Ready to write your screenplay? Toss your doubts aside, and do it! Take overthinking out of the process, and make your writing a reality. Boost your productivity by using the tactics below combined with the Idea Generator: A Screenwriting Starter Kit. The full 8-page workbook helps you set aside time to write, create a course of action, and choose an idea for your script. Create a custom plan of attack. Check it out in the Free Screenwriting Resources page.
Buddy up with a friend if you need a little extra incentive or tackle it on your own. I’m excited to see you start your script!
The best way to start your screenplay is by starting. So redundant, I know. Aspiring writers get hung up on 3 things:
- Procrastinating – You might think you need to read every book and article known to man in order to start. A screenwriting software will take care of the big formatting stuff for you: WriterDuet (free options), Final Draft (paid, industry standard), and Celtx (free options) are all good choices. If you don’t know the general “how-to” of screenwriting, read a script. Doing this will show you how dialogue, action, and scene description work.
- Fear of sucking – Stop judging yourself before you start. You have to get over it. Let yourself suck. Give yourself permission to write the worst thing imaginable, and you’ll probably write something much better than that. It’s okay to learn on the job.
- Waiting for inspiration – Create your inspiration. Find it. Partake in life. Enjoy new experiences. Have sources of motivation that you can tune into when you need a jumpstart.
Choose an Idea
Waiting for the right idea to strike you? Don’t be too choosy. There’s a fine line between thinking up a good idea and procrastinating. Use what inspires you.
Think about the movies, TV shows, books, life events, and anything else that gets you inspired. Choose an idea based on something you’ve seen, imagined, or hoped for in your life. The originality will come from your voice and the unique twist you put into your story.
Give yourself the freedom to brainstorm all types of ideas. Don’t edit your ideas as you go. Let the good, the bad and the ugly come out. Welcome it all. Write everything down in one giant brainstorming session. After the end of that session, review your ideas and start refining them.
Corral your creativity into actionable steps. Learn how to focus your efforts into efficiency. Know what you want to do and have ideas about how you want to do it. There’s a saying that goes something like “be strict with your goals and flexible with your methods.”
Working crazy hours? Distracted by life? Unsure of how to get where you want to go?
Goals help take the stress out of writing. Follow a clear path, set the perimeters yourself and structure your time. You have the power to control your own actions, nothing else. No one is going to write your masterpiece for you. You’re going to writing it. And write it now!
Ensure that you stick to your goals by making a concrete plan. What can you do to hold yourself accountable? Do you have people you can rely on when you fall behind? What is your support system? You can do this.
Instead of focusing on the outcome, focus on the writing.
That means letting go of your expectations and the pressure you put on yourself to make that first draft 100%. Rough drafts are rough. That’s okay. Don’t be perfect, get it done!
Find a screenwriting community for support.
You have options. Writing is internal. The energy it takes to self-motivate gets hard after a while. Use some outside perspective as your sense of motivation. People will not only cheer you on, but they will inspire you by the active pursuit of their own career.
You can write while you work full-time.
This is actually one of the more common hardships people face. It’s tiring to come home after a long day and sit at a keyboard, especially if that’s what we’ve been doing all day at work. Check out the four tactics outlined in this post.
Tackle the blank page.
Fret not. I have a writing exercise where the first page of the script is written for you. Get your writing muscles moving. Mental exercise is just as important as physical.
Take yourself seriously.
Follow through and respect the goals that you set for yourself. You’re worth it! If you want to do screenwriting, do it. There isn’t one way to accomplish your dream. I want this site to show you that. It’s up to you to put in the hard work, but there are many different paths to making it happen because there are many different types of people in varying circumstances. Be accountable to yourself in pursuit of your dreams. It’s the first step.
Go to the Free Screenwriting Resources section to grab the worksheet!