Saturday, October 17, 2015

When You Put Your Heart and Soul Into Your Writing

THAT is when you absolutely positively MUST remember that you write for yourself first. That's why first drafts are so much fun.

One time at UCLA one of my screenwriting professors said, When you write yourself into a corner, change corners.

So when you're struggling to find inspiration, and it happens to all of us, try to find a way back. 
Try thinking about all of us fellow writers out there... banging away at our keyboards.

Try reading the first few pages of one of your favorite books.

Try watching a beloved movie, perhaps one about writers.

Try this writing exercise: set the timer on your phone for 10 minutes. Grab any book at random. Close your eyes. Open the book to any page and put your finger down. Open your eyes. Read the sentence your finger is on. That is your opening sentence. Open a new document. Type that sentence. Start your timer and WRITE AS FAST AS YOU CAN WITHOUT STOPPING. Whatever comes through is what was supposed to come through. Because you're free to write anything, and not all up in your head about character and plot and diction, you're free to create. Let it flow. It will. Whatever it is. This is a warm-up exercise. It doesn't matter what you type. It doesn't matter what you misspell. Write All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy for 10 minutes if you must. But whenever I do this exercise, the timer goes off all of a sudden and I have no idea 10 minutes have already passed. I typically silence the timer and continue writing. Several of my favorite short stories were a direct result of this exercise.

And, if you're unable to gather the strength for even this, know that that is okay too. You may not write for a week. You may not write for a month. You may not write for a year. It may take time. Sometimes you have to wait.

But don't suffer alone. Get on Instagram. Join or create a writers group. Find community. Writing is a solitary activity. But the love of writing and of books makes you a member of a unique family unlike any other. We all know what it's like. We all procrastinate. We all struggle with reconciling the excitement with the fear. We all sometimes have to make just one more mug of coffee. You can do it.#writers

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