July 6, 2016

Neither A Hoarder Nor Collector Be



After recently writing the shortest post I have ever written (a single word), I have been thinking about using words to share my thoughts. It is similar to the thinking I do about the place of stuff in the story that is life.

I don't want to be a word hoarder, or collector. To adapt a well known saying, "I would have written a short post, but I didn't have time. So I wrote a long one." But longer, or more, is usually not meaning better.

Woody Allen's best advice for how to improve a piece of writing is "make it shorter". Usually using fewer words is not only more efficient, but more effective as well. Often writers find it difficult to make the cuts required for brevity. It's hard to "kill your babies" so to speak.

Living is the same. Consuming and owning more than you need, whether by hoarding or collecting, takes one away from the optimal efficient and effective life. Like writing with many unnecessary, not required, superfluous, overabundant, and extra words, living with extra stuff is a dreaded anchor that threatens to pull everything down.

The idea is to live, or write, purposefully, judiciously and always with a nod to channeling your creativity in the most economical way possible.

In the end, the question to ask about words on the page, or stuff in the closet, would be:

"Is it doing any work?"

If not, cut it out. Make it gone. Get rid of it. Punt it. Erase.






15 comments:

  1. AnonymousJuly 06, 2016

    It's a huge release when I embraced voluntary simplicity. There is a huge sense of freedom and the world outside becomes more interesting. Stuff is a clever way of keeping people in a virtual prison. I don't even view my house as permanent, as everything can change, it's best to be present in the day. My favorite activities are intangible such as running or just washing up. It's funny now that we no longer cook with oil, to wash up we just need cold water without any washing up liquid and these little discoveries are everywhere with voluntary simplicity. Peace.
    Alex

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    Replies
    1. I agree - it is a huge release when one steps outside the system of exploitation. The natural world is more than enough to keep me interested and occupied. Everything else is a distraction.

      Delete
  2. AnonymousJuly 07, 2016

    Haha!! I was on a website and about to buy a 2 yard piece of organic cotton fabric to make a blouse. Although I don't consider myself a hoarder I do have a tendency to "stockpile" both fabric and long term storage food. In my own defense I do make all of my own clothes except underwear, but as I looked at this lovely fabric I was going to buy I started to think of all the other cotton fabric I've got and wondered if I needed more. So I hopped on over here for a dose of "Not Buying Anything" and had to laugh when I saw the title of today's post. Perfect!

    And to Anonymous Alex above I have to say I felt peace just reading your comment. It was lovely and light in its simplicity and made me feel calm and happy reading about the joy you feel living a life of voluntary simplicity. And I love the cold water wash up due to no oil cooking so I'm guessing vegan? Sounds like a lovely life.

    So I did not buy the fabric. And I'm going to use a well worn, soft piece of a top sheet to make one instead. Always good to be here at your blog. D

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    Replies
    1. AnonymousJuly 07, 2016

      Yep, fully vegan here. We don't eat vegan junk food so we are probably whole food plant based, based around starch.

      Another bonus of no oil is you can avoid toxic oven cleaner products and your kitchen doesn't get covered with that sticky residue.

      Alex

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    2. AnonymousJuly 07, 2016

      Weeding and cleaning out kitchen cabinets recently I scrubbed a lot of that sticky residue caused by oil from all kinds of things. Time for fully plant based/oil free. Deva

      Delete
    3. AnonymousJuly 07, 2016

      That residue is really weird. I do wonder what it does to the body. An interesting experiment is to stand in front of the oil in a supermarket and wonder if this stuff is natural, it looks very strange. Studies show that oil promotes tumour growth and when mixed with animal fat the effect is accerated.
      Alex

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    4. AnonymousJuly 07, 2016

      After my cleaning of the kitchen and then reading your reply about the sticky residue I had to wonder if it's coating our lungs as well? We are about 90% vegan at this point, but somehow having someone else bring up the sticky oil residue made it impossible to try to ignore it. Thanks for your replies. It's always so helpful when others have crossed over to the healthier side and make a statement about it. Isn't this blog wonderful!!! Have a great day. Deva

      Delete
    5. AnonymousJuly 08, 2016

      I had the same thoughts about the lungs, it's a bit like nicotine stains, although the negative effect is going to be from direct consumption. I think there are worse things than oil - such as dairy products. The best part of no oil is that it is so easy to clean everything. This website has loads of oil free recipes, I tend to add some salt however: http://www.straightupfood.com/blog/
      This is in my opinion the best blog on the net.
      Alex

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    6. AnonymousJuly 08, 2016

      Agree 100% on the negative effects of dairy. Will check out straightupfood! Thanks. Deva

      Delete
    7. Deva and Alex,

      Love the ongoing conversation here. I thought about this thread as I prepared beans and rice for Linda and I tonight, with a side of sliced cucumber, and a mango for dessert. Will be checking out the blog you mentioned, Alex. Thanks to you both.

      Delete
  3. My father was a great storyteller and a writer by profession, so I think I've inherited his gift of words. The problem is that I can be overly wordy when simple would do. I'm working on simplifying my thoughts and words, but it is definitely a work in progress.

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    1. Story telling is in the human DNA. It is everything. My dad was not a writer, but he sure did like to tell stories to anyone that would listen. I wish I would have listened more carefully myself, for he is telling his stories around the great campfire in the sky now.

      Our civilization desperately needs a new guiding story. Perhaps you will help formulate that, Miss Marla. Do you have anything you would like to share?

      Delete
    2. Hmmm.......... I'll have to ponder on that idea.

      Delete
  4. I could be the most wordy person on the planet! I'm loaded with word clutter! Wow, I've just now thought of it that way. Bet that will help me cull down some more. I've worked on wordiness for decades. But recently, I've seen some welcomed progress.

    Miss Marla, how interesting to have a father who was a great story teller and professional writer! You do well expressing yourself for sure.

    Alex and Deva, I enjoyed your exchange. Ditto this is the best blog on the internet. Deva, I too have used this wonderful blog to pull myself in and ground myself in what I truly value, aka simple and less. Gregg and Linda have been steady at writing posts for a long. There's plenty to read on here and its a stellar tribe of folks who comment here. I love this blog. It's changed my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Terri - stop. No don't. We love your support over the years. Hard to believe that it has been years, and that so many of you have stuck with us. Thank you for sharing along with everyone else, and making this the best (or second best) blog on the internet.

      You all keep us motivated and engaged. We so enjoy the community that continues to form here, making this one of our favourite places to spend time, on or off the internet.

      Delete

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