GO FORTH AND CREATE
Got an idea? Don’t let inertia stop you, says Bonnie Burton
“Don’t you dare let anyone tell you that your dreams are unattainable”
Over the years in my column for SFX magazine, I’ve written on everything from Klingon romance techniques to surviving alien viruses. I’ve revealed my love for robot dogs and cyborg men. I’ve even defended the Star Wars Holiday Special when many fans of a galaxy far, far away would rather pretend it never existed. I’ve asked fanboys – multiple times – to stop giving girls like me a hard time for liking all things geeky. And I’ve demanded that filmmakers give us more female- led sci- fi, fantasy and superhero films. Heck, I even stood up for Lucifer. It’s been good fun thinking of bizarre topics to write about month to month to entertain you all. But sadly, this is my last column for SFX.
Instead of making this a glum last hurrah, I wanted to dedicate this space to a simple message of encouragement that I hope you will all take to heart. My request is that you all go out there and make something great. Whether you’re an artist, writer, director, actor, game maker, dancer, crafter – wherever your passion lies, develop it more and do something with it.
Can’t stand watching TV programmes and movies when you know you could make something better? Then do it! More and more budding filmmakers are creating quality entertainment on YouTube and Vimeo. If you want to have a bigger budget, skip the traditional route of going through large studios and use crowdsourcing instead to fund your film or web series.
If you have an outline for a screenplay, sit down and write it out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just finish writing the whole thing, then edit it with a critical eye later. This also goes for that half- finished novel tucked away inside your desk.
The best part of all this is that you don’t have to wait for someone to give you permission to do it. You don’t need fancy equipment, or a lot of money, or even approval from your peers. As long as you have the desire and the dedication to put into your project, anything is possible.
And don’t you dare let anyone tell you that your dreams are unattainable. If I listened to every person who told me I would never publish bestselling books, host art shows, write for magazines, guest star in TV programmes and films, or have my own web series, then I’d be one boring girl. Instead, I followed my own path and ignored the haters. Plus I continually experiment. After mastering the art of making Jabba the Hutt body pillows, I wanted to challenge myself by building my own replica of a WWII Enigma machine. While I co- host a comedy YouTube series called “Vaginal Fantasy Romance Book Club”, I am teaching myself video editing and animation skills so I can make even more shows where I call the shots. I’ve always wanted to script a videogame, so that’s up next. Not to mention dabbling in writing a musical about the infamous HP Lovecraft monster Cthulhu.
My point is that you should never limit your artistic endeavours. Always explore the world around you, and remain keen to build an even better universe.
While this column has been a blast to write, I’m excited to see what’s next. Whether I continue to write quirky craft books, pen mind- bending movie scripts, or develop a new style of storytelling altogether, I know I’m going to have fun doing it. And so should you. I can’t wait to see what you all create – and remember to thank me in all your awards speeches.