The applicability of “The best books on High Performance Psychology” on game and chicks is obvious. I’m more a fan of the article than the specific books discussed. The Practice of Practice is a good book for guys looking to understand how to take small consistent steps towards improvement. Almost no one sees HUGE gains in one day or one week of new action and specific practice. Gains are always small and accrue over time… a theme you may have heard before.
There is a guy on Reddit, I am not going to link to him, who wrote a post saying that, “Finding out women are brain dead, making me depressed.” And he says, “To me it seems that 99.9% of women are like semi-blind goldfish. It’s like they have absolutely ZERO control or recognition of their emotions, they just react without thought.” The first reply says, “Dude you’re not wrong, but you’re not going to be fun and enjoy the moment with a cynical mindset. Most women do have the attention span and memory of a goldfish though.” Actually, that dude IS wrong. He’s probably low value, though. He’s also hanging out with the wrong women.
Women have a somewhat different value system, on average, than dudes, more based on emotion and feelings. This guy is as blind to that as most chicks are to the male value system of achievement. It’s likely that high-value, intelligent women do not like this guy, do not find him attractive, and outright avoid him. It’s also possible that he’s in a bad environment, like a rural area or a bad school, and he is surrounded by people who are not the intellectual cream.
If you think most women are brain dead there are two real possibilities (I’ll discount the environmental possibility for now, because most people get into the environment they earn/deserve): 1. You are someone like Stephen Wolfram and working on Mathematica and you are a genius, in which case most people seem kind of dim (I have met geniuses), or 2. You are stupid and blind yourself. The vast majority of people who think they are geniuses are wrong and fall into category 2. Even geniuses often lack sufficient theory of mind to understand what chicks want.
If you think chicks are dumb, the problem is probably you, because your value is low and you don’t even know it, or the chicks you hang out with. The same guy who wrote the thing I am referencing also uses a ton of run-on sentences and likely doesn’t even know it. It’s very rare that someone thinks everyone around them is dumb and is correct. And even if you are correct, that’s a sign you need to make serious life changes. It’s amazing how many guys, who aren’t getting laid much and don’t have high value, think women are dumb / mean / cruel / all whores / etc., vs. how many guys who are getting laid and have high value often don’t think that.
This turned into a non-actionable ramble, but it is a fundamental statement of my views and psychology… it emerged in response to this Nash comment, so if you want to understand the context, check that first.
In the RP and seduction communities, I get the sense that some guys (maybe most?) are kind of cold/damaged. They’ve failed too many times and are seeking revenge, or seeking to “get a free one” off chicks. Or to get a chick in the inferior position, so that HE has the power (for once) and will get to feel what it’s like to have arbitrary power over another person. None of those are good primary frames, in my view, even if they can be attractive at times.
I actually try to cultivate kindness… BUT not being “nice” or weak. I’m very keen on reciprocity as a fundamental part of the human experience, and I’m cagey about people trying to steal value. I don’t think I’m “nice.” I will be very angry if someone tries to use me, or get one over on me, although in the modern world that means “withdraw attention” is usually the only option.
BUT. We are also stuck on this planet together, and I would like to make the world a better place. I really do believe game makes the world a better place, as chicks want to be seduced by competent guys and of course guys want to seduce hot chicks. There are some ways that our biologies have caused incentives to be mismatched between guys and chicks. To fail to acknowledge that would be stupid. Within that context, however, I try to create “win-win” wherever possible, while also acknowledging that, of course, sometimes it is not possible to do “win-win.” I try to find chicks who want to do the same thing.
“Win-win” means trying to make sure the chick has the opportunity to get off. It means holding her after. Even in group sex situations, it is common to hold the chick after… she has had an intense experience, and needs to be helped down from it. It means that I usually have some food around, so we can have a snack. Most chicks are too dumb or self-centered to do these things, but some are self-aware enough to do them. A lot of chicks report most guys are not doing this stuff. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s a factor of chicks trying to get guys +1 or +2 SMV compared to them, and then they get what they give.
I don’t like the view, even if it’s purely psychological, that the goal of seduction is to get one over on the chick, or to punish the chick for all the times a chick has been a bitch to the guy. A guy should protect his value from chicks (or anyone) who will take it… but he should also try to be generous where and when possible. Especially in low-cost, high-value situations. Like holding a chick after he’s f**ked her. Simple thing that will make her experience much better.
