Staring at a blank page doesn’t have to be daunting. Once you write FADE IN you are off to the races.
The rest is in the doing.
I’m going to walk through the six things you may be lacking in your writing to help you gain clarity with your scriptwriting.
Lack of Patience
You ever get excited about something you write only to read it through right after and realize what you wrote wasn’t as good as you previously thought?
What do you do next? Do you toss it out and start on something fresh or do you go back in and continue to carve a shape from the marble you are using?
This is where patience comes into play.
All writing takes time. It’s a creative process.
You shouldn’t look for immediacy in your writing work. Once you have a deep understanding that patience is literally a virtue with writing, you will remove any self-imposed anxieties that can block your creative flow.
Whenever you write something, expect it to be whatever it needs to be. It shouldn’t be about being great…your writing work needs to be honest and from this honesty will come the layers you produce to help it grow roots and become something alive.
Leo Tolstoy’s first published edition of War and Peace was 1, 225 pages long. We can all learn something about patience from that guy.
Lack of Progress
You need to take steps. Baby steps count.
Sometimes you may psyche yourself out because you spent your day writing one single page and feel as though you got nothing at all done.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
So long as something was set down, it matters. The goal is to keep inching forward with each writing session you take.
Don’t get bogged down by allowing yourself to think you are not moving forward when in fact you are. Trust in all the thoughts and rewrites. They are not going in vain.
It’s just writing and it changes its speed on occasion. Just keep steering the wheel and sooner or later you will reach your destination.
Lack of Organization
There is a level of writing blind that may exist for you as you create. However, sooner or later you should come out of the woods and see some light. Your story will tell itself to you.
As you write, the story needs to shape itself for you, which in turn will give you more ammunition in your writing to continue.
Your imagination will make discoveries that in turn will fuel an understanding of logic which will then circle back to energizing your imagination.
If you simply write to write without any idea whatsoever as to what you are writing about, you may never make it to the finish line. Sooner or later you will have to step back and assess what you are creating.
Anyone can write a stack of words but not everyone can write a stack of words that build up to something.
Writing and knowing which way you are going go hand in hand.
Lack of Consistency
Discipline can never be exaggerated enough for you. Discipline gives you the habit. The more discipline you give your writing, combined with consistency, the easier it will be for you to create.
Discipline + Consistency = Create
We have in us the ability to create habits. The more we do something, the easier and hopefully better we become at what we put our minds on.
We become what we consistently do.
Lack of Will Power
This often gets overlooked with advice columns for screenwriters, yet it is one of the most important aspects for any writer in general.
It takes an enormous amount of inner strength to write consistently and make progress. You need will power, especially on days when you can’t give a damn about your work.
On days when you can care less or days when some outside activity is so much more appealing, you need to dig down and buckle up partner.
Those are the best days because on those days you get to show yourself that you are in fact a real writer. At least, on that day…each day has its own set of challenges, right?
Having the inner focus to keep at it and not allow yourself distraction can be a difficult. Remember, you have consistency on your side and on those challenging days, the habit you have been engraving within you will come to your aid.
Don’t give in to not writing.
Look at it this way, when you skip a day, it can lead you to two and three and four more days of ‘skipping school’. Before long you will be a flunky and get thrown out of school altogether because you missed too many writer days.
Writers need to show up. Absentees get dismissed.
Stay in school.
Lack of Rewriting
Writing is rewriting.
Just about anybody who knows something about writing has most probably heard this catchphrase.
We all wish we can write something one time and ABRACADABRA it’s a masterpiece. Unfortunately, we all need to rewrite our work to make as best as we have in us to make it.
You need to grind. You need to roll up those sleeves and throw your hands in the soil and not care about how hard it is because you’re too focused on improving your material.
You know, as you continually improve your material, you are improving your writing. That’s kind of cool when you think about it like that. You will only get better with time.
Ernest Hemingway said the first draft of anything is shit. He was dead serious and he was correct.
Don’t get lost in hearing about or reading about those miraculous stories from writers who wrote a genius work of art in one sitting in three days. It can happen. Focused writers don’t depend on it happening, they depend on themselves to do the work.
With any luck you gained some value from this article.
Anything we attempt as writers is never a picnic. We are all learning and growing together in this world.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your work. Don’t stop until you reach the end of your script.