A long time ago when I was starting out in this business I had agents in LA. I knew nothing. Nada. I could tell stories and that was about it. One of the best pieces of advice they ever gave me was that in order to write properly I had to make my personal life as comfortable as possible.
Forget the stories of the tortured poet. Writing takes focus. Focus is achieved when you haven't got 5 million other things pressing on you. Being comfortable means being in a place and time and circumstances where 5 million things aren't pressing on you. Nothing to do with being financially comfortable, except it's difficult to write properly while hiding behind the sofa from the bailiffs.
It's a strange dichotomy, because I believe that experiences in life, good and bad, heck, excellent and horrible are the building blocks of a writer's voice. But writing during one of the horrible experiences? You may get something down on paper, but I doubt if it is germain to the script you are writing.
This is perhaps why when writers are in script they tend to shut out everything they can. Focus. Always focus.
Today my life is like a bag of blind monkeys with light sabres. Nothing very serious, but big decisions to be made. If I were on a deadline, I'd suck it up, find my comfort zone as best I could and crank out the pages. But I'm not on a deadline. So I'm going to kick back, enjoy the sun and wait for the monkeys to tire themselves out. It will all be resolved by tomorrow. Maybe.
I'm not advocating procrastination, but some days you know it just ain't happening. I try to average about 6 pages a day when I'm writing a spec. A few days of extra focus and I'm back on track. Without the agony of deleting 6 pages of crap.
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5 years ago