Sunday, March 17, 2013
How To Write Every Day, Conclusion: Is Your Goal to Keep Writing or Stop Writing?
It used to be quite common to hear life plans like this: “I’ll go out to Hollywood, work for five years, make my ‘fuck you money’, and then move to a more artsy city and do what I really want to do.” Of course, even at the time, this plan was short-sighted and naïve, but these days, it seems painfully quixotic.
Not only does this delusion leave writers unprepared for the reality of the marketplace, but it keeps them from ever getting near that market to begin with, because it makes it very hard to move seamlessly from project to project.
If you’re trying to write that silver-bullet, million-dollar spec, then you’ll probably be unable to resist the temptation to put all your eggs in one basket. You’ll polish that gem over and over, send it out and then start dreaming of beach houses and fast cars, instead of dreaming up your next project. Only when you realize that nobody wants that last script will you reluctantly force yourself to start all over again.
If your goal is to one day stop working and start coasting, then that’s exactly what you’ll do, over and over again. In the end, you’ll achieve your goal, albeit with one small change: they’ll get all the money, and all you’ll get is the ‘fuck you.’
Instead of dreaming of the day you’ll be able to stop working, aim higher: Picture a fantasy in which you’ll be able to keep working. Write because you want to write and write and write. Write because you want to get paid to do what you would have been doing anyway.
That’s a much more ambitious fantasy, and it helps you create a much better reality in the meantime, because if you picture yourself writing in the future, then it’s far more likely that you’ll write today.
And writing everyday is the only way that you’ll ever get good enough to sell your work.