Hip Diggs May Not Be Dead… Yet

I like things to be simple. Lately, even though we’re still in the middle of a world-wide quarantine, things haven’t been so simple. It’s always something. The dryer quit working. I had to chase down some packages from FedEx. Medical appointments. Online teaching. It can get chaotic.

My Old Blog, Hip Diggs

My first blog was danerickson.net. Hip Diggs was my third or fourth, I forget which. In 2014, I chose to write about minimalism and simple living at Hip Diggs. Over a five-year period I wrote 500 posts.  While Hip Diggs never obtained commercial success, it became my most-visited blog. But after five years, I decided to retire Hip Diggs for a few reasons.

  1. The cult of minimalism: Simple living is just that. Simple living. People have been living simple lifestyles for decades, even centuries. But sometime in the last 20 years someone labeled it minimalism. About ten years ago blogs on minimalism started popping up: Zen Habits, Becoming Minimalist, The Minimalists, etc. By the time I jumped on board, the market was getting saturated. But as much as they’ll tell you there are no rules to minimalism, they were all setting rules. It became a cult, or a least a sect.
  2. Rinse and repeat: Remember the movie Ground Hog Day? That’s what blogging is like. You write about the same topic over and over and over again. In my five-year stretch at Hip Diggs, I think I covered every topic related to minimalism and simple living… twice. I got tired of writing the same shit repeatedly.
  3. Scam-bam-thank-you-mam: This goes for many blogs. I know a lot of bloggers are sincere. They truly want to help others succeed. But most successful bloggers know that what they’re selling you is nothing special. You don’t need a course to live simple. You don’t need a movie with sparse production values in order to become a minimalist. You don’t need a lifetime magazine subscription either. As with any blog topic, popular minimalist bloggers find ways to take your money. But what they’re selling you can be found in simple Google searches. You’ve been had! We’re improving ourselves to death.

Truth Be Told, I Held Out an Extra Year

So in the fall of 2019, I decided to quit writing at Hip Diggs. Truth be told, I held out. Originally, I was going to quit writing at Hip Diggs at the end of 2018. But then something happened. I decided to sell my house. This gave me the opportunity to write about a new experience that relates to simple living, in real time.

And that’s just it. I’m still living a relatively simple life. But I’m not actively finding new ways to simplify. I’ve already covered nearly every simple-living topic under the sun. So to continue writing at Hip Diggs would just be more rinse and repeat.

But here’s where Hip Diggs may still have a future: When my daughter goes off to college and I retire. That’s at least four years up the road. But that’s when I might be able to actively experiment in minimalist living, and experience simplicity in new ways. Then I’d have some real-world shit to write about. I could document a real journey instead of continually writing essays and listicles based on common fucking sense. I don’t know about you, but in my book, real life beats a carbon copy any day of the week.

I’m Not Making Any Promises

Nothing is certain. Hell, the whole world could blow up tomorrow. But let’s assume we survive coronavirus, riots, pending wars, and all the other gloom and doom. And let’s assume my health holds out long enough for me to actively seek ways to live more simply when I retire. But who knows, I might lose interest in simple living and start writing novels or symphonies instead. Or I might just resurrect Hip Diggs in the future.

So for now, Hip Diggs is resting. But she might not be dead… yet.