Hello Fans, Friends, and Fellow Film Fanatics,
So you want to be a scriptwriter–or a novelist maybe? You are sitting there after doing the first step, which is researching everything there is to know about how to write a script, but then you aren’t seeing results. Why is this? I have done the hard part haven’t I?
To answer that question, no. You haven’t done the hard part. Only gotten the setup right so you can step into the most challenging month of your process–Getting started writing. Are you actively pursuing your writing goal? Are merely reading this and hoping that it will just come to you, because you can read all you want about writing and it won’t change the fact that you haven’t started writing your book/script/short story.
We are men and women attempting to coerce our naturally incredulous minds into a seemingly impossible act of willpower, because that is what it takes to make change and develop something creative and inventive. To sit down and write a masterpiece is impossible, but to sit down every day for one hour and write one page or two pages of a masterpiece is a feasible act.
There is no way that writing is just going to happen one day in the future, so remove the indecision from your mind Right Now! No human being unless ordained by God can sit down and write a perfect manuscript of any kind that is flawless and ready to be spread to the world. No matter how good your opinion of your work is, come back to it in 3-5 days and read it again and it will be swarming with errors and holes. It is amazing how many you will find. But that is all good and well to talk about what to do with a finished manuscript, but we want to know how to get the process rolling don’t we? I sit on the couch with my computer in my lap and wonder why my fingers don’t just have minds of their own and produce great works that create an income for me to survive on. I search up all the information that I need to write this beast of a story and have it taking up memory space in my head, yet still I do not have the ability to write it. What are we doing wrong?
It is not what you are doing wrong, it is what you aren’t doing. Many beginning writers (including myself) do not properly train or prepare for writing or did not train before taking on the adventurous task of writing a book. It is like anything that requires practice to get better. Outside viewers like I once was, read great books and think that skill just comes naturally, but the molding of elegant sentences and the creativity and uniqueness of storytelling comes by working little by little and never giving up. What good would it be to try and run a 10 mile marathon after only changing your lifestyle of eating potato chips, playing video games, and sitting on the couch mere hours before the race? No one would be able to successfully accomplish that switch unless they had the incredible amount of willpower to do it.
Yes, people do incredible things, but for those of us who are used to only hearing about those great people in newspapers and want to become like them, the path of strenuous training lies ahead. A writer friend of mine asked what the purpose of writing a short story was and I was shocked. Writing shorter pieces trains so many skills that can develop into longer pieces and to think it to be useless is foolish. Better to do something small and do it well, then to take on something big without the know how to pull it off.
Write every day! Read every day! Those two acts over a period of time will bring out the writer in you and give you the words and wisdom to write your great inner voice. Whether it be a basic blog post like this one, or an article for a magazine, or a short story that no one but your great Aunt Sally will ever read, or a short film that will never be put into production. Those are still valid uses of your time. You never know what those could grow into later on down the road and great stories never die! They are always growing and developing and transforming into a living breathing world. So many of my larger projects have derived from thoughts and stories that I thought I would never use. If you truly want to write, then you won’t be able to stop. As the great fantasy writer, R.A. Salvatore, once said to his fans…
“If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, then you are a writer,” -R.A. Salvatore
If you can’t give up the pen, but you are still having trouble getting your thoughts out on paper, then don’t quit on your craft, but maybe look into a different style of writing or topic or Genre change as well. Remember that passion drives us all and if you are working outside of your passion then you will never “enjoy” your work.
There is a famous quote used by many that is—
“Find a career that is something that you love to do and you will never work a day in your life,”
Start writing a project and don’t let yourself stop until you are finished with it. The more difficult it gets to stay focused, the more you work on it. Finish one project and then move on to the next. It is a meticulous, frustrating, difficult, time consuming, overwhelming, leads to a world of insanity, but also enjoyable in the step by step process that will teach you more than you would imagine.
Write about what you love and success is sure to follow. There is an audience for everything and writing yourself out of the game is always a sure way to lose and make no progress.
In the great words of Captain Taggart from Galaxy Quest,
“Never give up, Never Surrender,” Though it is a silly film, it is a very true and relevant statement.
I would suggest reading “The 101 habits of highly successful novelists” by Andrew McAleer. It is an extremely helpful and detailed book about writing and getting projects out of your head fast and efficiently.
Thanks for reading and stick around for my next post.