Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Writers Block - Setting the stage


So I've been sitting on my hands for the past month. My excuse... HUGE PROJECT at work that is sucking the life out of me, and draining me of any urge to sit in front of my laptop for another second at the end of the day... Good excuse? Yep... A famous poet once said "If poetry comes not as naturally as leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all". Now some of the big writing books will SCREAM from the mountain tops - Writers write... so write something everyday. OK! I have written 36 emails, 3 sets of descriptive instructions on how to open a particular file type, and a grocery list... I'm done.

BUT at the same time, I haven't won any Oscars yet... and I'm dragging my ass through my 3rd script in 7 years...

Bob Moresco on Writers Block

Soooo where's the middle ground? Is there any? Can you write something you wouldn't send to school with your 6 year old and re-write it later? Absolutely. Can you write something you would be embarassed to show your mother it's so bad... Yup! Is that the answer... Write something shitty and clean it up later... Maybe...

I would suggest sticking to the plan. Lay out your script. Plan it from FADE IN: to FADE OUT:. Use the sheets on the-greenlight.com downloads section. Blake Snyder also has some good tools on his page. Including a software program called Save The Cat! Blake Snyder - Homepage

Ok... so you've got the story outlined... you're at your desk (as Mr. Moresco encourages) Now what?

Well, write something...


A young man in his thirties sits at his keyboard. Time seems to be moving in slow motion and every glance at the clock causes his eye to twitch.

Just as the digital number flips to 5:00pm on the wall clock he launches himself to his feet. PENS and PAPER fly into the air as he dashes from the room.

Oh, thank God. It's over! I
can go home and get away from
my laptop!

Maybe not... But here's a thought. If you're really stuck. Your brain is far away from the world you've created. Take a few minutes to think about what type of music you see playing in the background of your movie. Build a playlist in your favourite media player and just listen. Set the stage for yourself, and as the music relaxes you, and brings you back into the environment and mood of your script, I'm sure something will start stirring. Words will magicaly flow from your finger tips and out over the keyboard and soon you'll discover that those 5 pages you wanted to write today were written 20 pages ago and you're on a roll. Just give yourself the tools you need to get it done. My thing is music. Yours might be something else, but the key to beating writers block is to find a way to submerge yourself back into the world you're creating. Find your key to that door and you are set.

Anyway, the clocks a ticking and I am out of here...

Peace & good writing...

- G

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