Tips to keep writing every day

I got some mails after my post on the first draft. People keep asking for tips to write everyday. To find time. To keep enthusiasm from waning. To finish off the task.

The problem with writing scripts (for that matter anything long) is that you have to hammer at it for months. Writers are notorious for their low self confidence. And assessment of one’s work is very objective. Some times you love it. Some times you hate it. So how to keep going?

These are some of the things that have helped me.

There is no ‘not enough time’
You have 15 minutes free? You should be writing. Never wait to get that major chunk of time to start writing. You will only be able to write a line of dialogue? Do that 10 times a day for two days and you almost have a scene. People become philosophical and talks about the need to get into the mood to write. But sometimes you may be just rationalising your procrastination. Getting into the zone fast is an habit that you can learn.

Writing does not need fingers
Writing does not mean that you should be in front of a laptop or a legal pad. One gets many breaks in plotting and character bits while travelling or walking or just sitting through a boring lecture. Actually I have done most of my outlining for the heist script while travelling to my workplace.

Absorb writing into routine
Imagine this. You are planning to write in between a hectic schedule. You have two options. Whatever happens, write 2 hours every day for 3 months and finish it off. Or you break it into two half hour slots per day slipped in lunch breaks or during travelling and plan to finish it in 6 months. Which is more practical? Definitely writing will last more if it interferes least into your other daily routine activities. What I do is I get up early in the morning around 5.30 am. Do some academic work. Then push in a 1 hour slot for writing before leaving for work. I pick up another 1 hour if possible after coming back in the evening. This way parties, late night work, goofing around with friends etc doesn’t affect writing. And also outlining and solving script problems goes on in the mind whenever world tries to bore me. As writing is automatically one of the first things in the morning, procrastination also doesn’t arise.

Be flexible
A major problem with consistency is how you deal with lapses. No man is going to be able to write everyday all his life. The trick is not to throw it all away just because you failed once in a while. There should be some stop loss plan in mind accepting that you may miss some writing days. One way is to make up for the lost time in weekends. For this, you should have an idea roughly how many hours you should have used for writing the whole week.

Pick up a fixed time
The advantage of picking up a fixed time is that you don’t postpone writing in the daily tussle. At that planned point of time, you are supposed to write and do nothing else. This way its easier to become an ingrained habit. As I told you, I usually write in the morning. But its because if I write before going to bed, I cant sleep as I will get too much warmed up with the story. Choose a time which is suitable to your biology. But it should be a time in which you are most probably in your room, least distracted.

No one can go on without inspiration. Our life is pulled in all different directions whole day. We tend to forget what we are soaked in the noise of the world. Your soul and your ambition needs refuelling on a regular basis. You need reminders regarding what you really enjoy. I get it from books, blogs, podcasts of interviews with scriptwriters, scripts or movies.

Photo by lost in translatn


11 thoughts on “Tips to keep writing every day

  1. Greetings scriptlarva! I bumped into your blog through your very interesting and informative post on Oye Lucky Lucky oye at passion of cinema website. I wrote a review of OLLO on my blog sometime back.
    Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips on writing. Iam working on my first short film currently, film which I intend to make no later than Oct this year. I fully relate with what you wrote regarding working one’s script through hectic schedule. There is something I would like to add here..Woody Allen, a very prolific writer himself, says that when one gets stuck in his writing, simple things like taking a bath or strolling around in the park can change your whole thoughts and pep you up to take a fresh go at ideas. “Conversations with Woody Allen” is a great book which Iam reading currently and it has taught me more than what five books on screenwriting could. The book by Eric Lax is a set of interviews which spans his entire career and covers each and every film up until “Cassandra’s Dream”:

    Another very good book, which I suspect you might already know/have read, is Story by Robert Mckee..considered Bible in screenwriting
    Good luck with your script buddy and hope to hang around your blog more…

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, Dev. I checked your article on OLLO and I could not help noticing that we agree more or less on the movie. Would check out the book on Woody Allen definitely because I feel he is one of those writer-directors who has ideas with depth and is still able to survive Hollywood. Please continue the support.

  2. You are welcome. You would also like to check some other film reviews and especially a meme I did listing favorite A to Z films. It’s filed under film reviews. It will be interesting to read your favorite films too, if you ever get the time to do this meme yourself.
    Talking of Allen, yes it’s true that he has always managed to keep complete artistic control on his films, very much like Kubrick did, even during the worst days of studio control in the 80’s and early 90’s..

  3. nice one …
    while i totally agree with ‘there is not enough time’ and ‘writing does not need fingers’ , i m having difficulty with ‘absorb writing into routine’. i really need to work on tat… keep these tips coming…

  4. Good tips .. I agree writing isn’t always with the pen (or keyboard), if I’m sitting staring at the screen trying to belt out some words; it helps to walk around, do something else, and the creative juices often just flow on their own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s