Write Every Day – Yes, It’s That Important!

“I’ll get into a regular writing routine after the New Year.” Yet, they never do.

“I haven’t had the time to sit and write in months. That needs to change.” But it never does.

“My last script is five years old. I should write something new.” Though it never happens.

You’ve all heard these lines. Maybe you’ve even said them. That’s why we’re here to remind you of this simple truism: a writer writes. Period.

Did you know that one of the main reason agents and managers drop clients is because they don’t write? It’s true. Most reps expect two pieces of original material per year, generally regardless of any writing assignments or tricky life situations.

Yes, this seems like an almost impossible task. After all, there are bills to be paid, dogs to be walked and friends to be navigated. However, if this is your chosen profession, then you have to find a way to prioritize your writing.

And there it is: priorities. There are some things you can’t change. You have to make a living (and if you don’t, good for you, and you seriously don’t have an excuse). So, what can you do to get your writing in? Can you get up an hour earlier? Stay up a couple of hours later? Change your shifts? Use your lunch break? You might have to de-prioritize your social life or take a break from your favorite hobby or stop watching TikToks. Yup, it’s about discipline.

Basically, just ask and answer the following question: “How much do I want this?” There might be days when you absolutely don’t have a minute to spare. Don’t beat yourself up — use the few minutes during your subway ride to look up the procedural question that was stumping you or the type of clothing peasants wore in 1756 or the caliber of gun that could blow someone’s head clean off with one shot.

But what if you don’t know what to write? After all, is there any point in working on a pilot or feature script with a so-so idea? Yep, because practice makes perfect — and you never know where a great idea is going to come from. For example, we have a genre project outline that is contained and fun, but the storyline felt just a bit predictable. While working on it, another idea presented itself to flip the whole premise on its head. Now it’s unpredictable and fresh. And that would not have come about had we not done the work in the first place.

Here’s an easy exercise that can yield great fruit: challenge yourself to simply write a 3-page scene with two characters with competing objectives. And for bonus points, neither character can directly confront the other — meaning you must use subtext. See where it goes. We did this with our Pandemalogues writer challenges back in 2021, and we not only read a lot of fantastic original scenes, several of you wrote to tell us that you planned to expand those scenes into a full screenplay. Now that is a beautiful thing!

And if you ever feel like you can’t motivate yourself, feel free to shoot us an email at [email protected] — we’ll be happy to give you a talking to. 

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