Or invite chicks to the gym… to read a book he thinks is good… etc. It’s both good for the chick and also gives you information about her. A basic, lazy ignorant chick is probably only good for one thing, and she can be mentally put into that one-thing bucket. A highly responsive chick might be good for other things. When you find a chick who also wants to make the world a better place, that is valuable information. When you find a chick who wants to wants to watch TV, eat junk food, and complain… that is also valuable information. Obviously there are many gradations between the two.
Many guys, I sense, never get to the stage where they are seriously evaluating the chick, and discarding the chicks who aren’t any good. So if they struggle and struggle, then get to the stage where they have choice… they are sometimes tempted to be mean to the chick. Experienced guys learn that is very rarely good. Most of the time, simple disconnection is the right response to mean, bad, lazy, or stupid chicks. Trying to be mean in return… is rarely a good idea. Sometimes it might be. But very rarely.
I sense that a lot of guys in pickup, seduction, RP (distinct communities at times, but I will put them together my purposes now) want to present a bravado front… look at me, the great player/wizard, with all these chicks before me… I can treat them like dirt, or at least not very well, and they still come back for me… and if she doesn’t come back for more, BEHOLD!, for she will be replaced by another chick, for I am the great player/wizard of seduction, ready to replace that chick.
OF COURSE, sometimes a chick should be replaced. Of course, a guy is only as good as his options. Of course, a guy should be seeking new leads if his plate is not totally full. BUT, he should also try to improve the lives of the chicks he’s f**king, if he can, to the extent he can, while making sure that he only acts in ways that the chick merits. If he senses even for a moment that the chick is using him, or is withdrawing because of his generative nature… then he must pull back.
Top chicks, especially top chicks who are mentally sound, will respond will to a generative person. F**ked up chicks may respond less well. But I want more mentally sound chicks in my life, and fewer messes. You get what you give… there are some exceptions to that principle, but over time and over many scenarios, it plays out.
Nothing is perfect, and I have misjudged chicks and situations before. But I still want my basic frame and mode of being in the world to be positive and to be building new and good things. That can be executed in many different ways… with a chick you’ve just f**ked, though, it usually means you should hold her after. People want to connect with each other. In some ways, we have a very “cold” society in which we’re heavily disconnected. I like game because it creates the connections people yearn for but often don’t know how to make for themselves, anymore.
Enough ramble… I could keep going. I think the basic idea is here, though. If guys want to see more of my not-immediately-actionable ramble posts, there is a tag for them.
“How to deal with rejection.” A common query. I think we’re evolutionarily evolved to take rejection hard, likely because we evolved primarily in bands of somewhere between a few dozen and up to 150 people. In that environment, rejection by an attractive female could be brutal and perhaps end a guy’s reproductive career.
In the modern environment, guys who learn to overcome rejection (and overcome their natural instincts in this regard) will have a much better shot at tagging loads of chicks. This is an example of using the intellect to overcome the emotions.
High school and college are a little more like the ancestral environment, where networks matter more and cold approach pickup can be social death. In the big city environment, though, 100 rejections via cold approach pickup are a nullity in a guy’s life.
Chicks declaim responsibility: there is a kind of dumb essay, “Dead Girls, Female Murderers, and Megan Abbott’s Novel ‘Give Me Your Hand,'” you can read through search engines for a laugh, but it is revealing about female psychology, “She’s not just any dead girl. Usually, she is white, straight, and cisgender; young and beautiful; not poor.” People care about hot fertile chicks and rich high-status guys guys. You may notice that not many murder mysteries focus on dead guys who are nice-guy janitors. They focus on presidents, CEOs, cops… guys who have power. As usual, most guys are just ignored. The murder of a young hot chick is exciting and also extremely transgressive (because she hasn’t had kids yet, probably). She excites great passion in men, up to murderous passion, and exciting that kind of passion in men is exciting to read about for women.
Young and beautiful chicks are intrinsically more interesting to both men and women, as lovers or as rivals. That’s biology at work. Women past reproductive age are not that interesting.
