or borders for minimalism. Minimalist philosophy blogs, sure, easy to recognize. But digital nomad blogs? Sustainability and green living blogs? Tiny house blogs? Decluttering blogs? Minimalist decorating blogs? Anti-consumerism and activism blogs? All of these concepts feel like a facet of minimalism to me. Doing the list brought up the understanding that boundaries blur between concepts and categorizing a movement is beyond my skill.
- I Created a Glorified Blogroll: I also realized at some point long after the project was done, that I’d created a blogroll, just a bigger one. Anything big is often more unwieldy and difficult to change. The project took a month of intensive work to create. Did I now want to spend the rest of my days continuously tweaking it to make sure it was the most active and biggest directory on minimalism available? That’s a lot of work for one girl to take on with an always changing, always adapting list.
-I Wasn’t Ready to be Big: Yes I wanted my blog to grow, but when I released this list, the blog grew quicker than I could. I lacked grace, panache, business sense and organizational skills. My “p.r./marketing group” wasn’t adept at keeping up with the work “the creatives” were doing. I just wanted to write but I found myself performing what felt like alien tasks to me. Like a lot of cues in life, I just didn’t get twitter, facebook, or social networking. I couldn’t keep up with lots of emails. I was a slow ”one-on-one” girl, the one you see in the corner of the party, not a wall flower, the one having an intense conversation with a handful of people. I’d always done small groups before and big was hard. I wasn’t ready to keep up with lots of contact on email and social networking groups. I wasn’t ready to be big.
-I Have an Online Foot: My inner eight year old was waiting for an opportunity like this. ;) She loves to get me in trouble. Just like when I was eight, I still manage to say the wrong things. This may not have ever happened to you, but it happens to me. I tend to be rather shy when people first meet me, but then as I get to know them, I share a little more of my inner me. My inner me just talks. She doesn’t understand editing. And my inner me manages to say the wrong thing a lot because she’s got a lot of rough edges that need to be polished off. So I’m blogging away here on my little nothing blog and then I started to become aware that I wasn’t sitting in a corner talking to a few friends. I was talking to a lot of people, like thousands of people. Holy shit I had an audience, and there I was just blah-blah-blah. I started to contemplate my past words and my present words, and to contemplate the energy I share with people through my words. I’ve been delightedly discovering the balance point between creative expression and online foot.
Because of these five things I pulled a typical Tanja maneuver, I successfully buried the All Star Minimalist Bloggers list and moved on, never mentioning it again. I made the list because I wanted to promote community between minimalist bloggers, and instead I ran away when the community felt like too much. (I’m still working on boundaries, people. :)
But I have continued to mull these internal questions and concepts, and I have worked on the list without publishing the updates. Today I give you one update, and it’s in honor of Anita, who asked about it in a comment, a shortened list of 47 active minimalist blogs. I have not added any names to this list, I have simply deleted the names that were no longer active or weren’t posting on a very frequent basis.
Before I give you the half-year list update though, I want to ask you some questions. How long have you known about the original list? Have you found it useful? Can you think of a better way of compiling it for next year?
This is what I’ve been contemplating. Opening up a submissions page in October and taking submissions for all of October and November. Then I’d compile from the submissions received and present the list in January.
What do you think? Are you all into the idea? Or should I skip it? It’s a lot of work, but it would also be cool to keep the tradition alive.
If I do create a new list for next year, what kind of categorization ideas do you have? Last year was A to Z with no categories and a broad range of subjects and posting frequencies. ;)
The 2011 All-Star List of Minimalist Bloggers *Half Year Update
- 365 Less Things: Colleen’s blog is a fun, chatty place with a big focus on decluttering inspiration and mini-missions to get you going. She spent a year tossing 1 piece of clutter every day. You won’t find much minimalism talk but you will find tons of clutter inspiration!
- Analisis Realista: Omar has a Spanish written blog on minimalism and productivity. My Spanish is poor but I know he’s writing about simplifying and minimalism because I can make out a few words! If you want a Spanish blog on the minimalist lifestyle Omar’s your go-to guy.
- Annie Enygma: Annie Brewer is one sassy and strong lady. She doesn’t pull any punches and she tells it like it is. You’ll find no-holds barred posts on living the simple life, life inspirations and minimalism at her blog. She offers the perspective of a single mom living in Kentucky.
- Becoming Minimalist : Joshua Becker is warm and inspiring. His blog has wonderful nuggets of wisdom for moderate minimalists (and aspiring minimalists) from a family and kids perspective. He also offers a Christian perspective, though it doesn’t dominate his blog.
- Be More With Less : Courtney Carver has a serene and inspirational lifestyle blog. She blogs about a wide variety of subjects, all with a focus on simple living such as food, health, wellness, money and minimalism. A visit to Courtney is like a day at the beach.
