Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Write Every Day?

Yesterday, on twitter, I mentioned about writing every day, and received lots of replies, all very different, which made me realise that everyone has their own method of writing. This is why I distrust anyone who tells you how to write.

That isn't what this is.

What is it then?

Well, I hope to explain why writing every day works for me, who knows maybe it might light up something you'd not considered and help you in some way, if not it's an insight into my method, and I'm a writing nerd and love to know how other people write so it might interest likeminded writing nerds out there.

So, why do I write every day? 

Well, I didn't always. I used to just fit it in whenever. When work became too much I'd put writing to the side. Stare at the laptop, miss it, fill my head with stories, characters, dialogue, but write none of it down. I became frustrated. I started trying to fit writing into each day, even if it was just on scriptwriting software on my phone, I'd do a bit. Then I started assigning time to do a bit each day, an allotted time slot, even if it was just half hour in the morning or last thing at night, I was going to do that half hour and here's where I realised the benefits.

Writing every day freed up those thoughts and ideas rattling around my head. It moved them along a touch, gave them a new angle to be looked upon tomorrow. A lot of the time, it gave me a fresh scripting problem, something to work on. Sometimes it allowed more importance to individual scenes as i only had time to work on one per day.
Suddenly, everything just started to flow. Not flow as in, “Wow this scriptwriting malarkey is easy”, there is no miracle cure, it flowed as in, slowly but surely pages were being done. I was finishing first drafts, re writes, short films for Twisted Showcase, treatments, outlines. I was working through ideas. Something I realised last year, I’m not the quickest to catch on, was that I'm not going to live long enough to write everything I want to write. It's why I love Twisted Showcase, being an anthology, it lets me get a lot of ideas out there. Writing every day helps tick everything along so I get more done.

How else does it help me?

If you know me you probably know I'm an impatient person. As soon as I get ideas I'm developing them, I'm dying to write them. I have to hold myself back a bit. I try to never write two scripts at the same time, although I usually fit in a short film whilst writing a longer script. What I will do is write a first draft, whilst waiting a few weeks to get to a rewrite, and while I'm rewriting I’ll be developing my next script, it’s a never ending cycle. So, writing every day always makes sure I'm never in writing downtime. I'm hell to be around when not writing. 

This is the awful truth, the main reason I write every day is because I have to. It makes no sense to me not too. It's a way of pushing myself to be a better writer, and to tell all the stories I want to tell. If I stopped writing every day, I'd miss it, and I'd think I was slacking. I'm pretty hard on myself and I wouldn't like to see the consequences.

Now for the twist, there have been days when I have not written this year. The BBC TV Writers Festival was one, my laptop is a heap of junk and wouldn't survive the travel so I went a few days without writing. I didn't feel the break refreshed me, helped me and all I wanted to do was write, especially at the writers fest as I was so inspired. 

So this is what works for me, feel free to comment on what works for you below, label me a weirdo or whatever you'd like to comment upon. 


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