Abbott says, “the place women can go to read about the dark, messy stuff of their lives that they’re not supposed to talk about—domestic abuse, serial predation, sexual assault, troubled family lives, conflicted feelings about motherhood, the weight of trauma, partner violence, and the myriad ways the justice system can fail, and silence, women.” But like Camille Paglia says, any women who stays with a guy who hits her after the first time he does is complicit with the violence. She’s excited by it. Just like many if not most women who experience “sexual assault” do so because they set up the situation. They get drunk, go out, meet and entice guys, and then are surprised by what happens. The real thing no one talks about is female complicity.
Women, except for very rare women like Camille Paglia, don’t talk about this because they don’t want to take responsibility for their actions. Most of what women do is the fault of someone else, preferably a man. She’s just, you know, an innocent victim. Except that’s very rarely the case.
All this talk about “partner violence” and “sexual assault” communicates to men that women are childlike and inept. Smart, competent, and self-aware women rarely have those problems. Competent women identify potentially violent guys and avoid them. Contrary to feminist myth, those guys are readily identifiable.
And they attract women. What does that tell us?
Competent women avoid those guys… unless they are into potentially violent guys… and then when the guy does his extremely predictable thing, she depicts herself as a victim. Better for her reputation than taking responsibility for herself.
Camille Paglia also calls out the bogus #MeToo movement. It should be called the #ZeroResponsibility movement. There is nobody else like her in academia today. Christina Hoff Summers comes closest. Most “feminists” are just un-self-aware apologists for their own psychologies.
I think most basic guys who get into game just want to find a pretty, acceptable girlfriend, and when they find one they drop off. Maybe they eventually break up, only to start the cycle anew. Or they have kids, and that’s another set of issues not conducive to game writing.
Then there are the guys who get into the game, maybe to find a girlfriend or maybe to just sleep with a lot of women, and they succeed: over time, they have amazing and awful experiences and they rack notches. They have amazing stories and many pleasures (as well as many pains).
Eventually racking notches loses some of its appeal. Most women are not that good outside of bed; they’re annoying to be around; they themselves lose their personal discipline; and the Coolidge Effect kicks in. So guys start to feel what I call “the Groundhog Day effect,” where nailing yet another rando loses some of its thrill. SOME. Not all of course. Most intelligent guys, sooner or later, also want to create something more lasting than random bangs. Usually that means kids. Often the desire for a family becomes acute in the mid 30s to early 40s… one can imagine biological reasoning for that, or the realities of aging and death as one’s parents die or become elderly and infirm. A lot of guys who marry or de-facto marry in their 20s do the opposite and seem to break up in the 35 – 40 period, maybe because they realize their opportunities to relatively easily close 20-something women are going to dwindle. There is a “wall” for men as well as women, though the male wall is further out.
(Yes, I know, the Internet is full of 45- and 55-year-old guys with their HB9 24-year-old girlfriends… maybe… I’m sure it happens, and it’s not impossible, but I don’t see much of it in my own life.)
Maybe the apotheosis of the “pack it in” guys is Neil Strauss, since he wrote The Game and then wrote The Truth, which can be read many ways… one being that he got tired of the game. His own psychology or biology were tired of the chase.
Granted, he is also a famous millionaire and married a 20-something swimsuit model. [Addendum: He seems also to have filed for divorce, so so much for Strauss as an example of quitting the game.]
We have two classes of guys so far: the ones just looking for an okay girlfriend, then the ones who do it for three to ten years before deciding to have kids or otherwise change.
Then there are guys who are in it for the long haul.
They are the guys who write the most intense blogs for long periods of time. Then the blog becomes fodder for a book. Most guys write for a while then disappear into monogamy or kids… or boredom with only speaking to pseudonymous guys online: I’m likely to disappear at some point; I don’t make money doing this, will never start a coaching business, and will run out of stuff to say. Yes, there is daily outrage against men in the news, and I’m prone to writing about that, but I think I will quit due to diminishing returns. There is only so much news outrage before outrage fatigue sets in.
The long haul guys are Krauser, Tom Torero, Blackdragon, probably some other guys I’m not aware of (although Blackdragon is writing more about relationships and less about game as such). Leave comments with others I’m leaving out. For them game seems like a total life practice and purpose, not a phase. Seduction is their art… or their demon.
