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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions (often with a humorous eye) about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

Dear DcH, I have so much on my plate right now that I can’t seem to write anything.  Can you help me?

 Janella Thompson

This week's Answer: 


It would be too simple to suggest that you take something off your plate, Janella.  Instead, I suggest that you simply get a few more plates (so they won’t be so full).  When your mind or life is scattered it can be a challenge to write.  I know this may seem a bit peculiar, but you might try this technique:   Instead of waiting for the confusion or sense of overwhelm to die down, and instead of resisting that “overloaded plate,” work or write WITH it.  In fact, it is that very resistance to that feeling of being overwhelmed that is the actual problem.  In practical terms, if you’re feeling inundated or confused or not sure of yourself or completely overwhelmed then that’s what you are at that time.  Realize that the feelings and the particular situation you’re in must and will change due to the fact that the universe isn’t static and is always changing (like the channels on cable television).  You could even view your particular situation as an opportunity to explore that aspect of you and let it inform your writing.  Even drive it.  Propel it..  You may find out something about you and your expression that you never knew ever existed.  Of course, I know we sometimes think, in order for us to write, we have to be in a certain mood to write, the “writing mood,” I guess you could call it.  So, instead of working through it, you could wait for the writing mood.  

But the problem with that scenario is, if you always wait for it to arrive, you’ll find yourself... waiting more than writing.

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