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Quiet Winter Musings…

Silence is golden, or so the saying goes. Frankly I find it boring. I’ve had laryngitis now for the better part of six days. In that time I’ve barely said a word. Mostly because I can’t. It’s driving me crazy. A short drive I know, but still.

I know that some people like the idea of being silent. Being still. I guess that’s why people pay a huge sum of money to attend silent retreats. I don’t need to. I get the opportunity for silence at the change of seasons between Autumn and Winter, and Winter and Spring. In a way it’s good to know that the seasons are changing. In another way it’s frankly a pain in the throat.

I don’t do silence. As a child I could talk under water with a mouth full of marbles. I don’t really know where my talkative nature came from. Both my parents are quiet and reserved until you get to know them. My Grandmother was the same. No one in my immediate family had the verbose nature I’ve exhibited since first learning how to make sounds.

Silence gives me too much time to think. I’m too inside my own head anyway. Worrying about this and that. Feeling like I’ve lost something important and can’t figure out where I left it. These enforced days of silence don’t help that at all. I have a job I have to do, but can’t do without a voice. I have a life to live that becomes much more difficult when I can’t speak and make myself clear.

When all is silent and all you can hear is birds chirping and the warm August breeze rustling leaves, I tend to retreat into my head and pick fault with everything I want to do. Everything I have done, every goal and dream that rattles around inside my head. Sometimes I think people can be too self aware. Sometimes I think I am too self aware for my own good.

Yesterday I posted three story ideas I have floating around me courtesy of my Muse. I wondered which one people thought the most interesting or entertaining. No one commented. I can take that two ways. Firstly I can decide that everyone who read the ideas was so blown away by the sheer brilliance of all three, that they couldn’t possibly decide and therefore I should write all three simultaneously.

Secondly, I could take it that all three ideas were complete rubbish and I should give up being a writer for the life of a high powered street sweeper.

I’m choosing to take a third approach. I’ve decided to chose which idea I work on myself. I know, it’s a crazy idea. Not as crazy as the fact a duck just walked under my house – where the hell did that come from – but crazy none the less.

Usually I go for the idea that has a solid story line but more fluid characters. One’s I’m not fully aware of yet. This time I’ve decided to do the opposite. I’m going to go for the one with the solid characters, but more fluid story line. I’ve decided to write a short story around those two characters, and then see where they take me.

I haven’t decided when I plan on starting this short story though. See I’ve realised that deciding on a whim to write an eBook is another form of procrastination. When I did my screenwriting course recently, I talked about a web series I had drafted. It was called Fabulous Me. The story of a a gay guy in his mid 30’s who finally finds the courage to give being a Drag Queen a go, and while preparing for a drag competition discovers he fathered a son back on a hot stormy new years eve when he was 18.

The series deals with his discovery of being a father, finding the courage to pursue his goals and dealing with a collection of friends, his partner a soon to be 30 year old whose convinced he’s having a midlife crisis, an ex-boyfriend who is obsessed with Guns n Roses and a newly discovered teenage son with problems of his all. All of this is set against the back drop of the lead up to the Drag Competition.

I set myself the goal of editing Fabulous Me after the course and applying what I had learned to the scripts to see if I could really make them shine. I didn’t do it. Instead I had a mini-breakdown, followed by throwing myself into my day job and claiming no time for anything else.

So I’m going to have a look at Fabulous Me. Maybe I’ll need to do more than I think, maybe it won’t be as bad as I think. Either way it’s a 10 part web comedy series, comprising of 7 minute long episodes. For someone like me – who seems to sit down to write 3 words and ends up with 30 – short format writing is a bit of a struggle, but I figure if I can pull it off, it will be for the long term benefit of my writing career.

I guess the point to this post is that for me, procrastination comes in a variety of formats. Not just sitting watching daytime TV and losing brain cells watching reality trash, but also in allowing myself to get caught up in other ideas, while ignoring existing ones.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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43 year old Australian writer currently working on the first of a planned three book Epic Fantasy series. When he's not writing policy discussions, or tales of swords, Gods, and magic, he can be found making a mess in the kitchen, and turning perfectly good ingredients into crimes against humanity.

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