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inSANity by Lawrence San


Brief Tips and Rants:

Little House of... Freedoms
Our inSANity columnist escapes back to the freelance world, and immediately starts seeing things. Somebody call a shrink... or just read his latest raving.

Self-Torture for Fun and Profit, Part I:
The Fine Art of Kicking Yourself
San admits that masochism is fun, but (after dragging Goya and Shakespeare into the argument) he claims that what he's really talking about is the path to greatness. If you cherish a fantasy of combining outstanding success in your field with a life of calm satisfaction, stay away.

Self-Torture for Fun and Profit, Part II:
Fresh Eyes and Feedback Loops
Driving himself crazy isn't enough for San -- he wants to do it faster. After bringing up all kinds of anatomical weirdness -- short forearms, fresh eyeballs, a naked woman -- he gets to the point: if you want to succeed, you need to babble to yourself. Or something like that. Well, the column is called inSANity, after all.

Rules for Rule-Breaking
If you're an aspiring iconoclast, here's some instruction from a serious destructionist. We'll have to trust that you have good reasons for smashing things; if not, please don't read this.

Season's Growlings
December may be the season of good cheer for normal people, but normality is an alien concept for our demented columnist. Undaunted, out of the murky depths of his antisocial weltanschauung he manages to dredge up a yuletide parable for independent professionals.

How To Blow an Interview
You're being interrogated... excuse us, interviewed by a potential client. There's standard advice on how to play this... and then there's our crazed columnist's advice. Hey, it's your career, dude. You decide.

Two Kinds of Fear?
You're afraid to talk to sexy strangers in bars. You're afraid to go after new clients. Don't be afraid to read this piece, which is a relatively short rant. Wait, that's not much of an inducement, is it? Well, don't be afraid to check out the cartoons, anyway.

Junkyard Creativity
While most people have fond childhood memories of the beach, San remembers long-ago days hanging out in a junkyard. This strange childhood may help to explain... something... but anyway, do creative people tend to become IPs? If not, does simply being an independent professional inspire creativity?

Putting Your Stamp On It
A little tale about how to go postal. No, not the shooting rampage kind; this is about real postal -- you know, sending letters to clients. Stamps and postage meters and stuff. Sound prosaic? There's a wider point in here somewhere, if you can find it.

Booted from the Womb
What does the fall of communism have to do with being an independent professional? What are womb fantasies doing on a business webzine? In San's cracked mind, everything's connected.

Will The Real Freaks Please Raise Their Hands?
Do you sometimes feel like a freak because you don't have a regular job? Our resident expert on freakiness gives a history lesson.

Waiting For Aliens
A science-fictional delusory experience persuades San that he'll land better clients after the Alpha Centaurians invade us. Wow, that sounds like a useful theory -- somebody inform George Lucas. Well, San never denied being a space shot. Luckily, he also ponders why clients might or might not remember you until the aliens arrive.

Under Fire By The VP of X
Our columnist attends a client meeting and sits smiling while being attacked. Is our house lunatic hiding a masochistic streak?

Ugly Brides and Other Temptations
San gets drunk at a wedding. Can his strange conclusions (and totally un-PC title) really help you?

Always Ready To Walk
How can you be committed to your clients, perhaps even obsessed with your work, and yet still be truly free? And what does this have to do with wasting your life? San peers into his mirror, broods, and flouts conventional wisdom about how to market yourself.

The Theory Of The Hairy Arm
Once upon a time there was a very nice executive who remembered a strange little theory from his freelancing days... San "arms" himself with a psychological trick for manipulating clients.

When The Bastards Criticize You
San decides he's sick of criticism and explores his options... including murder and mayhem. Was it just too much caffeine, or is he ready for the padded cell? This essay received more praise and more complaints than any other. Warning: contains violent and offensive imagery.

Nothing Is Possible
San travels back a million years to explore the roots of IP-hood and corporate incompetence. You know -- Tarzan, Jane, chimpanzees, spears, cannibals, and corporate bored-rooms. Make sense? Of course not. Bring your loincloth.

The Better You Are, The Longer It Takes
Tired of clients and others complaining that it takes you too long to get things done? Show them this essay. Of course, they won't believe it, but what the hell -- you're in the doghouse anyway, right?

What's Money For?
Money is, in a sense, the most abstract and generic substance in the world, and this essay discusses how those attributes make it the ideal litmus test for finding out what makes you tick. In case you want to know. Of course you're probably better off not knowing. Come to think of it, don't read this.

I Don't Get No Respect
Alienation and despair may not seem like fun topics to you, but that's probably only because you're not a masochist. Or maybe you are. Anyway, if you feel like clients, bosses, and your dog are all dissing you... you're probably right. San confronts the issue head on with some truly dumb recommendations... and maybe one or two useful ones. Check with your shrink before reading this.


San was the founding editor of 1099 Magazine, serving as its first editor-in-chief and creative director. He's now back in the boss-free world as a freelance writer and illustrator. In addition to the inSANity column on 1099, San's other writings and cartoons are at www.sanstudio.com.

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