the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: inspiration



In all my years of blogging, I have never written anything with the aim of inspiring you. It’s not my style.  I’m not a teacher or an advocate.  I don’t consider myself inspirational.

But that changes today.

The night started with my own search for inspiration. I’ve been feeling scared lately, fearful, unable to take steps that could improve my life.   I searched online for advice. Through Google, I found all sorts of gurus, wannabe gurus, psychologists, happiness experts, and thought leaders who were eager to help me.  These articles were written by two categories of authors — those who never faced fear, and those who learned to overcome it.   Whether written as  longform or Buzzfeed listicle, on an academic website or online women’s magazine, the advice was always remarkable similar, pretty much expanding on Nike’s advertising copy of  “Just Do It.”

“You can’t succeed without failure.

You will never know until you try.

Change your way of thinking.

Fight the fear and do it anyway.

Twelve Ways Successful Entrepreneurs Win at Business.

Get the Love You Deserve By Risking it All.”

All night I read articles that felt cold against my skin, clichés tossed at me to sell e-books or writers promoting themselves. I was not inspired by someone who once feared air travel and now jumps out of an airplane every day at lunch.  What if you’re still finding it hard to call up American Airlines to change a flight?

These articles just made me feel inept.

“Just do it,” they said.   That sells stuff.

“Fuck you.  I can’t do it yet,” I answered.   That will never sell anything.

So, I am here to talk to those who fear change, risk, or rejection. I cannot tell you to fight that fear, because I have not done so myself. I give you no tips on how to overcome obstacles because I frequently falter.

My only inspirational message is this — if you fear something, you should feel it. That’s it. Save fighting it for another day.  Just feel the fear.  And know that others feel it too.  That’s my inspirational message.  It’s the only way I can help you.

That is what I was searching for tonight. And since I could not find that inspirational article on any website, I wrote it myself.

Paradigm Shift

I want you to read my post.

I want you to buy my book.

I want you to vote for me in a contest.

I want you to come to my seminar.

I want you to help my friend in need.

I want you to listen to my political beliefs.

But BEFORE you do any of these things, I want you to write something great. I want you to go outside and take some beautiful photographs.

Because I am touched and inspired by YOUR creativity. It is as important for me to partake of your work as it is knowing that you are spending time with mine. Your work feeds my soul and makes me a better person.


I was chatting with Schmutzie on IM. It was a typical IM conversation. I was bitching about Twitter, and how it felt like there were a hundred voices shouting at me to read, listen, or do something.

“So ignore them,” she said. “Your priority is your own work.”

Schmutzie has a passion for quality work. It is why she started Five Star Friday as an outlet for the best posts of the week.

I had another question for her.

“If I truly focused on quality work, I will have less time for everyone else in the community, including READING YOUR POSTS. Does that bother you?”

“Not at all. I respect those that focus on their own work. I’d rather you write something of quality that enhances MY life than having YOU read one of my so-so posts.”

In my nearly seven years of blogging, no one has ever said anything like this to me. It was so counter-intuitive to the economic marketplace that we have created for ourselves.

It was as if Quality was the God, and was bigger than both of us, and it didn’t matter which one of us connected to it, because it was to everyone’s benefit when it was reached.

Can you imagine someone coming onto to Twitter and typing, “Hey folks, my post today is a rush job, so instead of you spending too much time reading it, why don’t you go focus on making YOUR post as good as possible!”

I’m not sure Schmutzie meant to be inspirational, but it felt as if there was a paradigm shift inside my head about the artist’s life, like Gallileo’s first sensing that the the planet revolved around the sun, and not the Earth.

The power of CREATIVITY was our God, and it was available to all..

Don’t bother to comment today. Spend that time writing your own post. Or, if you do want to comment, tell me about a creative act that you plan to do today, even if it is just making lunch.

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