Writer's block is part of the game, but how do you win? Let the pros guide you.
Anyone else finding it hard to write under these conditions? You're stuck inside with your laptop and your ideas, but the temptation to watch the news or sit on Google learning anything that doesn't relate to your story is so very enticing.
This problem is called writer's block.
We've all heard the term and read the articles. It's a universal plague that affects everyone with writing to do. That means that both amateur writers and seasoned professionals have to deal with this.
Today we're going to see how professionals handle this struggle.
Check out this video from Behind the Curtain and let's talk after the jump!
How do Professional Writers Avoid Writer's Block?
So what were the most useful pieces of advice?
Are you like Aaron Sorkin, and now planning to take a drive? Blasting music and trying to make sense of your character's rapid-fire dialogue. Taylor Sheridan says he drove from Los Angeles to Montana to solve problems he had in his scripts.
Or maybe you take a similar strategy to the Coen brothers and toss ideas back and forth and then make that into a meta-narrative called Barton Fink?
The main thing we can all agree on is that writing is a challenge.
I loved seeing many of these writers put things down. Put it down, walk away, open something new, just do the work needed to finish. It doesn't matter if you finish something else first, just keep going.
"Follow the fun" is also great advice. Jordan Peele said he had five projects open but Get Out was the one that made the most sense to chase.
This is all about unlocking something cool.
It also allows you to steal from other projects on your plate to fix the ones that aren't working as well.
As Noah Baumbach says, 'writing is a journey where some days feel better than others.'
We have times where the dialogue flows as do the scenes. But there are hard days as well. For Baumbach, it doesn't matter. He accepts the flow as it comes. Go moment to moment and don't censor what you think is good or bad.
Ride the wave.
At times, creation is recreation.
Dustin Lance Black lets people talk and talk on the page until he can rewrite them into forms.
Charlie Kauffman used writer's block in Adaptation as a tool to show the character's struggle. His main lesson was that this is the burden of writers. He discovered the theme of the movie by addressing his own problems with the story as well.
Allow yourself to find ideas. Then only write the ones that make you passionate because that's what makes it all worth it.
Now stop reading and get back to work.
What's next? Tell your story, don't over-explain it!
One of the more omnipresent traps that aspiring screenwriters succumb to in the actual writing and execution of their scripts is to think of their screenplay as a movie.
Beat those problems!