Sunday, 2 August 2009

Breaking habits

When we talk about habits, we normally talk about them in a negative light. There are good habits too, such as showering every morning, brushing your teeth or wiping your arse.

Still, it is worth breaking habits sometimes, just to see what kind of possibilities open up. Habits can kill your sense of perspective. Making a conscious effort to change your way of doing things changes the world in new and interesting ways.

George Orwell did that all the time. He always changed the way he lived. He went tramping, fought in the Spanish Civil War, ran a small farm and lived on a remote Scottish Island at the end of his life. It is true to say that he did not always do these things as a sacrafice at the alter of literature- he did have political motives when fighting in the Spanish Civil War- but his way of looking at the world was always fresh as a result of these changes.

This is important if you want to be a vital artist. Try breaking some habits and see what happens. I will wager that your work will benefit as a result. Although, I would not recommend that you start by breaking the habits associated with personal hygiene! You might come to understand loneliness in a more disturbing way.

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