The Naked Truth

As a minimalist blogger, I like to keep things streamlined, as minimalist as possible. Basically, the least you need to know all the while not devaluing the content at which is delivered to the readers and world at large. At times, there will be long posts, such as my numbers post and career liberation post, and at others, there will be short posts, such as the Finding Inner Harmony series. That’s fine. So long as the point of the message is understood.

I’ve also noticed and read many, many tactics, strategies, tricks, tools, tidbits, and other useful and not so useful information as to how to maximize readership, gain more subscribers, get more daily hits, have more people purchase your products, and basically, gain more attention to your blog.

If a blogger follows all said advice as to maximizing the potential of one’s blog, s/he may end up with more subscribers indeed. They may also have more daily hits. They may even have more people purchase their products. Finally, they can garner much needed attention to the message they want to deliver.

I’m going to say something that may be frowned upon by more seasoned bloggers and those who do know a crapload of marketing strategies to get one’s blog into the necessary mediums in order to be more of a success. (Remember, however, that success is all relative. Leo Babauta doesn’t care about success. Why? Because he does what he loves and that doesn’t always need to include a New York Times best-selling book.)

Here it is:

I don’t really care about those best practices and blogging strategies. What I care about is you, the reader, and how I can help you change the way you’ve always viewed and thought about the world to what it could be. Something totally and completely extraordinary.

Of course, I will not turn down someone’s well-intentioned advice and wisdom to better gain traffic to my blog, assert dominance in the blogosphere, and yield more loyal followers. But I will say, I won’t necessarily follow that path.

For though it may have led others to success, it may not necessarily lead me to success. Success is something I need to define myself. Same goes for you in whatever you do. You can define success through tried and true ways. Through experimentation. Through being honest and authentic. This is not to say that those who do utilize such blogging strategies are evil and just want your money. Please. That’s far from what this message is about. I’m just telling you the naked truth, from my perspective and those who enjoy Castles in the Air.

You see, you are the reason why I write this blog. You are the “why” to my question “why all this?” For if I can help change even one person’s life, the work can, and should, continue on.

The Honest to Goodness Naked Truth

I’m not here to make money off of you. I will tell you that right now.

How am I supposed to live off of blogging then, one may ask? I don’t. At the very least, I do not intend for this to be my cash cow. I would love to make just enough to live off of (and being minimalist helps a ton!), but that is not my main priority at all.

From time to time, I will release an information product, such as an ebook like the one I wrote entitled The Radical Minimalist, that I will price for a certain number of dollars. I won’t release something unless I know it can help others, and that it’s actually worth your time and money.

I’ve scrapped a number of book ideas and writings that I thought to be crap. This also pertains to my art.

Recently, I finished a painting I call “Differences,” and it’s because I’ve certainly had my differences with it. I jumped from finishing Fire, which I absolutely love and is the painting you see at the beginning of this post, to trying to paint something in calm, cool colors. In reality, I love blues and greens. I’m more attracted to the cooler colors, whether that’s in wardrobe, bedroom, etc.

But for this instance, I literally was my own fire distinguisher. I actually could not look at it because it upset me. So I painted over my pained artwork in white and started afresh. What you see below is the end result of Differences.

Back to releasing information products. Not everything I release will be of charge. In fact, charged products are the great minority here compared with the soon-to-be hundreds of posts with hundreds of thousands of words written here at Castles in the Air. All that is free, available 24/7, anywhere in the world..

My life, my work, my ideas/philosophies/values/inspirations are all free. In fact, I’m working on a free ebook right now. :) This new ebook will hopefully be completed by end of November/beginning of December and I can tell you it’s about minimalist freedom.

Just in time for my own personal freedom from The Trough Effect. Less than 5 weeks before I hand in my resignation. Freedom will be had! Srini Rao of The Skool of Life talked about how Generation Y realizes corporate America is a “hell hole” here.

My message is that if you are unhappy with where you’re at, you need to change your life for the better, somehow, someway. My blog is meant as an inspiration, to act as a working tool, for guidance, strategies, and useful tips, on how to minimize the distractions in life, the clutter – physical and emotional – that accumulates all too frequently, and to better improve yourself so that you can get to a place where you are actually happy.

