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.
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