I just watched a video about Bob Kramer. Bob makes knives. No, I’m sorry, he crafts art that perform like knives. He spends 25 hours on custom knives created with over 400 layers of folded steel. He’s perfected an acid bath process that creates exotic textures in the steel. Customers wait months for one of his creations that sell for $300 an inch.
Bob had trouble finding his passion. He was a Ringling Bros. clown, chef, and professional knife sharpener. One day he decided to take a chance and design a life around his passion.
Bob also helped me get clear about something that has been nagging me for a few weeks now
Let me start here –
Passion + Work x Courage = Art.
You skimp on any of these ingredients and you just have an equation for burnout. But if you take the time to align each of these components and you have something breathtaking.
As a writer who blogs, your art is your post.
It should rejuvenate you, challenge you, and scare you a bit. Since it’s YOUR art you have a right to take it personally. It’s supposed to hurt when someone criticizes or (worst) ignores it. Your work matters.
But here’s the kicker.
Bob, creates his works of art as tools and heirlooms for his clients. Sure he takes intense personal pleasure in each blade. But he knows that true art reaches its zenith when it’s appreciated by his customer.
Your Readers Matter…
As of late, I’ve been thinking about bloggers who publish publicly but insist they write only for themselves. Something doesn’t sit right. You see, I know of many artists whose work never faces public scrutiny. Their work gets put away moments after it’s created. They don’t pretend to want any recognition for their passion.
On the other hand, I see bloggers who spend hours crafting posts, promoting posts, and replying to commenters. But in the end, they insist they are writing only for themselves.
Um bologna. You have the passion. You’ve done the work. Why don’t you step up and have the courage to say. “World this is my art. Say what you will – but you need to hear what I have to say”. Some will dislike what you have to offer. Fine. But don’t deprive yourself of True Art by pretending to not give a damn about your audience.
Because, here’s the secret to greatness –
Great artists are constantly seeking to amaze their audience. Every new piece is designed to shed new light on the unique perspective of the artist.
Without the audience, there is no real progress or innovation.
I Need You.
As a writer, I need you. I write because I love it. But, I need you to love it too. I know this may not sit well with you, but think on it a bit and tell me what you think below.
By the way, thanks Bob Kramer for the lesson.