Stop Reading This Post Until You Have Written Your Screenplay for 20 Minutes!
If you are reading this sentence, you have either a) written your screenplay for the past 20 minutes; or b) you are not following instructions and need some guidance.
If you fall into the category of b) (and I’m sure most of us do), I predict you are about to waste a minimum of 20 minutes of your life surfing the Internet instead of using that time to write. And when you are complaining later today/this week/this month/this year that you just don’t have time to write, I’m calling BS on you (and me).
So, here are five things you can do right now to work on your screenplay for a mere 20 minutes and get more s#!t done:
Use a pen and paper
Turn off your computer, grab a pen and paper, and start writing. If you do not possess pen and paper, go to the store and buy some. Or ask a friend if you can borrow some pen and paper. Make sure your friend knows you won't be returning the paper, just the pen. Don't be a klepto with your friend's pen. That's how you lose friends.
If you must use your computer to write, turn off the Internet right now.
Since I don't trust you, I suggest you download Freedom and tell Freedom to turn off the Internet right now for the next 20 minutes. I promise the Internet will be here when you get back from your writing. Pinky swear.
Take a walk.
Let's face it: you've already wasted an hour of your time on the Internet not writing before you got to this post. You need to get up out of that chair and go for a walk. You need to get some much needed exercise to get the blood flowing and to get those ideas churning. You may be saying, "But hey, if I'm walking, I'm not writing." True, but you're also not surfing the Internet (which I will remind you that you are still doing right now if you are reading this sentence instead of going outside for a walk), and I can virtually guarantee that if you focus on your screenplay during your walk, you will come up with at least one idea that you want to write down when you return 20 minutes later. Then I have a hunch that you will want to keep writing after you jot that idea down. So move it! Oh, and if it's already dark outside, bring a flashlight, a friend, a dog, or a friend's dog. But don't be a klepto with your friend's dog.
Talk to yourself.
Stop posting comments on the Internet. The Internet doesn't care. Save those words for your screenplay. Start talking to yourself. Out loud. About your script. Right now. Talk to yourself for 20 minutes about your characters, their arcs, their relationships, that plot point that you just can't figure out, that obstacle that would make your protagonist's life hell but would be great for your story. Now make that a bigger obstacle, keep talking to yourself about the movie you would like to see on screen and how your screenplay can make that happen. When you're done talking to yourself, write some of it down. If you're afraid that you can't remember what you said to yourself for a mere 20 minutes, record yourself -- but don't start surfing the Internet on your smartphone! Which leads me to...
Turn off your smartphone/Put your smartphone in another room/Get rid of your smartphone forever.
See, I know you may have downloaded Freedom on your computer to turn off the Internet, but you're cheating with your smartphone right now, aren't you? Aren't you?! All I'm asking for is 20 minutes, so turn off your phone (yes, we once survived this world without smartphones or wearables or made-up words like smartphones and wearables, and you can do it again for the next 20 minutes), take it off your body and put it in a different room, preferably with a door that you can close behind you, thus separating you from the Internet in your pocket. If you live in a one-room studio, get creative. (Seal it in a Ziploc bag and hide it in the toilet tank like it's a gun you're gonna use later in your script -- except that's been done too many times, so it's a trope, so don't put that in your script, but do put your phone in the toilet tank -- again in a Ziploc bag, don't forget that part, that's important -- unless you're done with smartphones for good.)
If you've made it this far reading this post, and you haven't followed the first instruction in the title or taken heed of any of the five suggestions above, I don't want to hear it when you say you never have time to work on your script.
In fact, I sincerely hope you keep writing after those prescribed 20 minutes. Stretch it to an hour or two. Do it everyday.
When you forget to do this (like I may do from time to time), come back to this post and read the title. That's all you'll need to do to get back to writing your script.