There are three stages in the life of a writer: getting a project written, getting a deal and getting it produced or published. Writers don’t have much control over whether their script, screenplay or manuscript becomes a fact, but you can control the first two points.
You can’t get anything written if you’re not writing.
Not being able to write is at its core a mental problem. Unproductivity is it’s own form of addiction. The easiest thing in the world for a writer to do is avoid writing.
As the saying goes, writers like having written.
But when you’re so bogged down in your inability to push forward with a project, complete a first draft (let alone revisions and a polish) or even get started on a new idea, you know you’re in trouble.
Not only do you find yourself unable to write, you don’t want to. You’re immobilized or close to it. The easy way around it is to find ways to avoid returning to the battle zone. And it is a battle zone. Until you finish the first draft your battle with whatever you're writing is a love/hate relationship.
This is how Writers Rehab can help you. To get you back on track, motivated and ready to approach your writing (and your writing career) with a new resolve and attitude.
What’s the attitude? Being more professional. Work on your novel, screenplay, TV pilot or play as if you’re being paid to do it. As if you’re on a deadline and a check for $200,000 is waiting for you.
Parkinson’s Law: work expands to fill the time. No deadline, self-imposed or otherwise, and it’ll take you two years to finish a script. Throw in a 3-week deadline with the promise of a paycheck and you’ll finish in 21 days.
I’m not trying to simplify the writing process. Sometimes it’s just not happening. Too bad. You need to make it happen.
In sports it’s said that the difference between an amateur and a professional is that the pro plays when he’s injured. As a writer, you have to bite the bullet and confront whatever’s preventing you from writing. There are many reasons.
In subsequent posts I’ll get into these reasons and offer solutions, tips and a few tricks to get you out of the doldrums and back into your screenplay.
Welcome to Writers Rehab.