Write Your Damn Script/ Book
I get a lot of messages from people telling me how much they want to be a writer and how they love storytelling etc… I always enjoy listening to such enthusiasm, but then I ask, have you written anything yet? Often the answer is no, followed by a string of excuses and looking at the floor.
My job is long hours
My kid/ wife/ dog is an asshole
I’m scared to write it in case anyone steals it
I don’t have time
I have too many social commitments
Did I say my dog is an asshole?
This is the difference between wanting to be a writer and going through the pain, to having a vision of the dream of writing, where you’re telling a room full of hangers on anecdotes of your experiences at awards ceremonies, while doing the backstroke up and down your infinity pool with your BAFTA resting on your belly.
I get that there are factors that hinder writing. It’s like any art, you suffer for it, and some people genuinely have too many responsibilities to prioritise it, but if you really want it you will find time. Here are some suggested ways to do it. Different ones will work depending on your situation. Maybe none of these work for you, but use them for inspiration to find your way:
Get up earlier and write before work, before the torments of the day kick in. It only takes one call or email to destabilise your mind, so get your writing done while the rest of the world rests. Also, this helps you fight frustration during the day. I find if I haven’t written I spend the day annoyed with myself. If you do it early you can be smug for the rest of the day.
Set up a Google doc. You can work on this online and offline and on your phone and computer. It updates on whatever device you’re on so you don’t have to email yourself documents and you can work on ideas on the commute to work. Obviously don’t do that if you’re driving, that would be stupid. If you don’t know what a Google doc is just search online as I’m sure there will be someone who walks you through it.
Protect time. Actually create writing time. Set it in your calendar. You might not feel inspired when the time comes, but sometimes sitting there blankly and thinking is still developing something. Even if you write a few words, it’s still writing.
A friend of mine swore by doing 15 minutes a day. He said it was achievable, and often he would over run, but knowing it’s just 15 minutes makes it easier to find the time and then you run with it. Also, this creates a habit and that’s really what it’s about, creating positive habits.
Remove the distractions. My PS4 is at my mum’s, because otherwise it will call to me and I will answer, then a month will go by. If you are weak like me, create separation from the distractions that call out to you.
Prioritise. If you love writing as much as you say, then it will come before certain social occasions. You have to learn to say no and not feel guilty for it. Writing is looking after yourself so when you say no to something, you’re sometimes saying yes to yourself.
It’s hard to get into the habit. When I gave myself a year to just write, I spent at least 2 months having naps and going for walks and doing everything apart from writing. Once the habits set in, I now find it easy to do, even if it is still sometimes exhausting.
The point is, whatever your situation, there are always ways to make it work because we have so much technology at our disposal. Find what works for you and write your damn story.