I’m always disappointed when I talk to Artists and the first thing they start telling me is their resume, how many blog hits they have, how many tickets they’ve sold and how many social media followers they have. I’m dismayed not by their success, but by the business metrics they’re using to calculate what will always be only a fleeting, and diminishing, rate of return. Art must not be commerce. Creation must not be commercial. The Arts must never belong to the business school. The only thing of value you have as an Artist — and can control forever — is your belief in what you know is true and how that knowledge affects the quality of the work you produce falling into the long game beyond the grave.
It doesn’t matter if you’re appreciated now or later or if you’re famous or not. What matters is that you continue to produce your very best work without fail and on a predictable and demanding schedule. Your apathy is your only competitor. You can live on reputation alone, but you’d never want to die on one.
At the end of the day if you can answer this question — “What truths did you tell today?” — then you are on schedule with the promising peril of your life.
That’s why, as the publisher of Boles Blogs I have no interest in daily stats or ad placements or other media tie downs — because you can become embedded in their false meaning. Overall stats over time can serve some purposeful insight on trend popularity, but are you leading your readers or are they leading you? You cannot predict what someone wants to read because oftentimes they don’t know what interests them until you convince them in writing. Oftentimes, you don’t know what you want to write until you begin to write.
More often than not, stats and followers and the crush to be coveted only skew popular perception and ruin aesthetic reality. What’s hot today won’t be tomorrow. Instead of aiming for heat and fire, focus instead on substance and depth. Create hardy foundations. Make sure the world beneath you is strong enough to support a soaring leap of faith later.
One reader of a single article can make all the difference in the world. Do not be fooled by madding masses and their inconsequential demands. Challenge the middle thought and push to be anarchical and even wrong. You won’t be wrong in your mind, but others will try to convince you of their being right against you — but all you need to do is nod, and wait for time to eviscerate modern momentum and your truth will always be told — with you now, or against you in death, it will forever happen like water licking smooth a stone.
Be a slave to knowing the truth and never wanting for a bottom dollar. Realize who you are and keep calm creating what you know is beautiful and right and perhaps, even ugly, because in all truths there is an eternal propulsion into a life beyond the danger of your grasping, mortal, hands.