Saturday, October 10, 2009

Write Every Day

This post is meant as much for me as it is for you. I have a confession to make: In the last five weeks, I've written only 10 pages of a new script.

I have wonderful excuses - Reader Ready scripts that needed to be proofed, PTO obligations that needed to be met, children that needed all sorts of attention (chauffeuring and homework help and breakfast and dinner and game-playing and, of course, love and my undivided attention). I'm sure you have a long list of wonderful excuses too.

And yet, I shouldn't let these everyday activities keep me from writing at least a few pages a day. It's very simple: Writers write. I love sitting down to a blank screen and creating a new scene - a new world - new characters. Finishing a scene gives me a sense of satisfaction that few other activities can provide. But, somehow, I've written only 10 pages in the last five weeks. And I'll bet some of you can say the same.

I'll cut myself some slack - I've read scripts, and I've queried. I've discussed screenwriting on related web sites. I think I even wrote a blog or two in there somewhere. So I haven't forgotten my passion for writing. But I have forgotten to write, and I can't forgive myself for that.

So, here's my challenge to all of us: After you spend the day fulfilling your obligations for others, end it by writing at least one scene in a screenplay for yourself. It may not be your best, but that's why rewrites and edits exist. The first step is to get it down on paper - well, more likely, to get it up on the computer monitor.

At some point today, before we put the puppy in his crate for bed (how could I forget about him - and my husband - in my opening list of excuses?), I will take a few "me" minutes and knock out the next scene in my script. I hope you will too. If you take the time to read this blog, then you're a writer, and - writers write. At the end of the day, it's just that simple. So write something. And, as always, have fun while you're writing!


  1. Great post. There's a great book called Stein on Writing. Sol Stein is an old school editor who said writers were the only professionals who refused to consistently practice their craft.

    Keep up the good work. Hopefully will have another read for you after the first of the year.

  2. Sounds good, Bill. I look forward to reading it. BTW, I kept my word and wrote a scene each day. I hope everyone else is!

  3. For some reason I've as yet to answer the siren's sweet call to scribble on something every single day. Inevitably, I am harassed. Be it Brian in a banana costume doing his Peanut Butter Jelly Time shtick on New Mexico's CW, weekly errands to Wallyworld, cleaning out the crap in the house--in other words, nonsense!--the productive, purposeful, daily, disciplined writer's life--eludes me. Not really for lack of time. Or even motivation. Insipiration. Then I'll pound out thirty plus pages of a screenplay at the keyboard and get back to it in a month. It's crazy, it's manic, it oftentimes works. Curse you Red Bull! Not that I recommend it. One day I'll grow up, win or place in a contest, even get paid to be a real writer. Until then, I'm livin' the (yet to be discovered) rockstar lifestyle baby! Ow! (Of course, a real gig containing a deadline--that's inspiration!) In conclusion, and I quote Gordon Gekko in the process, screenplay contests--for lack of a better word like %$#*$!, are 'good'. They provide, um--'inspiration' for those of us who may otherwise lack it...

    Back to the salt mines and my unique, dark, quirky magical realism kids adventure movie action comedy...

  4. I understand, Jason. While it would be ideal to write every day, I think I should amend that to say that we should focus on scriptwriting every day. Today, I had 90 minutes alone in my car, and I played Pilar Alessandra's podcasts the whole time. I came home wanting to write my next scene (which doesn't mean I have the time to write it, but, at least, I mentally worked out some plot issues I was having with my new script).