Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Let the Holiday Hiatus begin!

 I hope you guys have a lot to be thankful for tomorrow. I know I sure do.

This year I was able to quit my day job and focus on writing, and even though I have yet to be paid, my loving husband has griped about it far less than I would have thought.

I have in-laws in town, so between the cleaning and cooking and general family gathering, I haven't had a lot of time to physically sit at the computer and write pages.

But that doesn't mean I'm not writing.

Part of writing is the planning, and I'm doing that all the time. While I'm mixing up pie batter, I'm working on a story idea. Waiting for in-laws at the airport - I'm reading a script. So at least I know I haven't wasted my time.

In Hollywood, this is the time when everybody starts winding down, so if you're new to these parts, don't expect anything to happen between now and January. There will be reading, though. Lots of reading.

Franklin Leonard created the original Black List because he was an executive looking for recommendations on what scripts he should read over Christmas vacation, so that's exactly the purpose it serves. Execs and agents and managers will all be reading scripts from the list while they're on vacation. That probably means they're less likely to be reading your script.

So the best thing to do right now is stop worrying about who's reading and when they'll get back to you and what they think. Just eat, drink, be merry, hang out with your relatives, then retreat to your computer when you're tired of them and get some work done. But don't spend your time waiting for a phone call, because the likelihood of that is pretty slim until 2013.

And in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!

4 comments:

  1. Hello! My name is Cristina and I am currently a college student studying film. I intern at a screenwriting organization called TheFilmSchool in Seattle. With school, a job, and interning, writing my own stories is kind of difficult since there isn't much time on my hands. What would you recommend as a starting point for people who want to start writing, but may not necessarily have the most time?

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    1. Make time. If you have to wake up early or go to bed late - do it! If you want to succeed you have to treat it like another job. Read and write something everyday. The only way to be a writer ... is to write.

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  2. Cristina, Robert said it. Find a window in there. If you only write one page a day, you'll have a finished draft in 100 or so days. Every page is one more than you had the day before.

    I find it helps to have a routine as well, so you don't waste time. If you write in the same place under the same circumstances, your brain will be triggered to think in the writing mode, kind of the way your bedtime routine tells your brain to cut to cleep mode. Shut off the Internet if you have to. Do whatever will allow you to maximize your short window of writing time. But the brain is in charge on this one. If you don't do it, you'll never finish a screenplay, and then you won't be a writer at all.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you both so much for the advice! I used to jot down ideas in a notebook whenever they came to me, but I think I now understand that I should expand on them or they will never turn into anything. Thinking about it as a job and a routine will really help, so thanks again!

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