Art or demon? In a comment to another post, I said that I wonder about the psychology of some of the hardest-core game guys. Neil Strauss wrote about his own psychological demons in The Truth. Tucker Max isn’t exactly a game guy but he too has written about his demons, especially as they relate to his messed-up mother. Krauser has written about his domineering mother too (very similar to Max and Strauss, and this may be a pattern worth exploring). I don’t want to go all Freudian, but I have to think about whether some of the more extreme cases of long-term game obsession come from bad places in childhood.
And, specifically, from men with bad mothers. Max, or his therapist, thinks there’s a psychological pattern. Does it take being somewhat messed up to really succeed at the highest levels of conscious game? Nash’s post “Tom Torero is a Thief | Street Hustle Book Review” got me thinking about these issues… be sure to read the fruitful comments as well. I don’t know what to make of the post because I don’t know Torero personally and he doesn’t seem immediately slimy to me, but what Nash says isn’t impossible.
Psychological explanations about declining long-term game motivation, loneliness, and a desire for substance are easy to dismiss as “blue pill” thinking, but I don’t think all of psychology is “blue pill.” I don’t even think the drive to pair-bond, which most people experience in various ways, is BP. Many BP guys suffer from oneitis because they can’t do any better, but some RP guys get tired of the game, of female bullshit, and the tedium of the chase. Even the joy of sleeping with a new chick can become a drug. Drug metaphors are common in game. Drugs can lead to abuse and the need for abstention and, ultimately, recovery.
To guys who’ve never had a lot of women, the last paragraph may sound like BS. So be it. Unless you’ve had five+ years of active game or sexual success, though, I don’t want to hear your arguments.
Get the experience, then you can tell me it’s BS.
Actually, I want you to have five+ years and be over age 30. Contemporary guys aren’t ready to have families and that kind of thing until at least age 30, more likely age 35. If you are age 21 or 26… talk to me in ten years. Enjoy chasing skirt today. I’m in favor of skirt chasing and there are millions of chicks out there who are actually thin and also want to get f**ked. Go seduce them, promise you’ll pull out, then don’t.
This has turned into a hell of a ramble post, but I’m going to keep going.
Almost all the guys in game, or realistically writing about game because I don’t know anything about the guys whose writing I haven’t encountered, have a common narrative: they were sexual nobodies or nonstarters in high school and usually college. Some didn’t get going in earnest until age 30 or later. Often they were or are jealous of their more successful-seeming rivals. Usually they don’t understand women’s feral sexual nature and are shocked to discover it, as shocked as Europeans finding the new world. They don’t understand that evolutionary psychology compels women to have an official purity narrative layered on top of their actual sex drive and behaviors. They learn game and change their lives enormously.
That is a common narrative for game guys and it isn’t my narrative. I’m coming from a world where I’ve probably had above-average success for most of my life. I’ve had struggles and I still struggle, and I am not laying chicks like a Hollywood actor, but I have done and am doing fine. Positive feelings and thinking tends to beget more positive feeling and thinking. To me, game formalized a lot of things I already sensed and helped me improve weak points. But I am not reacting against extreme failures in my past, or against an acute sense of missing out.
So my past and key reference experiences are different than the game guys I’ve read. I did “okay” in high school. At the time I perceived it to be below average, but now I realize I was above average, though not at the very peak. In retrospect I had a lot of problems with pedestalizing, weak eye contact, and, during initial encounters, subservient behaviors. But I had a lot of advantages from sports teams, reading, and decent willingness to approach (what would now be called “warm approach” in a school, university, or work environment). Given enough green lights I would escalate up to sex. I had a reasonable number of girlfriends and what I would now call positive reference experiences. Many guys get into the game because they feel they underperformed through most of their lives.
In college no one knew about “the game,” and while I wouldn’t call myself one of the ultra-high-achieving naturals, I did fine. I kept up with sports discipline, so I looked better than most guys. I did the default baggy college guy outfit and although it worked fine in retrospect I should’ve tuned what I wore better (in “fashion,” 10% of the effort gets at least 80% of the value). I relied on pure body more than fashion. I also wish I’d learned about black iron compound lifting earlier. At the time I believed that fancy Nautilus machines were safer and better. They’re more advanced and technological, right? WRONG. But I didn’t know better then. I also thought fat was bad and carbs were good, because that was the dominant thinking at the time and the government must be right. Fat makes you fat, right?
Hahahaha, I know, in retrospect I’m laughing at my naiveté too. I didn’t know any better. Neither did many other people.
