by Peggy Bechko
You have a great idea.
You have lots of notes and the plot all mapped out in your head and maybe a synopsis typed into a word processing program.
It fires you up every time you think about it. But nothing messes up a great idea like not having the energy to bring it to life on the page.
Am I talking about you? Lack of energy to write is common. Most writers don’t start out being WRITERS and writers only. Most of us have families, rent to pay, food to buy, insurance to pay.
Which means that you probably have a job. And we all know what that does to our energy levels.
Having a job means getting up early, morning prep whatever the routine, traveling to work and spending most of your best energy there.
Then home for dinner and time with the family and it’s probably eight or nine at night before everything you need to do in your day is done and there’s that little sliver of time left before crashing and doing it all again.
That time is golden, the time for you write that screenplay or novel or TV Pilot script. But so very often even though the time is now there, it isn’t as productive as you need it to be because…where is the energy?
Somehow, every writer has to find a way to pair the two; the time to write and the energy to write. The first hurdle is finding the time to write. But the second is discerning WHEN the time is right to write.
You’ve probably read or heard things like “you must write at least two hours a day, every day!” Or maybe, “be prepared to give up every weekend and holiday for your writing!” Uh, no. If some of these plums were truth there would be very few writers. Who could get a screenplay or novel done and still have a personal life left?
Surely all of this comes as no surprise. You need both time and energy to write. How often have you carved out a portion of time just for your screenwriting or novel writing and realized you had zip energy to carry it out?
Writing is a priority, but so is life.
So, first we find the time to write.
Perhaps a few hours every Sunday. Maybe during lunch when we slip away from co-workers and get some writing in. Could be early in the morning, rising before the rest of the household to get in a hour or so of writing before the rest of the family arises. If you commute on a train perhaps writing could happen then.
Whenever the time, whatever the amount you have to dedicate to your priority of writing, you need it to be a time when you can bring real positive energy to the task.
There’s no mandatory time or length of time for writing. The trick is to make whatever works for you a regular event, a time of your choosing when you can approach the computer with some real energy to put into your story.
After all, you can’t be grousing your way to the computer, fingers not eager to hit the keyboard, and expect to create the blueprint for your blockbuster movie/TV series or best-seller novel.
Discovering the most energetic times you work at your writing is an essential part of the writing process. Your time-energy component is entirely up to you, but you need to make sure they fit together like a bespoke suit.
Find that combination of the right time and enough energy, and I’m betting you’ll write that great script or fantastic novel…or maybe even both.
Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her sensational career HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.