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Will You Step Through?

I often find myself wondering about the moment when creative people made the decision to “do it”. Does it come with bells ringing, do angelic hosts sing choral music, is there a specific moment in time when all the planets align and the writer says “By gee ole chap, I think this one is a winner!”

I spent the week leading up to Christmas with gout. For those who have never had it, gout sucks. That’s the technical term. It’s painful, it’s annoying and considering when I get it, it attacks my feet seriously putting a crimp on my secret life as a GoGo Dancer.

I basically spent an entire week lying flat on my bed, foot elevated, catching up on the first 3 seasons of The Mentalist, and the first 3 seasons of Bones. I love both shows. I realised why over the past week. The scripts are squeaky tight. The characters are so beautifully developed that watching the show is like watching the most beautifully choreographed dance.

Christmas day was a bit of a downer. I spend a lot of time sort of blue on Christmas. As I was lying on the bed, feeling a tad sorry for myself and missing the Christmas’ of my past I stumbled across a realisation that wasn’t really earth shattering but was totally unexpected. I mean, there I was, totally minding my own business and watching Bones dispassionately poking maggots out of a skulls eye sockets when I had the thought run through my head;

“If you want this you have to do something about it. Stop talking. Start writing. If you want a family, create one. If you want a partner, go find one. If you want a TV show, start working on one. If you want nothing to change between now and next Christmas keep doing what you’re doing, you’re right on track to achieve that goal.”

It’s strange. I talk. A lot. But I don’t write anymore. To be fair I’ve written more in 2012 than I’ve written in the whole last ten years, but as I mentioned earlier those things are stuck in my drawer. I’m not 100% certain what I’m waiting for. I have no idea why the idea of actually writing freaks me out.

It’s words. On paper. Well on screen. But you understand what I’m saying. It’s words. And time. I’ve got both in spades.

I had my annual Boxing Day Hoot’N’Nanny yesterday and it was a blast. I zoned out a few times. Sort of lost the thread of the conversation as my mind shot off into the world of Fabulous Me or Butterfly. Sitting surrounded by friends and too much food I found myself thinking “you know what, I’m going to make it my mission to have Young at Heart made. That’s all there is too it.”

I guess there comes a time when the excuses dry up, and all that is left is to put your money where your mouth is. Not knowing the next step is not an excuse to not try and find out what it is.

I’ve had a couple of moments like that recently. I feel – and it’s just a feeling, not something I can put my finger on – that my creative recovery is far enough along now to warrant putting myself out there. I have the most excited feeling regarding 2013, and the goals I will achieve.

Regardless of that, I feel it’s time to write again. Not a short film here or there, but to actually spend time working on a new project, a larger scale project. Perhaps it’s the close proximity of the new year, perhaps it’s just the outcome of 7 months of intensive work on digging my creativity out from behind the couch so to speak.

Whatever the reason, I feel I’m at a point in my life where it is safe to take the risks I’ve never allowed myself before.

I guess the point to this post is simply whether this is the moment I look back on in 20 years and say “My career began here” or not, when the gates open you have the choice to step through or step away. I’m choosing to step through and see what’s on the other side of the wall.

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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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