Our Art, Our Diaries

Creating daily content to please ourselves — and maybe others

Mookie Spitz
2 min readFeb 22, 2024

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Rick Rubin believes the audience comes last in his creative process. That’s because he’s not making art for them, but for himself — and by doing so, he’s also doing the best possible thing for his audience.

That sounds paradoxical, but makes perfect sense. Why? Because by giving himself the freedom to express himself his way, he’s not beholden to what he thinks his audience might like. Pleasing himself, he pleases others.

Not all others, mind you, impossible anyway. Rick is a great artist and a successful one because his musical interests are vast, and his taste is excellent. Not all artists are popular, but popular artists trust their instincts.

Content created by committee is an illuminating counterexample. When most movies and songs are made, the audience comes first. Since market research has nothing to do with passion and storytelling, they often suck.

Rubin goes on to insightfully compare making art to diary entries. I love that analogy, because it resonates in so many different ways: We write a diary for ourselves, not others, and we do it every damn day of the year.

A diary entry is also a snapshot of our feelings and experiences. Our art is like that, and as such flows and evolves with our changing lives. We live today, and move on — we create, are done, then continue to the next thing.

We are what we do, and artists do art. Brian Eno doesn’t wait for inspiration, he just goes for it every day, and welcomes inspiration when it happens to strike. Surrendering control, he allows his art a life of its own.

Such a Zen-like attitude toward art is not only a recipe for eventual, inevitable success, but personal fulfillment. Inured to judgment, immune from perfectionism, hard work and the thrill of self-expression hit home.

The best part of all is liking what we do, and sometimes even loving it. An ideal day is waking up eager to create, and passing out exhausted after creating it — rinse and repeat for an ideal week, month, and life. Go for it.

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Mookie Spitz

Author and communications strategist. His latest book SUPER SANTA is available on Amazon, with a sci fi adventure set for Valentine's Day 2024.