Thursday, May 23, 2013

Coverage Ink/Writers on the Storm Newsletter May/June 2013

1. I Don't Have Any Freaking Time to Write!
2. Shorties
3. The Fasano Factor
4. As If Hollywood Movies Aren't Homogenized Enough

I DON'T HAVE ANY FREAKING TIME TO WRITE. How many of you guys know this mantra? Well, I've really been feeling it lately. Life has a way of overwhelming us with its obnoxious demands, and the first thing we sacrifice  is our precious writing time. Work hassles. Car repairs. Relationships. Laundry. Medical issues. Children. Social events. Pets. Dental work. Workouts. Facebook posts that need responding to. And of course "The Bachelorette - The Guys Tell All" special episode is a must-not-miss. All of these things take precedence, and before you know it, it's "Eh, I'll get some writing done maybe this weekend."

Compounding the problem is that if you're like me, you need quality time to write. To really immerse into the world of the story and get anything done, I need a minimum of two hours, preferably a lot more. A 17-minute window in my schedule ain't gonna do it.  I have to get comfortable and go away into the story world, and then when I'm back up to speed on all the characters and conflicts, I can actually produce something. When I attended the UCLA Professional Program some years ago, they said that writing every day was not just advice, it was required. And I was like, "Yeah, right." Just too damn busy!

Now I know some of you are thinking this is all a bit of an excuse. Many of you can write anywhere, anytime. My 13-year-old daughter recently blew me away with a several page fantasy story she had written during lunch at school on her iPhone. (I might try this if my clumsy, fat fingers could actually manage a decent new phone. I got a touch screen phone last year and promptly returned it when I couldn't even successfully enter the activation code.) And I know there's a little bit of truth in the statement that while I may prefer to have four uninterrupted, distraction-free hours in my office with my door closed, the truth is, I don't NEED it.

I am fully aware that in theory, you can tell your kids, "Dad needs to work now, don't bother me until 3PM." You can grab your laptop and write while waiting on your mechanic or in the doctor's office or the jury pool room. I've even heard it may be theoretically possible to NOT check social media or e-mail for several hours straight, although I have yet to test this somewhat outrageous theory. So yeah, I know all this, okay? But does it make it any easier? NO. This is 2013 and our lives have become this crazy cavalcade of crapola. It seems like there's always a fire to put out, always an errand that needs doing, and before you know it, it's too late for any real creativity -- might as well just put on Jon Stewart and try again tomorrow.

Now if you're reading this expecting some sort of great revelation at the end of this rant, sorry, pal. I don't have any. No, I'm basically just whining here. I have no solutions! I'm just saying this is how it is for me, and it kinda sucks.

But you know what keeps me going? Knowing that I WILL HAVE SOME DAMN WRITING TIME SOON. Maybe it'll be next Tuesday afternoon, or on that short hop flight next week, or even (I've done this) on that sick day you take for the express purpose of knocking out 15-20 pages. I must always know there's a window of time coming up. It may not be for days, but I know it's coming and it gives me solace. It's the only way to get through sometimes. Being able to go away into a script for several hours... it's like a mini vacay. Better than any day spa or movie marathon or sporting event as far as I'm concerned. It's just around the corner.

And it will be mine, bwah ha ha ha ha! Um... sorry.

So for all of you guys in the same boat, how do you cope? How do you find time to write in this day and age? E-mail me and if anyone has any good suggestions I'll post 'em. Because you guys have got to be better at time management than me.


Bunch of coolness going on. We have our contest wrapping up -- we're down to the top ten and will be announcing the winners soon. Somebody is gonna grab a big fat $10,000 check! And on the screenwriting education front, we have two sweet events coming up -- Great American Pitchfest and John Fasano's new workshop series. We'll talk about both below. If you're at the Pitchfest, make sure you stop by the CI booth and say hi. And I'll also be hosting the Agent's Hot Sheet-Live! panel at Pitchfest Saturday June 1 at 11AM featuring five top agents and managers. Not to be missed.

Keep on writing, brothers and sisters (ha!)

Jim Cirile
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Continue on to Shorties

1 comment:

Bob W. said...

Two're right!

Okay, more than two...I'm older, retired, and I still have trouble finding time to write.

Let me/us know when you got this time thing figured out...