hollywouldink

Top 10 Things Not to Do While Having Trouble Writing

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10. Do not read this blog.

Whuuut? That’s right. It’s only more procrastination. But on the other hand…read it anyway.

9. Do not take your hands off your writing utensil.

Hey, now! There’s a toddler present. And that is not what I meant by writing utensil. …Though that would be impressive.

8. Do not think about where your writing is going.

Look at me writing all these postcards at the last minute. You think I thought about what I was writing? …Well, yeah, I did. But I’m obsessive and never stop thinking about my writing, no matter what the form.

7. Do not pass Go. Go directly to Jail.

By which I mean, now is the time to sit and reflect. Think about what you are doing and where your story is going. I know this contradicts #9., but just trust me on this. Pull up your handy structure map, and fill it in with the main plot points for your protagonist’s journey.

6. Do not ignore my effing instructions! Print out this structure map and fill it in with your major plot points. Seriously. If you can do that, move onto drawing up an outline, and from there your scenes. But if you cannot fill in the blanks, stare at this map until you figure out the route your story must take.

Print me.

5. Do not waste your time. Use it to your advantage.

Because these are the days of our lives. …Vomit.

4. Do not forget your art.

Remember that your art and your voice are simply dictated by your perspective on the world. Write things as you see them and you will never trip up.

3. Do not forget your craft.

Remember that screenwriting is born out of the ancient oral tradition of telling campfire stories. To hook cavemen into sitting down quietly and listening to you yabber on for an hour requires great skill, and a certain amount of calculation. That is your craft. The logic element. Think of the contents you want to put in your basket as your art, and the basket as your craft. It is what holds everything together.

And is best done in the buff.

2. Do not forget yourself.

Now is maybe a good time to journal. Reflect on your day, your week, your overall existence and experience with the human condition…that sort of thing.

Wise are you, Sage One.

1. Do not Google yourself.

Seriously? Not even close.

Author: hollywouldink

I'm a visual writer and teacher currently getting my MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage at Northwestern University. Sarah Lawrence undergrad. Writer for movies, TV, theater, and literature.

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