Got an idea? Don’t let in­er­tia stop you, says Bon­nie Bur­ton

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Opinion - Il­lus­tra­tion by Maria Colino

“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.

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