The act of writing can be joyful, horrible, heart breaking, inspiring, sobering, humbling and having a finished thought or product can be one of the greatest experiences on earth. Whether it’s writing a screenplay, pilot, blog post, novel, essay, or a tweet that hits the exact character count, the end result can be unbelievably rewarding. The process, however, can lead to endless drinking and depression. See example below.
The thought of taking on a big project can be daunting and exciting. You may have a story you’re dying to tell and begin writing it with complete certainty and inspiration. Often times, however, when the going gets tough and we hit trouble spots or are just personally having a bad day, this can lead to a demise in our plan. An exciting idea to us can become stale. You might begin to question why you began writing the thing in the first place. This might make you angry or depressed and soon enough you may stop writing altogether. Now, not every project that is started will be finished...or even should be finished. But through this, how can we develop a plan for consistent writing?
Where Do You LIke To Write?
A coffee shop? Your office? In your home? Find a place that you actually enjoy being in and choose that as the spot you will do a majority of your writing. If plans change on a certain day you can absolutely write from anywhere, but if the creation of this story has a home base you will more likely want to go there. Personally, I prefer to write in coffee shops. I know seeing the stereotypical writer in a coffee shop inspires rage in some people, but for me it's a place filled with lots of helpful distractions.
How do you like to write?
By hand? On your computer or iPad? With a nice cappuccino or just a little buzzed off of a beer? With plenty of unhealthy snacks? With music playing? These are important questions to ask. You want to give yourself the best shot of actually doing the writing you plan on, so you should structure it around things you like to do. For me, it's definitely a hot cup of coffee. The coffee is so enjoyable that if the writing gets tough at least I can sip on that.
Use a number value to develop your schedule
No, I don’t mean rate yourself or your performance on a scale of 1-10. What I mean is you need to use numbers to help yourself accomplish goals. This means that you should use some numerical element within your writing and work toward that numerical element, whether that is to work for a certain number of hours/minutes etc. (I’m going to write 2 hours today or I’m going to write 12 hours this week). It can also take the form of pages or word count (I’m going to write 7 pages today/this week or I’m going to write 1,250 words every day). This helps have something to work toward. It’s not just a generalized goal of finishing the product, but it leads to feeling like something has been accomplished.
trust the editing process
The editing process is there for a reason. Fix major problems along the way as you are writing, but minor things or little wholes in your plot or idea can be fixed later. You will not be short of ideas while you are going through your second, third, or fourth draft. In fact you will be more of an expert in your concept at that point that you may be better off to fill in some of those holes, dialogue or word choices at that time. Trust that you and whoever else might be reading early drafts of your project will have the answers that you don’t have now. Some problems as you are writing require time to figure out the answer, but others are just a waste of time and hold up the entire process. Even as I’m writing this blog, I am not checking to see if I’ve made mistakes or even if the whole thing makes sense. I will clean that up later when I’ve had some space and can view the whole thing with an open mind. Just keep writing and the rest will come later.
Do not give up!
Again, DO NOT GIVE UP! Somewhere in the middle of a project, people often second guess themselves or they just lose excitement completely. This is the part of writing that is not fun. You have put so much work into this thing already and now its time to work a little bit harder and work to finish what you set out to do.
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