I may not have the best visuals and pictures. I know that. I’m not a photographer or stealth designer.

I may not have the catchiest blog titles or best ebook designs. I understand this.

What I do have is the intense belief that I’m onto something. Something huge. I have the fire, the enthusiasm, the drive to do what I was meant to do here in this world.

Can you say the same for yourself?

View Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Nina, this is a great post because it is from the heart. You can feel it. Beautiful and inspiring art. Let the creative energies flow!

  2. says:

    An amazing entry! I love the way you feel and think. You are becoming my favorite Simple Living blogger. nnThank you.nnGentle hugs,n”Miss” Mari-Nanci

  3. DavidW says:

    what a sharp painting! it looks great!nnkeep the inspiration coming! while im withering away in my cubicle planning my escape, i appreciate reading your blog and the others with a similar goal. thanks!

  4. so many people are worried about money instead of worrying about making a difference.nnthis is why i like your blog Nina :)

  5. Nina Yau says:

    Miss Mari-Nanci, you are so kind. Thank you. :)

  6. Nina Yau says:

    David, don’t wither away! We need you to fight and be strong! :) You can do it. Glad my blog is of inspiration to you.

  7. Nina Yau says:

    Thanks Mark! Certainly will.

  8. Nina Yau says:

    Joel, and that’s why I like your blog as well! *high five* :) nnPS – You still need to have a cup of coffee with me next time you’re in the Chi.

  9. Jay Uk says:

    I love the differences painting, would love to see it for real as photographs never do art any favours, especially when texured; the texture is crying out to be touched. I hope you do get to make a living from what you love, even if that’s not what your main aim is, you have a great writing style and interesting content and an honesty that draws me back :)

  10. Hailey Smith says:

    Nina,nI check your blog at least twice a day to see if you’ve added anything new. I am always eager to hear what you say and you’ve inspired me to do so many things – like quit my second job. I apply the things you say to my life everyday and you’re truly an inspiration. I hope one day I will get to meet you in person because I think that would be incredible to meet someone who has done so much for my life.nLove always,nHailey

  11. says:

    Nice paintings!

  12. Nina Yau says:

    Thank you, Jay. I hope so too. I believe that when I am doing what I was meant to do in this world, I need not have fears or anxieties and worries. I know I will be taken care of. I believe in it. I hope others who choose to follow their passions and make their dreams a reality will believe in this too.

  13. Nina Yau says:

    Aisha, thanks! More goodness to come. :) I’m working on some larger paintings that will hopefully, as my teacher put it, let Nina come out entirely and completely. Very excited!

  14. Nina Yau says:

    Hailey, YOU are the inspiration! The fact that you are taking action to do great things — the things that you love to do — is already a positive life-changing experience. You can only go up from here. nnI truly appreciate you letting me know how this blog has changed your life. This is the reason why I continue writing. This is the reason why I’ve decided to listen to my heart, to not listen to what others say is best for me, and to finally be true to myself and do what I love to do — inspire others through my life, in writing and in art.nnI hope to meet you too! There is a large convention next June in Portland hosted by Chris Guillebeau called World Domination Summit. ( I’ll be attending, along with hundreds of others. Will you be there? :)

  15. Nicole says:

    I really want to tell you how inspired by you and your writing I am. From just reading your blog I have decided to change my entire life around. Thank you. Really and truly – Thank you. Please keep writing and painting and being true to yourself because you are a example for the rest of us who are tired of trying to fit into the 9-5 rat race and want to do something about it.

  16. Nina Yau says:

    Thank you so much, Nicole. That means a lot to me that you have decided to change your life for the better. All in. No regrets. :)

  17. [...] some ulterior motive? That I want your loyalty? More traffic to this blog? If you’ve read The Naked Truth post, you know this is not the case. I’m doing this simply because it’s fun and I want [...]

  18. Anonymous says:

    These last lines here are SO powerful beyond measure:nn”What I do have is the intense belief that I’m onto something. Something huge. I have the fire, the enthusiasm, the drive to do what I was meant to do in this world. Can you say the same for yourself?’nnI’ll be thinking of this all day. nnThank you.

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