My Own Rules

As contributing members of society, there are certain rules we all follow to keep the grand experiment in operation: laws, social customs and traditions and so on. These rules are unnatural, but with good reason, as they are designed to protect us from the innumerable dangers of nature, not the least of which are the more violent aspects of our own.

But as an artist, I believe it’s better to play by one’s own rules. Of course, that is hardly a formula for success, if one defines success in terms of gross wealth and fame. Some of us, however, not only function in a manner that is outside that spectrum, but openly oppose it.

As one who wishes to join the exclusive club of those who make up and follow their own sets of rules, I have drafted the following and put it through one round of revision.

  1. Question all assumptions that limit you or otherwise reduce your quality of life.

  2. Refuse to submit to the will of others.

  3. Work around your weaknesses and develop strengths.

  4. You are not a product or brand. Your life is not for consumption.

  5. Develop a vision of what your life is, what your days and nights are to be like, and how to use your time and live accordingly.

  6. Trust your creative instincts, especially when that instinct demands you explore risky work.

  7. In your life, you are the captain; you are the king. The ship is yours to command; the castle is yours to protect.

  8. Work in more than one language.

  9. Do not allow your rough edges to be sanded.

  10. Do not water yourself down in a false attempt at “relatability.”