When I teach, especially people around the university age, there is a romance about the lifestyle of being a writer. A lot of these students glamourise the idea of being depressed in some warehouse in East London eating nothing but cheese, cigarettes, alchol and drugs having sex with shit people.
I don't smoke but I'll tell you this the rest is a hinderance to creativity. We cannot ever confuse any form of depression with creativity. Sure you may be able to write about that depression like Sarah Kane did but if you want to make a living out of being an Artist in the long term you have to build stability in your life.
If you, like me, are prone to bouts of depression you will know that it's hard to get out of bed in the morning. That the thing you feel you need to do is stay there for ever and it is really hard to do good work, to a deadline, when all you can think about is dying. It is our duty to not romantise that life style to young people. It will make them worse artists, it will mad them sad, it will make them lonely and it will make them try to live in a way that is not about the persuit of Art. It will will make them live in the pursuit of what they see as an Artist. And that is very different.
Drugs and Alcohol are as bad. Not only do they take up time but they take up headspace. You lose weekends that could be spent living and loving in the absense of living and loving. In the escape of the body and mind and the recovery the next day. Followed by a slow start to the week. Abuse of these are paramount to being happy. In moderation sure; crack on. Live your life. But routine abuse is, again, in the image of the romantic artist and not useful to our persuit of Art and enlightenment. If you spend more time getting fucked and dealing with the reprecussions that you do living life soberly and engaging with Art you will be a worse Artist for it.
Love it important. Again the myth that young people perpuate to me is having a thousand lovers. That's fine if that's what you feel you need. If you feel like a relationship isn't for you. If you can honestly say you just want that then go forth; but you need to build solidity into your life. You need to make peace with your romantic choices because they weight heavy on your mind. You need to follow your own unique curiosity. I promise you; a solid foundation of romance will stop you panicking about being alone.
Diet; fuck it like eat what you want but be happy. I've been my least happy when I've had a six pack (long time ago). It fucks you up and yeah you have sex with hot people but they're usually shit anyway so... Who's arsed. Be at home in your body. Enjoy what you like.
Finally: home. This is the most important one. If you want to create you have to be in a space that faciliates that. Not all of us can live alone but we have to find a space that you feel like you can work in and live with people who you feel facilitate that practise. That could mean leaving you alone. Could mean staying up til 3am talking. Could mean another Artist. Who the fuck knows. But that space is sacred; you should be at peace in the mind in there if possible. Or work somewhere else. You need to let the mind flow. You know what this means to you; but make it your choice not the choise of Rimbaud or some other sad people.
We have to deter young people from the romantic Artist life style. It is unusefull and will make them sad and unproductive and shit.
I wrote this because I woke up depressed. Hope you're all having a good day.