I get a lot of questions about the way I think. Not all of them the good kind, either; about half those queries are phrased “What’s wrong with you?” That’s because, if you spend any significant amount of time with me, either in real life or online, you’ll eventually be exposed to the Fountain of Weird. This is what I call the part of my brain dedicated entirely to Weird Shit: dinosaurs with tanks for heads, six-limbed cat-people, a five-dimensional intelligent ebola virus, Soviet Russian weaponized cupcakes that eat you. Everyone who reads this blog? You’ve already been exposed. I hope your shots are up to date.
The questions, though—or at least those ones that don’t cast doubt on my sanity—are mostly about the process. How do I think of stuff? Why is it so easy? Why the hell would you say that out loud?
The reason I think of this stuff is because I’ve trained my brain to say yes.
It’s easy to dismiss things as childish or silly or ridiculous or wrong. It’s especially easy when those things don’t actually exist. But by taking the time to consider them, no matter how fucking weird they are, you open the doors to creativity. You’re allowing your mind to play. And that’s where the good stuff comes from.
If you’re always saying no, then sooner or later your brain will stop presenting you with the strange and wonderful and often downright disturbing stuff that it comes up with. It won’t do work that’s not rewarded.
This is why so many writers say that coming up with new ideas is never a problem. They’ve trained themselves to think this way. To say hell, yes to the sentient muffin bakery with the side-mounted cannon* that just crawled out of the dark recesses of their mind. Because what looks silly at first glance might have a great idea hidden inside.
And if not, you just spent five minutes imagining a sentient bakery firing muffins through windows**. How is that not awesome?
So, teach yourself to say hell, yes before no. Teach yourself to consider before you reject stuff outright as stupid or wrong or, my personal favourite, ‘a waste of time’. Give that weird thing some time, even if it’s only a minute or two.
Because the weird things, my little badgers, are the best things.
*”DO YOU KNOW THE MUFFIN MAN NOW, MOTHER FUCKER?”
**I’m officially stuck on weaponized baked goods today.