The Art Of Simplicity

Greetings from the mountains of central Idaho. Summer is already half over. The foliage is greener and thicker this year due to the rainy season lasting longer than normal. Blackberries are more abundant and juicier thanks to the wet weather. And, we enjoyed the first blackberry pie of the season. It’s the simple things in life that can’t be bought that make it all worth while. Which brings me to the subject of this post. The Art Of Simplicity. 

KISS. Keep It Super Simple. Or, as most know it, “keep it simple stupid.” Except that I don’t like the word stupid. It is a degrading moniker. Thus is why I put it “keep it super simple.”

But, that’s beside the point. The point is, how simplicity guides my writing. And, my lifestyle

When I was writing this website, a writer friend told me the first blog post should be to introduce myself and what it is I do. Since I already introduced myself elsewhere on this site, I’m skipping that step. Plus, I’m not good at following instructions and find it nearly impossible to follow “orders”. Orders are never simple. I almost always “wing” it. Thus, the topic of this post shall be a concept that I not only approach writing with, but all of life. Though I admit, I’m not always good at it. Simplicity in the 21st century is an increasingly rare art form. Make no mistake about it, simplicity in the modern age is an art.

My first rule to keep both my writing and lifestyle simple is- I only write what I know and enjoy. This concept makes my life flow along a whole lot easier. I don’t fight the current. But, I do indeed keep both oars in the water. I once saw a sign on a reader board in front of a church in a small town in Washington. It read, “You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sail.” Exactly my philosophy for keeping life, and writing, simple. I wing it and let the words on the page take me along. With a few minor adjustments here and there. Like now. I’m winging it through this post. Letting the words take me along with them. It probably shows.

Second rule- Write in a conversational style. In simpler terms, write like you talk. This rule applies to life as well. Conduct yourself as if in conversation. Animated conversation is okay, and often good. In both writing and life. But, remember to maintain a certain level of respect. You can still get your point across without talking down to the reader or the person you are in conversation with. Which brings us to the next rule.

Third rule- Write as if you are talking to one person, or a small group. Simplicity rules here. One person is a whole lot simpler than talking or writing to a large audience.

Fourth and last rule- Can the rules. Unless they’re self imposed. Rules are too much like orders. As I already said, I’m not good at following orders. To keep it simple, creativity must be allowed to flow naturally. Rules stifle creativity. I view creativity as a gift from a power greater than us. Allow it to flow naturally. It keeps the business of writing simple.

Of course, it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that you can and should direct your creativity. But then, that’s the subject of another post.

Dennis Pence