- Beth Aron : Beth offers the perspective of a woman in her 50′s who lives alone taking up the minimalist lifestyle. Go check out Beth and follow along as she walks her path towards a simple life.
- Castles in the Air : Nina Yau offers a radical minimalist perspective with a strong focus on independent business and travel. Many of her posts focus on concepts like rediscovering your purpose, finding your creative muse, and working for yourself.
- Crunchy Minimalist : Who runs Crunchy Minimalist? Anonymous! I do know it’s a married couple with, get this, 9 children. Yep! Want a minimalist journey perspective with lots of green living thrown in and an 11 member household? You know where to go.
- Daily Bread: Jill is an amazing lady. I’ve loved following along and watching her decluttering progress. At Jill’s blog you’ll find the most organized home ever! You’ll also be able to follow along on her journey to a moderately minimized life from a family perspective, complete with two homeschooled daughters.
- (De(content)ment) : Arron Hodden is a single parent living a simple, minimalist life in the rural midwest. He doesn’t hold any punches. I love his fresh, honest perspective on what it takes to live a simpler, saner and happier life. Honesty is the key word with Arron’s writing style.
- Every Day Minimalist: Serena is a “corporate minimalist”. She moves and travels frequently for work. Along the way she adopted a minimalist lifestyle to make it easier. She blogs from a very contemporary perspective and you won’t find any deprivation at Every Day Minimalist. She loves pretty things… just less of them. :) You’ll find lots of quick, fun real life posts!
- Everything I Dreamed : Jaime has a simple living perspective of a wife and mother. Her posts are beautiful with engaging photos of special simple moments in her life. She touches on crafting, cooking and living a simpler and more fullfilling life. Everything I Dreamed is a dreamy, beautiful blog. Very inspirational for people with young children.
- Ex Consumer: Jenny is all about saving more, spending less, ditching debt, and making more. She’s a money blog coming from a non-consumer angle. She’s also just launched two weeks ago! Her blog is like the minimalism of money blog. Check her out!
- Exile Lifestyle : I’m not even sure what Colin Wright’s blog is about. He’s an extreme minimalist traveler and his posts travel the whole giant world of writing topics. You never know what you’ll find, but it’s all superbly written and fresh.
- Fenikkusu: David’s spot is a tumblr, known for their minimalist blog layouts. Cool! He shares photos and posts about his journey to minimalism in that old-fashion blogging way, like a journal. A nice read!
- Gip Plaster: Gip (yep, that’s his name) blogs about minimalism, simple living, frugal living, and conscious spending. He’s got a groovy way of looking at the world and I really enjoy his writing style. I gotta head over to Gip’s more often!
- Greenimalist: I first ran into Aaron and Hsinya when they were featured on Miss Minimalist and I got SOOO excited! They’re blogging up green goodness and minimalism in style and I really need to add them to my rss feed. I’ll do it right now!
- Guy Named Dave: Dave started the 100 Thing Challenge. Now contrary to what you might think, Dave isn’t an extreme minimalist, he’s a moderate minimalist family guy finding his way towards a life better lived with less stuff. A wonderful read and a definite rss addition.
- Katy Dunnet : Katy writes on minimalism, decluttering, finances (budgeting), travels, and silly, funny posts that make you crack a big smile. Katy lives minimal, lives single, travels frequently and experiences life in a pretty darn exciting way.
- Life More Lived: Sara writes about creativity, minimalism and simplicity in a dreamy poetic way. You’ll find her topics range wide from food to fashion to sustainability. She writes what’s on her mind and in her heart.
- Minimalist at Home: Faith is amazing. She is a minimalist living in a 10 person minimalist household. I get inspiration from her real-life family minimalist posts all the time. If you want inspiration for family and children minimalism Faith is the number one spot to head to!
- Minimalist Packrat: Hey, that’s me! I’m Tanja and I write about minimalist lifestyles, simple living, sustainability, and decluttering. I’m a fairly extreme minimalist, but many of my posts are from a moderate minimalist approach.
- Minimalist Photography 101: Steve is a wonderful photographer who blogs about how to take minimalist photos. Awesome resource for photographers and minimalists and minimalists who want to be photographers! As a terrible photographer I need to spend more time getting wisdom from Steve.
- Minimalist Woman: I’m trying not to play favorites with anyone on this list, but Meg is one of my absolute faves! She writes thoughtful artistic posts on her minimalist adventures and I always finish a post of hers with a serious amount of pondering and personal reflection. She’s got style and a great writing voice and she’s in my top ten of favorite minimalist blogs.
