When it comes to writing, inspiration plays a huge role in my productivity.
I get ideas all the time. Each time a new one pops up there is a fire lit from within me. I have a habit of sitting on ideas as long as I can before I begin to write a script or a story. Sure, I quickly jot down the idea and over the next few days (weeks, months or years) I outline the structure and plot points as they work themselves out in my mind. There are 2 things that let me know when I’m ready to sit down to write: 1) I am clear on the plot structure and 2) The story is forcing itself out of me.
I enjoy the writing process as much as I enjoy bringing the words to life on stage or on film. I also have the type of personality that thrives under pressure, which is great for when I’m producing. That being said, I never try to pressure myself to write when I am not burning with inspiration. Forcing things in this area doesn’t work for me.
A couple years ago I was writing on a new project. I gave myself a loose deadline in my head and calculated how much writing I would have to do per week in order to complete the project in the time I allotted in my head. Some days/weeks were filled with a feverish frenzy of my fingertips trying to keep up with my racing thoughts. Then there were other days/weeks where I just didn’t feel like it, I didn’t feel like I had it in me, so I didn’t want to write. On these days I forced myself to sit at my laptop and be productive like a ‘good student’, fearing I wasn’t serious or passionate or talented enough if I couldn’t deliver the same volume and caliber of work day in and day out. The times I felt like this I could sit for hours and barely string a few sentences together. After a few days in a row of disappointment I decided to just walk away…get some air, take a few days off and not beat myself up about it.
Time off and allowed me to come back to the work rested and refreshed; I had found my fire and once again the writing flowed out of me with ease. I learned that I was more productive in one inspired day of writing than a week of trying to force inspiration when it wasn’t there…
Chasing ideas has never gotten me very far…Letting them come to me has always taken me further than I ever imagined.
“When you struggle against this moment, you’re actually struggling against the entire universe.” – Deepak Chopra