Creative People and Creative Habits

Creative people have creative habits, by which I mean that creative people have bad habits–not so much in the application and prosecution of their craft inasmuch as their own personal habits.  You could argue that creative people don’t reserve much of their consideration for themselves after they’ve spent it all in their work.  This is to avoid altogether the discussion of what constitutes a creative person, which I would tend to mean as anyone who creates, specifically as a sort of sole proprietor in a personal obsession with a certain craft.

It’s apparently a sort of personality trait.  There are some kind gentle souls who put others and the world before themselves.  And then there are other people who can’t be bothered to take care of themselves because they’re too busy writing or painting or whathaveyou.  In truth, I wouldn’t ascribe to it anything glorious or romantic; I see it rather differently.  There have been many bright minds and shining stars struck down amidst the height of their profession because they didn’t care for the consequences.  All different names of scientists, writers, some painters, and certain even very professional performers.  This condition seems to strike men far more than it does women.

And when I talk about taking care of oneself, I’m not really talking about daily bathing and the occasional clipping of nails, though these are also good habits.  In general what I’m talking about are issues of substance abuse, which strike amongst the creative like the dart of Apollo.  Writers tend to be drunks.  Others are chainsmokers.  Some of them also have terrible drug habits.  Many of them have even produced their best work while so driven.  I think that’s precisely why they opt not to consider the consequences; by and large, it has become a portion of their creative process, whether good or ill, and to disrupt this allegiance would the height of inimical.

I frankly have to wonder, does the creative endeavor attract substance abusers or is it almost a necessity to be a substance abuser to be creative?  “No smack, no soul?”

A lot of people say that life is suffering.  I would counter with the assertion that “life is desire, and desire hurts just as much as it helps.