19 Sep 031 | What I Learned In My First Week of Writing
The house is clean, books put away, dishes done, laundry washing, showered, and waiting for the family to arrive. I thought I’d share with you what this week has taught me.
Getting away truly helps.
I was nervous if the whole “get away by yourself for a few weeks” would be a successful strategy for me. I usually work on a very short attention span, and a normal working day for me usually involves working on every area of my business at some point. So at the end of my first day, I was thrilled to have surpassed my daily goal. And each subsequent day’s goal surpassing brought equal thrill.
Writing is as hard as I thought
This is still hard to do. It’s hard making 1,000 decisions in every line of action or dialogue. But the thing that’s helped me the most is remembering how much everything will change from the first draft. When I remember that NO first draft is ever good, I have a lot less pressure on myself. I can just write it, knowing changing is much easier than creating.
Not writing is a big part of writing.
If you had a time-lapse of the room I’ve been writing in for the past 5 days, you would probably think I wasted so much time. My feet got to know every square inch of this floor, and I’ve spent time sitting in every seat as well (and there are a lot of them.) I have spent hours walking and throwing this red and black nerf football in air to myself (with much more success than the Buccaneers had this week). But that time was not wasted. It was imagining scenes, responses, and lines of dialogue. So many little (hopefully) funny moments came to me in these moments, then I would rush over to the table to write it on a post-it note or type out the scene.
Just sit down already.
While the dreaming time is very important, there came the moment when I knew I was putting off the actual writing. This moment came many time per day. And every day I’d have to remind myself “Hey! Kevin! You are writing this thing. Sit down and get it out of your head.” And each time I did, eventually it would start to flow, usually several pages at a time.
I got this.
I don’t mean in an arrogant “I can do this without any help” kind of way. I mean that writing this first draft is something I have the capacity to finish. I know that in 3 weeks I will be sending off a first draft of my first screenplay to the Writers Guild of America to register it. If you told me that in March that I would be doing that for a screenplay I wrote I would have said you’re crazy!
I have an amazing wife and super friends.
It’s crazy that this worked out. My friends are letting me stay at their lake house. My wife is bravely parenting our triplet 3rd graders and ROUS by herself for 3 weeks. Others have encouraged and believed in me way more than I believed in myself for the past 3 months. I am deeply grateful for all these things and so very excited for the future.
So it’s been a week. I don’t know if next week will flow like this week did, but I know I can do this.