Overthinking your screenplay is another form of procrastination. I’ve done this. I still do this. I’m doing it right now. We all have our methods, our madness. Maybe you’ve been stewing over the same idea for a decade. Maybe you’re convinced that you need to read at least a dozen screenwriting books before you begin. Maybe you started, got stuck, took a break and never returned…
HERE ARE 9 SIGNS YOU’RE OVERTHINKING YOUR SCREENPLAY:
- Are you an aspiring screenwriter, but you haven’t written anything?
- There’s this idea that you’ve been thinking about for a long time, but you just can’t commit to it.
- Think about all the books written on screenwriting methodology, formatting and theory. Maybe you should read everyone one of them before you start! No. Just start.
- You can’t get past the first act of your screenplay without asking someone to read it for validation.
- You’re afraid that you need to wait until you’re “ready.”
- How do you know if your idea is any good? Is this an excuses for not writing?
- You feel like you’re not good enough.
- Outlining gives you a sense of control. Maybe if you keep thinking and putting it off, the idea will get better.
- You started, got scared, and took a break but never came back.
Don’t focus so much on the ‘how to’ that you forget to do. Do it. Write it. Yes, a little research and planning makes a huge difference, but know when you’re ready to begin versus putting it off. Sometimes the answer to your writing questions will become obvious after you’ve finished your screenplay. Knowledge isn’t always something that you can read in a book or hear by word of mouth. Sometimes you need hard earned experience to teach you why something works or doesn’t.
As a classic overthinker, I get it. I put off writing ideas that I’m excited about because of fear. No one wants to write when they don’t feel ready or feel like the idea is not fully formed. Fear isn’t uncommon. In fact, it’s very common.
We all have our hang-ups of does this work, is this any good, am I any good…
Let’s throw a little Mark Twain in the mix to boost morale, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” Don’t overthink it. Do it.