A friend asked if I ever planned to collect the various “Minimalist” booklets I have up on Amazon into a single omnibus. The answer is yes, and I want to do a print version as well as the ebook. There are a few catches involved in revisiting A Minimalist Abroad, however.
They Don’t Sell Well
My focus right now needs to be on writing and publishing things that pay the rent. While I enjoyed writing those books, and the blog that they spun off from, it wasn’t the most financially productive use of my time. If and when I ever get back to it to compile an omnibus, revise it, and add an update, it’s going to be a vanity project.
It Wasn’t Fun
There was a time when writing a blog was a blast. I did well with the short form, built a following, and was happy with the work I was doing. Then a lot of things changed. My life went through a major upheaval, the whole blogging scene sort of unravelled, and my creative needs changed. I made the shift to the long form, and now I’m having fun with that. With books, regardless of their length, I can say what I need to say and get out. done. A blog, at least a monetized one, sort of marries me to one topic for all eternity. An audience who comes to you for one thing will bail if you start talking about something else. That was my experience as an RPG blogger.
To be specific to this case, there’s only so much to be said about minialism because it’s not a lifestyle, it’s a tool. When I tried reinventing myself as a minimalist blogger I got some traction, but I didn’t want to get locked into it. I found writing about it was becoming boring and repetitive after only a few months, and if I felt that way then the audience was probably right there with me.
There’s No Ending
So I used minimalism to move abroad. Now what? Are we staying here forever, or moving back to the United States? We moved her for Katie’s graduate studies, and she’s still in grad school. The book has no ending. There’s no clean last chapter that wraps things up. I don’t think I can do a revised omnibus until I have that coda.
And Then There’s My Comfort Level
I have been guarded since after 911, when I had the audacity to ask what the United States might have done to make people so filled with hate and rage that they’d be willing to do this. Now I’m guarded about being an American who embraces living outside of the United States. I have not one, but two governments whose good graces I depend upon. I also have Americans who think anyone who chooses to leave the US must be a traitor, and Finns who aren’t fond of foreigners. I really don’t like waving my warms wildly and screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” in relation to this topic. We’ve even expressly shifted out podcast away from being about Americans living in Finland, even if a lot of what we talk about is being American and living in Finland.
To continue something called “A Minimalist Abroad” means, if not blogging directly about minimalism, blogging about my day-to-day life and how I apply minimalism as a tool to make like simple and happy. I don’t want to tell you all of the details of my life. Being a private person is sometihing that has value to me. I also think that my life is so simple and happy that it’s boring. There are things that I’m open about, and things that I’m not. There are things that I ewant to say, but I also don’t want to argue with people about them. I would much rather say what I have to say through the books that I write.