Hip Diggs And Zen Habits: Similar, Yet Different

A few years ago on my danerickson.net blog, someone told me that my writing was similar to Leo Babauta’s writing. “Leo who?” I asked. I did some research and discovered Zen Habits. I’d already been on a journey to live simple. In fact, I’ve always tried to live simple. But after spending some time studying Zen Habits, I decided I wanted to blog about simple living. And so Hip Diggs was started.

beach-972566_1920 Hip Diggs And Zen Habits: Photo of a stack of stones

Lately, I’ve been getting several comments per month that compare Hip Diggs to Zen Habits. I consider that a compliment. Zen Habits is one of the most successful blogs ever on simple living and minimalism. And although I’m not big on comparing myself to others, I think some comparisons can be healthy and positive.

Hip Diggs Vs. Zen Habits: The Similarities

Of course this is not a competition. I don’t think either blog is better or worse than the other. They are similar and different. We’ll start with the similarities:

  1. The topic: Both Leo Babauta and I write about simple living and minimalism. We also both write about productivity and healthy habits. We both tend to have large array of topics around these universal themes. 
  2. The layout: I didn’t set out to create a site that looks similar to Zen Habits. When I started blogging, I played around with themes and sidebars and widgets. I continually tried to add more to my blogs but was never happy with how they looked. I hated the clutter. I despised popups. Then something clicked. I decided less is better than more. This led to a natural progression to simplify the look of my blogs. Hip Diggs was born.  
  3. The writing: I like to write simply and straight to the point. I keep sentences short. I keep my messages practical, yet get a little philosophical at times. I intentionally focus on my craft, always trying to improve my writing. I think this is something Leo Babauta does, too.

Some Healthy Differences

Of course there are more similarities between Hip Diggs and Zen Habits, but I think I covered the most obvious ones. I’m also sure there are many differences, but I’ll only focus on two:

  1. Hip Diggs makes more use of photos: I considered going without photos. But I didn’t want to be a Leo Babauta copycat. I wanted something to make Hip Diggs unique from Zen Habits. I chose to use a medium-sized photo on each page and post. I enjoy choosing photos from sites like Pixabay that either directly or metaphorically relate to the topic. To me, that’s part of the art of blogging. 
  2. Hip Diggs has a different spiritual emphasis: I’m open minded when it comes to spirituality. However, I was raised in a Christian home. And although I don’t go to fundamentalist extremes, I still consider myself a follower of Christ. I think Jesus has as much to say about simple living as Buddha. So occasionally, I look at the topic from a Christian perspective.

That’s it. Hip Diggs and Zen Habits are similar, yet different. I hope you make a point to visit both blogs. I think there is much to be learned from a variety of perspectives. And although I appreciate the comparisons to Leo, I also hope that you can see the uniqueness of Dan in each of my posts at Hip Diggs.

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