“There’s a lot of power in saying no to big things that you don’t want to do in order to say yes to the kind of things that really inspire you.” ― Dee Rees
5 Ways to Motivate Your Screenwriting
Written by: Christine B.
May 06, 2022
Some days it feels impossible to motivate yourself to write. Words don’t come easily, ideas get stuck in your head, nothing sounds right, you don’t have the time. Next time your writing hits a dry spell, try these 5 ways to motivate yourself to write your screenplay.
Write because you have to. You don’t need to wait for a spark of creativity to sit and write- inspiration is unreliable and inconsistent. Instead, build a writing habit. Force yourself to have deadlines and meet them. Be hard on yourself. Carve out a specific time in your day to write. Put it on your calendar and treat that time as absolutely sacred.
Establishing a team to help hold you accountable for sitting down and doing the work can be incredibly helpful to creating momentum in your writing. Whether it’s having someone ask you how your writing is going or finding inspiration from a group of fellow screenwriters, the benefits are endless. Writing partners, writing groups, writing classes, friends, are just a few examples. You could even hire a writing coach.
Find a Productive Location
There are so many distractions at home that can keep you from writing: guilt for not doing chores, a plush couch perfect for napping, the ever present time vacuum of social media- the list goes on. Finding another location can put you in a more productive atmosphere. Try heading to your local library and create a designated space to work on your screenplay without distractions. If you have a space that’s reserved solely for working on your screenplay, then you’ll have a clear mental shift in focus that will make you more productive.
If you’re not sure about it, skip it
Every screenplay has a beginning, middle, and an end. But the writing process doesn’t have to be in that order. If you’re struggling to write a scene, skip to the next part where you feel more motivated to write. If you have a clear understanding of one plot point, but not another, then skip to the area you feel most prepared or excited to write. Fill in the rest later instead of holding yourself back now. There’s no pressure to have a perfect first draft or to know everything that happens in your screenplay from the second you start a new draft.
First drafts are only the first step
There’s no pressure to have a perfect first draft. In fact, nobody even has to see your first draft if you think it’s that bad, and that’s perfectly acceptable. If you’ve written a first draft then you’re already winning. It’ll get better after editing, but you can’t edit a blank page. So remove the pressure to have everything perfect on the first go. Your screenplay will evolve in its own way and may look dramatically different than when you first started. Let it happen. Remove the fear and expectations and just write.