But I tolerated rejection tolerably well and by the time I was in college I had a pretty simple setup: I figured out early on that I should stock beer, vodka, and a mixer. My strategy was simple: “Come over to the dorm [or house] for a beer later.” Drink a beer or two, listen to music, watch a movie, escalate. When you are surrounded by young hot unencumbered girls… a minimal amount of game can be very powerful.
I bobbled lots of stuff and didn’t persist through LMR. One of the most beautiful girls I ever tried for came over, took off her shirt, but said no to more, and for some reason I just stopped pursuing her. Years later she said she had a huge crush on me and wanted to know why I didn’t like her back. I told her that I didn’t think she liked me. In college opportunities for sex with hot chicks are just there, like breathing. Later in life, they typically must be pursued.
There are many other missed opportunity stories I could tell, but I had a strategy of sorts that was good enough and it was better than most guys. Game is often like running from a bear: you don’t have to be the fastest, you just have to be faster than the other guys. College guys are real slow. I’m sure that if I posted many of the things I did and said to the Internet, an army of couch-PUAs would tell me everything I did wrong, but it worked well enough.
Colleges basically set up warm approaches. Middle class and middle class+ college kids also have nothing better to do besides sit around and gossip, so I got a reputation as a “player,” which of course helped me with like 80% of girls. The reputation wasn’t really deserved, since I just ran the simple algorithm… but I wasn’t complaining either.
I also didn’t know how to keep girls on rotation, so if a girl wanted to be my “girlfriend” I would say yes, and “be her boyfriend,” most often until I got bored with her, at which point I’d suddenly break up with her and she would cry, because I didn’t know how to set appropriate expectations. Or she’d eventually catch me with another girl and get angry. I had a couple of those sitcom-y conversations where the girl would say, “But you’re my boyfriend, how could you do this to me?” and I would reply, “Because I knew that if I didn’t, you wouldn’t have sex with me | would stop having sex with me.” She would be… confused, more than anything, I think.
The right answer, of course, is to say, “I’m seeking something casual and we’re both in college and we’re too young to get serious…” but I wasn’t that sophisticated and back then no one was talking about poly or open relationships. I did intuit how to be sex positive, albeit without knowing that term. Not slut-shaming girls and being the chill guy they can come to for sex that won’t get back to their friends was super smart.
I also had not come to my fundamental realization, that there are really only two kinds of relationships: relationships with a woman with whom you plan to have kids… and all other kinds of relationships. When I came to understand that, much became clear that had previously been mysterious. Have you knocked her up, or would you? That’s one thing. Would you not, or not deliberately? That’s another.
Because of my sex-or-nothing attitude in later college, I became a somewhat polarizing person, as I (eventually) learned not to be faux friends with girls I actually wanted to sleep with. At the start of college I was… not so good at this and did some embarrassing things.
After college I somehow got the idea that it was time to “get serious” and “settle down.” Don’t ask me how or why. I don’t know. Other guys did similar things. If you love to raw dog you may wind up with kids earlier than you intend.
Overall I did well for a long time and that must have affected me and my expectations. Like I said, at the time I didn’t know about the joy of the barbell, and I didn’t formally know or intuitively understand that neither men nor women have much control over who they’re attracted to. Women’s attraction is often sub-verbal, visceral, and not optional.
Evolutionary biology is the foundation of game: a fact so important that I have to keep saying it. Attraction starts of course with looks and the body, which is why every RP and game writer says that lifting (or any exercise really) is such a vital place to start. Women don’t have much control over attraction… so maximize what you can control. That starts with the body’s motions and what a guy puts in his body.
It doesn’t end there and I’ve seen really attractive guys underperform because of personality flaws, being too passive/needy, etc. Having the whole package is best but not an option for most guys, since we have to develop what we have. Most guys never study the game properly.
The other side, of course, is that men only have so much choice in who we’re attracted to. Women wear makeup, hit the gym, choose high heels, etc. because they know they’re in competition for the very top guys. Every time I read a woman write about how women should quit high heels I laugh. Go ahead and do it… but your competitors won’t… and their raised, wiggling asses will attract the eyes of men.
