Sometimes, it’s just good to be “real” here in a blog. You know, I could go into a full dissertation on the elements of craft, but, I thought I would just rap with you a bit about writing.
Writing takes a lot of effort and time. It doesn’t really matter what kind of writing you do; if you want to write well, it’s going to take a lot of discipline and some sacrifice. By sacrifice I mean, giving up certain things to make time to write, and it’s something that should be done daily. Truthfully, the more I have given myself over to writing, the less social I have become. In addition to time well spent, learning the tools of the trade are essential to good writing. I know, I know… us “creative” brains want to believe that everything we write is birthed from a place of extreme imagination–that there is no preconceived outline…no regimentation, which might disrupt our creative flow. We want to soar like an eagle in an open sky without having any road-map and/or destination. No planning, just ascending to the highest creative place.
The truth is… good writers do plan, and they do have a keen grasp on the fundamentals of craft, whether self-taught by reading books on writing, or from going to school. Good writers take whatever time is necessary to develop their creative muscles, and that includes a daily dose of structure and formatting supplements. The result: Stronger and sharper writing.
Another very crucial element is time management. OUCH! Time management is an issue for many of us, myself included. I’ve found one of the ways I curtail time is to stay away from the Internet when I am working on a script, or any other piece of writing that doesn’t require immediate research. I love this quote by the late Nora Ephron. “I have on my computer something called Freedom. You put in however minutes of freedom you want, and for that period of time your computer does not allow you to go on the Internet.” While that shows discipline, Ephron also admitted that she doesn’t have much of a writing routine. “I don’t have much of a routine. I go through periods where I work a great deal at all hours of the day whenever I’m around a typewriter (obviously this is an OLD quote), and then I go through spells where I don’t do anything. I just sort of have lunch–all day. I have never been able to stick to a schedule. I work when there is something due, or when I’m really excited about a piece.”
Of course, “due” is the operative word, because obviously when Ephron said that, she was at a place in her writing career when she had things due. When I am working on a project, whatever kind of writing it may be… if there is a due date, I do tend to schedule my day more. I have to, or I’ll procrastinate. This is where Ephron’s idea of “Freedom” comes in handy. Scheduling time where I just write and leave the Internet off.
Life can be a big distraction too. You know, you might be “in the moment,” writing the next best seller when suddenly you remember that lunch you planned with so-in-so, or you have to take the dog to the vet. Life has a way of interrupting the creative process.
Speaking of interruptions… My son just called and we’re going to grab a bite to eat. See what I mean? I have some revisions to work on, but darn it anyway… my stomach is growling, and after all… it’s my son…
INT. BOATHOUSE RESTAURANT, SANTA BARBARA – CONTINUOUS
Carla and RYAN, a handsome guy in his early 30’s sit on the deck, eating halibut, drinking white wine, while enjoying the ocean view. The sun is out, but it’s breezy.