I‘m happy to report from the recent reader survey that almost 60% of you think we need to add more cowbell to the blog. SUCH A RELIEF. Its lack has been bothering me for some time.
But I was also giddy to see that so many of you love the idea of featuring readers and your own stories about simplifying. Once I saw that the majority of the survey-takers were digging this idea as much as me, I got to work. (I had this idea back in 2010, so it’s about time I dusted it off the shelf, no?)
But then I got stuck.
Because I couldn’t decide what I really wanted to know about you. This community of readers itching to simplify their lives is six-plus years strong, and there are a thousand different angles I could take this. So? I’ve decided to give you most of the control here.
Much like Apartment Therapy’s home tours, I want to feature you, the readers, and your experiences with living simpler. Big or small, we’re all itching to hear it.
What it was like for your family to forego all non-ethically made chocolate.
How you got out of debt.
Why you downsized to one car, and how it’s changed your daily routine.
The moment you realized you were in the wrong job, and what made you brave enough to make the switch.
Why living in a smaller home means more time for travel.
The tricks you’ve learned to keep your kids’ toys organized.
The spring you decided to try your hand at growing your own food.
Why your family volunteers at a local homeless shelter together.
What happened when you cancelled the cable.
The benefits you enjoy from biking around town.
The simple joy you found from organizing a neighborhood block party.
…you get the idea.
Why your story matters
About a year into its inception, I realized this blog was never meant to me about just me and my story. I wrote about simple living not because I had arrived, but because I yearned for it just as much as you do. I still do.
I’ve since learned a lot, but in many, many ways, I’m just a fellow sojourner on this road with you. You have things you can teach me. You can teach us.
Your story matters because we need each other, and because we can learn from each other. As this blog tips over to the ten-year side of its first decade and away from newborn infancy, I want that to be truer than ever. It’s still never meant to be about just me.
(This is also why we have contributors.)
This blog’s definition of simple living—living holistically with your life’s choices—is open-ended on purpose. There’s no one right way to live simply.
What’s more—living simply is a journey. None of us have arrived. It’s a process. And in our own journeys, we can share stories about our processes.
Everyone loves a good story. And it might be time to share part of yours.
How this will work
I’ve created a form for you to fill out (it’s also at the top menu of the blog). As you can see, each submission needs to be about one idea—even if you’ve learned many different things about living simply. Feel free to submit five, ten, whatever separate stories. But I’d like to keep each one laser-focused on one topic at a time.
Photos also matter, because good visuals make a good story even better. They don’t have to be professional, but please take the time to submit quality work. Take your photos in natural light, notice the little details on the surfaces in the background, and pay attention to the angle from which they’re shot. Apartment Therapy has some good basic tips.
I can’t wait to read your submissions. Don’t be shy! If we need more info or details from you, we’ll be in touch. I’m psyched to finally get this going as a regular feature on AoS.
(Oh, and so far, pirates are winning.)
What sorts of reader stories are you eager to read?