A couple months ago, I wrote a blog post about blogging like an artist.
But what does that mean? When you think about it, what does “art” mean?
Is it that inner fire, the creative spark, the connection between seemingly unrelated dots, the unapologetic expression of one’s personality, the moment of real human empathy and connection?
What does art even have to do with blogging?
I’d say that art is everything around us. Art and life are so, so close to one another that at times they even touch.
And I believe that a blogger could aspire to the kind of sensibility required to be an artist.
After all, this site is called The Art of Blogging for a reason, right?
1. Art is also craft
Okay, so let’s just get this out of the way.
Art is a personal expression of the world you see around you, but you can’t express what you see and feel until you master your chosen craft.
There’s a craft to any artistic form of expression, the same way there are certain elements of blogging one must be aware of in order to write a brilliant blog post.
Dive into the disciplines that will teach you how to stitch words together in ways you haven’t tried before.
Study poetry. Study screenwriting. Study short stories.
In other words, never stop learning.
A writing workshop can be a great start, but there are also lots of wonderful books on writing well. Click here to find some of them.
2. Artists must produce the work, whether they feel like it or not
Nearly all great writers, musicians, painters, and other artists tend to work in well-defined work cycles. It does help that most of them have strict deadlines, so they almost always have specific times of day set aside for creative work.
Stephen King famously said that he writes every single day except for Christmas and his birthday… he then admitted to lying. He writes every single day.
As a blogger, as someone who writes for the entertainment and education of others, you need to get to work. Every. Single. Day.
3. Artists know that most of their stuff will suck
Failure is essential to the artist. I’d say that failure is what keeps one going. After all, if you managed to create the perfect painting from the first try, then why bother painting after that?
Failure is the fuel that keeps an artist creating.
Painters call it “brush mileage.”
If we keep working, keep doing our best, we’ll keep getting better.
At first, your articles may need a lot of editing. As you mature creatively, your rewrites might get faster, but you’ll still find that genuinely good work needs the discipline of multiple rewrites.
4. Artists ask questions. A lot of them.
I’m curious. Like terribly so. I see a beautiful woman walking down the street, and I want to know what breaks her heart. I want to know what would someone do if they knew they couldn’t fail, or what is their favorite time of year, or the most beautiful memory, or which is the work of art that left them speechless. Or what is it that they’d do with the love of their life in a room full of art. What would they be staring at?
Questions lead us to new places. Questions help us connect dots.
5. Artists are good at connecting the dots
Art presents endless opportunities for recycling, rethinking, and problem solving.
Artists also understand that it’s not enough to have some wonderful idea.
We have to figure out how to translate that into something other people can see or hear or touch.
6. Artists need an audience
Art begins in self-expression. But we also have a deep desire to find an audience for our creative work.
It’s a bit of a zen paradox.
Art is about you. Art is also about everyone else.
That’s why it doesn’t make you a “hack” to want to build an audience.
Blogging is a creative endeavor, and it requires one not only to think outside the box, but to think as if there is no box. To think… like an artist.