I Didn’t Quit, I Just Quit Being Something I’m Not

To some of you who have followed my writing and musical journey for a long time, it might look like I’ve quit trying. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I didn’t quit, I just quit being something I’m not.

I’m a writer, a musician, a poet, an artist. This much is true. I believe in keeping things simple. This is also true. Chances are good that I’ll keep being simple and creative until I’m no longer physically able to do so. But there are some things that I’ve tried to be that I’m not.

A Few Things I’m Not

  1. Promoter: Truth be told, I’m still living a fairly minimalist lifestyle. I didn’t quit living simple when I stopped writing at Hip Diggs. Nope. Instead, I quit trying to promote the lifestyle. It’s my honest wish that more people will take on a simple lifestyle. But who the fuck am I to try to convince you to do anything at all. It’s your life. Besides, I’ve come to learn that most people are just going to believe what they want to believe. Just look at Trump supporters.
  2. Preacher: What’s a preacher other than a promoter of religion? I was raised Christian, and I still cling to some of my old, core beliefs. But frankly, there is much about modern Christianity that feels more like Alice in Wonderland than any kind of true search for truth and wisdom. I’ll leave your spiritual search up to you.
  3. Marketer: I hate marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the premise and the concept of marketing. I love the creative side of marketing and advertising. I just can’t for the life of me find the self-importance to market myself and my own work. I’ll share what I do, if you like it, great. If you want to buy one my books, even better. But no more marketing strategies from me.
  4. Salesman: Some of the most self-serving and shallow people I’ve met have been lawyers and salespeople (sorry, not sorry). They often have one thing in mind: making money. And they’ll use whatever means they can use to reach their goals, even if those means are shady or unethical. No thanks.

Life Is Much Simpler Now

So all the shit I just mentioned above is what I had to do when I was writing at Hip Diggs. Like a good little blogger, I tried to promote the lifestyle I deemed best for you. That included preaching the benefits, setting the rules, and damning the evils of consumerism. Again, who am I to tell you what’s the right way or wrong way to live?

I wrote my ebooks and offered them for free, or for a very low cost, in order to get you to sign up for my newsletter so that I could send you more marketing and sales messages. Seth Godin calls it permission marketing. You give me your permission to fill your inbox with my shit so we can build a relationship and I can sell you more shit for years to come.

But it’s not really a relationship. I’ve signed up for a few blogger’s newsletters over the years. Most don’t really want to be your friend, they just want your money. And often you don’t gain as much as you’d hope for from the product they’re selling. In fact, their product is often false hope.

So by taking off all of those blogger’s hats, I’ve actually greatly simplified my life, which of course was the exact philosophy I was trying to promote. Ironic, huh?

Quit Trying to Be Something You’re Not

Some people are natural born marketers and salespeople. They don’t have any qualms with what I see as being manipulative and unethical at times. Others have enough passion about a religion or a philosophy that they can get into the pulpit and shout its praises for the rest of their lives. I’m not any of those people.

I think most of you can relate when I suggest that we quit trying to be something we’re not. We’ve all had times in life when we thought a certain trend or idea was the best thing on Earth. We jumped on the bandwagon only to later realize that we were being fakes. We weren’t really being true to ourselves. That’s what I’m talking about.

If you’re doing something in life just to try to fit in, or succeed, that doesn’t really align with your core beliefs and values, I urge you to consider reevaluating. In the end, it’s your decision whether you want to pretend to be something other than yourself, but I sincerely believe that we find true happiness when we are honest about who we really are. The rest is bullshit.