• Jabe Stafford

Channel Your Insanity

Someone once said, “Make your muse your bitch.”

That person didn’t take it far enough.

Make your insanity your bitch too.

You know it’s there. That cozy bed of crazy you retreat to when work gets rough or when everything starts to feel overwhelming. When you find yourself laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, jot down the ideas that well up in your brainpan. Channel that in a positive way and use it in your art later. Madness used for good is a bank account that you can never overdraw.

Writing, painting, and creating take vision. They take caring. And they take time. Within reason, you get to chose when you write and when you don’t. Those moments of crazy, however, strike like lightning whose mother you just insulted. You could apologize to the lightning and proceed in fear. You could go on trying to fit the “normal” mold. Or you could seize that psycho lightning and build something genuine and positive out of it.

Right that second.

The moment it strikes.

All those puns that arise randomly can go in a little notebook or on your cell phone.

Every “What if this happened” that whips through you could be a plot element in a new story. Especially if you write horror, thrillers, or sci-fi/fantasy. If you’ve read any horror stories, you know those characters do some friggin’ nutso shit. Ever wonder why mad scientists pace their labs and cackle at the ceiling?

Because they had faith in their insanity and used it to build those visions in their heads.

It feels great when you have an enlightened moment and the craving to paint or write erupts. That ecstasy wipes away all the pain and the stress the world throws at you. See? You’re grinning right now because you just remembered a moment when you wrote down a brilliant plot point or created a gorgeous work of art.

Congratulations. You’re a mad scientist too. Just like me.

I mean, yes, the mad scientists also worked hard and learned the science and most of its “proper” uses. But those aren’t the INTERESTING events. You DO have to go through the hell and the learning and more hell and learning. Because you can’t set the stage perfectly without knowing how and why it’s set the way it is.

Once you learned some, create more. Then learn more. Then create more. Once you/your character knows the rules and uses of her magic/profession, that’s when you can build the interesting events.

It’s a psycho speed cycle of creation and imagination. That’s awesome when you channel it with the purpose of helping others and putting some beauty into the world.

Sanity never existed in the first place. As long as you’re not actively doing stupid crap, channel your insanity and make it your bitch. Grab your muse in one hand, your insanity in the other, and double-fist some artistry.

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