Everyone has different writing habits. For me, the hardest part is getting myself to start writing — usually if I can get a sentence down, I can write ten pages. The trick is finding the will power to write that first sentence. Here’s an article from ScreenwritingU to help you master your creative process:
Part of being a great screenwriter is finding your optimal creative process — the set of rituals that will have your creativity blossom and your life be happy at the same time.
Can you imagine that?
As you write each screenplay, you can start identifying what works for you and what doesn’t. Many times, just recognizing a negative pattern will change it or recognizing a positive pattern will assist you to make it a habit.
Over the years, I’ve noticed a specific pattern that disables a writer’s creative process and often causes “writer’s block.”
See if this feels familiar.
A writer will torture themselves on a first draft, rewriting lines over and over again, trying to make sure it is perfect — but much of that perfection is on the surface; the words. They’ll spend three or four drafts editing the script to get that “perfect feel.” But often, the script has problems with structure or plot holes or main characters that need work. By the sixth draft (or 10th or whatever), they tire of the process, do a polish and send the script into a contest or producer — knowing there are problems.
They have forced themselves to be “perfect” during a first draft when they should be flowing with creativity, but they don’t apply the same need for perfection to the completed script — especially under the surface.
It is a paradox that can disempower a person’s creative process:
First draft: Overly critical, obsessing to make sure it is perfect.
Late draft: Become lax; just want it done. Turning in a script with problems.
How do you know if you do that? On your first draft, do you really allow yourself the freedom to write without rewriting as you go? Or are you trying to have the first draft look as good as it can?