Women know guys like youth, health, fertility cues, etc., even if no woman who isn’t an evolutionary biologist would use those terms. A given woman may defect from optimal strategy but if she does the higher-value guys will get taken by women who don’t defect, so the vast majority of women conform to male preferences… like guys who want to get laid conform to female preferences. You may have seen defectors who cut their hair short, quit shaving, and go vegan. Actually I only see them if they’re in my way, otherwise they’re pretty much invisible to me, like they are to the vast majority of straight guys.
Part of the game is learning those opposite-sex preferences. I didn’t know them in high school or college but I learned them well enough, and the formal component came later. It’s not necessary to know the formal component (virtually no men who have ever lived and reproduced knew it) but it will help, just like it’s possible to dominate a high school basketball court without lifting, but lifting will make any athlete better.
I wonder about the psychological effects of being a relative outcast during the formative years. I have my own psychological quirks, but they don’t stem from utter failure when I was young, which seems like such a common game origin story. A lot of guys who get into game at age 30+ may be going through a phase that I started when I was like age 18.
This is not a “shame guys” post, as I think everyone should pursue happiness and satisfaction as they see fit. In some sense I will likely always be in the game as long as I am physically viable, since I’m not interested in total monogamy and likely never will be.
How much tail does one need before one is basically satiated? When I am 50 or 55 or 60 will I still want to be stopping women and saying that I have to say that they’re cute, but they look like they’re ready for a yoga class? Are they poseurs or really going? Etc. I have seen the old people at the sex clubs and they don’t seem to be having fun and few of the younger people want them there.
Like most normal people, I’m also subject to feelings of loneliness. Friends help with that but are not a panacea. I’ve chosen a weirder life course than most people around me, and that makes having friends and maintaining friendships harder. Most people around me are married. Those who aren’t, are almost all divorced (and then most often re-married). I’m the guy at weddings and holidays without a spouse… or with an “inappropriate” date. Yes, I know that I shouldn’t care and should be a proud lone wolf, but I haven’t gotten to where I am in the business world by ignoring social cues. Almost no one gets to the top alone. The further up you go, the more soft and people skills matter. I’m good enough to mostly get away with my other life, but I can also listen to what people say.
I don’t think I have the psychology to be permanently in the game. I wonder about the guys who are in it for decades. Do they get bored? Do they wonder if there’s anything greater out there? Have their formative experiences so scarred them that, once in game, they can’t get out? I’m clearly not anti-game or anti-sex, but I wonder about these issues. Maybe I’m in a weird place because I’ve also already done some of the empire-building that is common to guys starting around ages 35 – 40.
I have a job and no desire to turn game into money. I don’t see sex as a validation of who or what I am. That’s part of the reason I’m happy paying for it, if the circumstances are right. Though I haven’t paid for it for a while, because I’ve been seeing women pretty steadily. To me paying or not paying for it isn’t a matter of pride. To me, the physical pleasure of sex is the best part. I’m susceptible to that feeling of intimacy and closeness that comes from sex, even though my conscious self knows it’s a lie. I don’t chase skirt for the ego trip (as best I can tell). There seem to be some number of guys writing about the game who want to f**k pretty girls just to see if they can and just to then say that they can do it. My motivations are more immediate and physical.
Most of the guys I know who have kids and a strong relationship are much more pleased than the guys without. We evolved to live around families and to raise kids. Most men who never do that are broken… “most” but not all… if you are a man who doesn’t want kids and know you’d be a lousy father don’t have them: enough unwanted children live in the world already.
A lot of people who never have a family, something is either wrong with their heads from an early age or goes wrong as the loneliness of transient f**ks messes with their heads over time. I use the phrase “a lot of people” instead of “all people” deliberately: you may be an exception. In human affairs, there are always exceptions, but you may also be lying to yourself and thinking you are the exception. Most of this ramble is targeted at guys over age 30 and likely over age 35. If you are 25 and have gotten this far, just bookmark this page and come back in five or ten years. For now, go bang all the hot chicks you can. Younger guys need the experience and need to get the call of the wild out.
Older guys, though, older guys who have been plowing a lot of chicks… who find themselves looking at the ceiling after the latest random is passing out next to him… who want to build the future by having a family… you guys are wondering about the long-term psychology, like I am. This ramble is for you. It does not tell you what to do, for that is not my way. It does attempt to help you think about what the good life is. The good life at age 24, may not be the good life at age 40. Maybe, though, you are a pickup artist. Artists are often maniacs, obsessed with their art until they die. If that is you, so be it.