If you’re anything like me, you’d agree that the hardest part about anything is getting started. This is why, even though I have a million ideas in my head, most of them will never see the light of day. I, along with a great majority of filmmakers, have the hardest time starting a script. An idea always seems so simple to execute, until it’s time for it to leave my brain. Unfortunately, beating your head against your laptop doesn’t do much for knocking those ideas loose. However, I have a few tips for those of you that have been in the same predicament as me. Here are the top three things that help me get started on a script when I’m having writer’s block.
1. Work in a Public Place
If you try to do any writing at home, you will encounter a myriad of distractions that will not only keep you from being productive, but will also leave you feeling like a complete waste of a life afterwards. Well, maybe that’s just me. Twelve hour long Netflix marathon? Why not? Have a life changing conversation with your roommate/sister/partner? Sure! it probably won’t take long! Eat the three tubs of ice cream you were saving for fourth of July weekend? You betcha! The point is, unless you’re extremely disciplined, you will have a terribly difficult time working from home. Go to a library, coffee shop, yogurt shop, park, or wherever your soul desires! You will find that even though there are plenty of distractions there, you will find it easier to focus because you’re not able to relax as much as you do at home. Not to mention the amount of inspiration you take in when surrounded by other people!
2. Bring a Friend
Not just any friend mind you, a fellow writer friend who is just as disciplined, if not more, than you! No one will benefit if you bring your best pal from high school who used to give you wet willies because he knew you secretly liked it. except maybe him cause that’s kind of his thing. But seriously, having someone to bounce ideas back and forth to will help you get past that first draft barrier. I’m a firm believer in collaboration. That includes the writing process. One key thing to keep in mind when you are looking for a writing buddy is that two people can have very different perspectives. So if your concept of a giant space octopus that does yoga doesn’t resonate with your writing partner just know that it’s not you, it’s them.
3. Go Offline
Remember that thing I said about distractions? No? You were probably too distracted to pay attention. I don’t blame you really. In this day and age it’s nearly impossible to find an electronic device that does only one thing. Distractions are probably the second biggest hurdle one has to overcome when writing a first draft. The first being lack of inspiration. I typically write stuff on my phone when I have a free minute or two. But shortly after I find myself checking Facebook updates, watching how to videos on YouTube, hashtag surfing on Instagram, or asking google why my morning breath smells like old cheese. The solution to this problem of course, is to restrict your own access to the internet. This works best if you can find an old typewriter or turn to the trusty pen and paper method. But just turning off your WiFi and/or cellular data will do the trick.
I promise you if you apply at least one of these tricks you will have a much higher chance of spitting out that first draft. Once that’s done, the rest comes rather easily. Although these tips work for most people, I’m sure there are a few individuals who just have to be individual and disagree with me. If you’re one of them, let me know what helps you get the words out. Until next time, you creative bastards you.