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Enforced Inactivity

Enforced inactivity drives me mental. Not the happy, quiet mental where you have long involved conversations with imaginary friends, or where you’re suddenly singing a song while surrounded by Disney illustrated blue birds, but the mental that comes with staring at a wall and wondering what it would like if you painted it purple and red stripes.

I’m currently on annual leave. First holiday I’ve had in over a year. I had a lot of plans for this week. Mostly involving getting the yard and pool clean in time for my annual Boxing Day Hoot’n’Nanny and writing.

I woke up on Sunday and had a slight pain in my foot. I wasn’t 100% certain what it was, so I ignored it. By Monday afternoon I knew it was Gout. I haven’t had gout in years, but it’s a pain you never forget. Tuesday I had some bicarb soda mixed with water. I’ve used that remedy before and it’s always worked.

I woke up this morning and my foot was swollen, red and so sensitive to touch that I could barely put it on the floor. I ended up going to the doctor and getting an injection and medication. Doctor has told me to stay off my foot as a much as possible and make sure I keep it elevated.

I have stuff to do. At this rate Boxing Day is going to be held amongst junk that’s piled up under the house over the past year. This is not making me happy.

I could take this enforced inactivity and use it as an excuse to do nothing, or I could do something, anything that involves sitting still. I’ve watched almost 3 seasons of The Mentalist over the past few days. I love that show, but in all honesty this isn’t how I’d planned on enjoying my leave. In constant pain and flat on my back.

I was saying to a friend last night every time I go on holidays I get sick. Usually it’s the flu, this time it’s gout. It’s almost like my body decides now I can relax I may as well take the time to be sick seeing as I don’t have the time to do it during the year.

It’s a damn pain in the ummm foot.

One thing I can do is a bit of work on one of my writing projects. That doesn’t involve feet. I mean I don’t use my feet at all when I’m writing.

Since I started this blog I’ve done more writing than I managed to do in the 7 years preceding the blogs creation. I’ve written 2 short films in 2012. I’ve written the outline for a 10 part web series and drafted the rough 1st draft of the first 8 episodes. I’ve only got the two-part finale to go and the whole thing is drafted.

That’s a major achievement for me. I wish I knew someone who would be interested in directing the short films. I’m happy to produce them myself but I don’t know if I can direct them. I have no experience – well I have no production experience either but I’ve studied it previously and have an idea as to what to expect.

I just think that I need a “proper” director. Not necessarily someone who has huge credits to their name, but someone who is confident and knows what to do to bring out the best in the script and the actors.

There’s so much GLBT content coming out of the United States, but there seems to be very little in the way of GLBT web series programming coming out of Australia. At least that I can find.

I found myself thinking last night – that doesn’t involve using my foot either – and wondering if there’s a GLBT film makers group in Sydney, or writers group that I could join. Meet people who work in the space I wish to be involved in.

I’d love to workshop one of my scripts. Find out where it works, the flaws, what needs to be fixed. There’s only so many times you can edit your own work without feedback before it becomes redundant and you begin damaging what you’ve written, rather than improving it.

One of my goals for 2013 is to find the path to walk to bring those people into my world. For many years I’ve written only for my own enjoyment. I was too filled with lack of confidence and lack of belief in myself to let anyone actually read it. I just wrote and stuffed things in drawers.

Another step I’m ready to take for 2013 is to let the stories and the scripts find an audience. To not be afraid someone will read it and tell me it’s shit. To take the feedback constructively and not believe the product I’m working on is destined to be drawer filler and nothing more.

It takes confidence to let someone into the fantasy world you’ve created. I wish I’d had that confidence a long time ago. Maybe it’s that I’m heading towards 40 next August, or maybe I’m just more mature, but I believe that I have what it takes to make up for lost time. To write and create the ideas that come into my head and let the stories dance their own dance.

I guess the point to this post is that when the universe provides you with an idea it’s only really on loan. If you don’t create the story and take the risks, someone else will. There comes a moment in life where you have to either shit or get off the pot. That’s really a gross analogy but it’s apt.

Either I begin exposing my writing to others to see what happens, or I accept my writing will only ever be drawer filler. Either option is my choice alone. If the stories and scripts are read and the consensus is “this is crap” then that’s fine. Crap can be fixed. But to leave the stories in the drawer and not work towards improving them means I’m wasting, not only my time, but my passion.

I hope that by this time next year, I’ll be able to stick a YouTube video or something similar in this blog and say “Oi, check this out, my first short film” or “Here’s episode 1, enjoy and tell me I’m awesome once you’ve read it.”

The one commitment I make to myself for 2013 isn’t that I want to pay off my credit card, lose weight, find a partner, or move – I make those commitments every year anyway – but is that I will take the courage and begin the process of exposing my writing to a wider audience, and in the process hopefully take some concrete steps to being a doer rather a talker.

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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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