Anything but write!
Writers tend to be procrastinators. I mean, I shouldn’t be writing this blog should I? I should be writing my screenplay. But I am. And here you are. Doing anything but writing.
As I spend my career bumping into other wanna-be writers by the hundreds, I’ve noticed a horrific trend. They seem to be concerned with everything but developing their writing. What am I talking about? Here’s a list of things that seem to consume their time: inserting pictures into their script, changing fonts, obsessing over margin settings, display settings, cheating line spacing, and the list goes on and on. Here’s a tip. When your comedy spec script is 160 pages long, tweaking a margin setting is not your main priority. Fix your script!
Here’s another trap. Researching too much. Yes, it’s important to do research for your script. I keep a file for each script I write. But you can easily go too far and waste too much time researching for a script. No matter how much you research you still have the same number of pages to fill.
And then there’s this guy. Let’s call him Smokey. Smokey reads every screenwriting book he can get his hands on. He wants to know everything there is to know about screenwriting before he starts writing a script. This has been going on for years. Last time I checked, he had written zero scripts. Hey, man. Books are great. Kudos for getting educated. But if you want get to the other side of the pool you’re going to have to get in the water. There is not such thing as a perfect screenplay. There just isn’t. Don’t even bother emailing me with an example. There is no such thing as a perfect screenplay. So sit your ass down in front of your computer and start typing. Of course it won’t be good. Like Ernest Hemingway said, “the first draft of anything is shit.” So get on with it, Smokey. Then rewrite it into something good.