- Miss Minimalist: Francine, just like Meg, is one of my absolute faves. She feels like the coziest spot in my house, where I curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. I’ve personally dubbed Francine as the provider of gentle minimalism. She writes gracefully on decluttering, minimizing and finding that sweet spot in life where “just enough” is perfect.
- Mouvement Minimaliste: This is a French blog put out by a dame named Florence. I don’t read French but maybe you do!
- One Dress Protest: Kristy’s got a fun thing going on. She’s blogging her way through 2011 sharing her experiences of life wearing the same dress every single day! It’s her one dress protest and it’s a personal revolt against consumerism, unethical practices in the fashion world and reclaiming her sense of identity.
- Project 333: This is Courtney’s spin-off blog from Be More With Less. It’s her minimalist fashion challenge that’s gotten quite popular. She recently created Project 333 probably as a way to keep the challenge from taking over her main blog! It’s the perfect spot for folks doing her challenge to meet up and chat.
- Ridiculously Extraordinary: Karol (pronounced Karl) is a minimalist who blogs about freedom, health, travel and life. At times he pops in a post about minimalism as well. Karol is a great motivator and takes the most commonplace subjects and tweaks them until you’re looking at life from a new fresh perspective. I’m a big fan of what Karol’s got going on.
- Rowdy Kittens: Tammy blogs about simply living, tiny house living and her downsizing journey. You’ll find a healthy sprinkling of green living and happiness posts too. She’s fun and down to earth.
- Simply Optimal: Gianpaolo is a minimalist, but he blogs more about lifestyle design. You’ll find lots of personal development posts on his blog.
- Simple Black Coffee: Craig blogs his own personal decluttering journey as well as his musings on the excessive consumerism in America and the minimalist lifestyle.
- Simple Life Prattle: Allan is one of my top fave bloggers. I always feel a little closer to the simple life of country living whenever I swing by. It could be me pining for rural life again, but it’s more than that, Allan is an artist with the written word. Love him!
- Simple Savvy: Christine’s been blogging about simple living and green living since 2008 so she’s got a couple years under her belt. She’s light on the minimalism thang’ medium on the simple living thang’ and real heavy on the sustainable green living thang’. It’s a nice mix and a great blend.
- Smash Your Television: Laura got a great name didn’t she? Despite her extreme domain, Laura’s posts are more moderate minimalism with a healthy dose of green living thrown in. She’s a college student with big green living plans for after graduation.
- Suburban Satsangs: Tamara is a blast. She meanders around the soulfulness of home life like a deva. Not a diva. Like a deva! I fell in love with her blog the moment I read her minimalist haircut post. Go discover it for yourself!
- Minimalist Mom: Rachel hails from Vancouver and shares her family perspective on minimalism. You’ll find lots of snappy posts on minimalism often coming from a mom’s perspective. Minimalist moms have the perfect spot over at Rachel’s blog.
- The Minimalists: Joshua and Ryan have a mid-size city perspective to minimalism as thirty something guys who’ve embraced a a minimalist lifestyle.
- The Unlikely Mage: Just to prove that minimalism is seeping everywhere, along comes Harry, the unlikely mage who combines musing about magic, martial arts, and minimalism. You can read about meditation, dream interpretations and minimalism all rolled up in one.
- This Tiny House: Hillary writes about, you guessed it, tiny house living! Which in it’s own way is minimalism. It’s house minimalism. You’ll find lots of amazingly inspirational posts on the alternative housing choices people have made. Very cool!
- Three New Leaves: Matt blogs about changing your life by simplifying it. His main topics are minimalism, travel, the primal food diet and simplicity.
- Towards the Future: Adam’s focus is minimalism as a method for intelligent use of resources, which makes him one of those new blogs fitting in the sustainability/minimalism category. Yay for another sustainable minimalist!
- Unbridled Existence: I include Chase becauseI can.
- Untitled Minimalism: I really like Robert’s style. He’s a new find for me and I find thoughtful, well constructed posts on his blog. He writes about minimalism, voluntary simplicity, frugality, conscious living and throws in fun food posts to boot!
- Zen Habits: How did Leo end up at the very bottom of this list? Bad luck of the alphabet draw. But that’s o.k. because there’s a 99% chance you’ve already been over at Zen Habits before. Leo is the godfather of online minimalism blogs. He is quick, insightful inspiration for what ails ya. Good man. Good blogger.
- SchwingleSchwingleDingDong: Claudia’s a German minimalist blogger and I know she’s blogging about minimalism and not ding dongs because I see the word minimalismus on her site! If you read German go check out Claudia.
*Note. Thank you to everyone who responded below. The conversation was like a public brainstorming session and I have to say I loved the community feeling of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you who shared your suggestions. I truly appreciate it.