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A Pirates Life For Me…

In the past I’ve discussed alcohol and my problem with binge drinking. I’ve discussed money and the long term effects of a youth spent trying to buy myself a little happy, a little confidence and a little bit of fun. I’ve discussed bullying and the ways in which I’ve dealt with the feelings of being worthless and unwanted. And I’ve talked about writing, and the sheer joy words bring to my life.

Over the past week I’ve been home from work with Gout. I know that sounds ridiculous, but when I have a gout attack it ends up in my feet making walking an impossibility. This past week I tried to get rid of the gout quickly, so I doubled my medication. Note: That’s just stupid.

The side effects of the medication – which I get anytime I take the stuff – were worse than I can ever remember. I basically turned my blood toxic. In an attempt to speed up my return to work I ended up losing a week sick as dog.

So right now it’s about quarter to eight on a Sunday night. And to be honest about it, I’ve spent today walking around like a little rain cloud. Granted it matches the outside weather – it’s only just stopped raining since Friday – but being a misery guts doesn’t work for me. It’s a colour I don’t wear well.

I’ve been playing games and fluffing about on Facebook – playing games – and watching a Will & Grace Marathon. I do love that show. It makes me laugh. Actually it’s probably one of my favourite sitcoms. The Big Bang Theory would be another. As you can tell, my sense of humour is highly evolved.

When I quit drinking I expected miracles. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t even think about it. I just realised later on that I expected life to change as it dried out. The past couple of weekends, I’ve noticed alcohol creeping back into my life. First work drinks, then the following week there was Megan Mullally live in Sydney, and this weekend it was sitting and chatting to a friend as we celebrated Mardi Gras under my house. It wasn’t the old “drink until I wiped myself out” but it was drinking none the less.

Today I’ve come to the conclusion that because life didn’t really change in the 7 months or so since I quit drinking, I’ve released the reins on my non-drinking attitude, and allowed excuses to reintroduce booze into my world.

What I have learned is I can handle alcohol. I can stop. I can say no. That’s a massive understanding for me.

But what am I talking about?

Well, I’m trying to get to the point that when I quit drinking I expected “something”. I’ve no idea what that something was/is, but it never happened. Nothing changed. I still work everyday, commute for 4 hours to and from work, come home, watch TV and sleep. I still wake up on Saturday and do my chores and then do nothing but watch TV and play online.

I talk about writing, I think about writing, I dream about writing – literally, last night I dreamt I was sitting at a wide wooden desk, in front of a window. Outside the window was an old English style garden. I was typing on an old fashioned typewriter. I think it was the one my father owned when I was little. The green and cream one in the brown leather case that caught my attention as a little kid. The one my mother taught me to type on. That was the whole dream. Sitting in front of the window and typing on an old typewriter.

My dreams seems to be the only place I do anything these days. I work, I sleep, I watch TV. Great thing to have engraved in my tombstone really. I can see it now;

“He Worked, He Slept, He Watched TV & Tweeted His Way Through Come Dine With Me Australia”

Sounds accurate.

When 2013 arrived I announced I was going to be treating this year as  a Project. I started a hashtag for twitter – so you know I was serious – and created a new category in this blog. I wrote about writing, about decorating and about re-building my life. It’s easy to write about, not so easy to do.

Over the past few years I’ve attempted to do Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way. The last time I started I ended up so inspired that by week 2 I was booked into the screenwriting course and The Australian Writers’ Centre. I also created this blog.

It’s time to get back on the creative bronco so to speak. I’ve never managed to finish the course. I get distracted, or inspired. I sink under the mountains of work, or run off to start a creative writing project or a course.

I need to have some form of impact or “high drama” in my own life and for me to be the writer I want to be, I need to really commit to excavating the debris out of my head.

So to my point. I want to be a pirate. It’s a story I’ve told here before. It’s about a 3 or 4 year old that wanted a parrot, and the only way he could think to have one was to be a pirate. It’s about an alien in a family of well behaved humans, who never saw a movie without thinking “Pfft I’d have done it this way” or read a story without trying to figure out what was going to happen and being annoyed it was never the way he envisioned it.

It’s the story of a boy who grew up to wait until he was older to do as he wanted to do and somehow ended up in a life that had nothing to do with his own inner vision.

Now I’m aware that turning into a 39 year old version of Captain Feather Sword is probably a smidge past where I’m comfortable taking my mid life crisis, not too mention a tad on the creepy side. But what I can do is actually complete The Artists Way.

I guess the point to this post is that I want a summer cottage by a lake somewhere, with beautiful rolling green hills around me. An old English style garden and a big window my desk can sit at so I can write and watch the world go bye. The only way I’m going to get that is to write it. To create products of words that sell.

So I’m starting The Artist’s Way, and this time I’m going to finish it. No getting all caught up in the inspiration that will hit in a week or so. No committing to projects, or running off and starting a course – despite seeing the “Thriller Writing” course at The Australian Writers’ Centre when I linked to the website earlier. Just working my through the ups and downs of grabbing my creative recovery and making it mine.

Writing in Shadows was born to be a place where I could write in the light. Where I could take my secret desire to be a wordsmith and make it public. I’ve never really known where I’ll take it as life continues, but over the next twelve weeks, I do know that The Artist Way will take pride of place in the blog posts I create and if nothing else, they’ll be a renewed focus on creativity, and creative recovery.

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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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