How to Navigate Lockdown: 3 Tips for Screenwriters
What if you could get something good out of the lockdown? Your main priority should be to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones. But the pandemic won’t last forever. Think about it like this: once the lockdown will be over, wouldn’t it be great to come out of it with a truly unique and exciting screen story? Maybe up until now, it was hard for you to focus on your fantasy world with all the everyday responsibilities and noise. Well, now there’s time to really dig deep into it. To help you get the most out of self-isolation, we bring you our top 3 tips to navigate these times. Sounds good?
1) Use Your Previous Commute Time
Working from home means that you don’t have to spend time commuting. How long does it usually take you to get to the office? Half an hour? An hour? Instead, you could write your script! If it normally takes you only 15 minutes to get to the workplace, it’s still an extra half hour a day. That’s 2.5 hours a week!
But you’ve probably noticed that whatever daily routine you had up until now has been completely shattered. This can easily discourage you and create confusion. But don’t worry. The solution is to set up a new routine. Make the commitment to write every day — it may be as little as ten minutes, or as much as half an hour, but you’d be surprised to discover what you can accomplish with that time over the week. The important thing is not to get distracted and stick with your plan.
If you find writing difficult right now, perhaps you could write backstories for your characters. You could browse the web to look for a writing course. Or if you’re wondering how to get into another medium (like novel writing to screenwriting, or vice versa) you could use your previous commute time to research this.
2) Read Blogs, Articles and Screenplays
A lot of people feel blocked during lockdown, so don’t get discouraged. Don’t try to force the words out either. Take a break and use the time to educate yourself instead.
The Internet offers limitless options to look up tips on how to improve yourself as a writer. You can explore numerous blogs on screenwriting. People share a lot of valuable information online, and you can learn a lot from it.=
But let’s not forget to do the best thing for even experienced writers to improve their skills. What’s that? Reading screenplays!
You can probably find many of your favourite movies’ scripts from The Internet Movie Script Database. Nothing prevents you from reading a couple of them and trying to pick up some techniques their writers have used.
3) Focus on your career
Once the lockdown is over, life will turn back to its normal rhythms. The likelihood is you will start going to work again and meet with people as usual (within social distancing rules!). But perhaps you won’t ‘have’ to go back … if you become a professional screenwriter instead!
Carefully consider a step-by-step plan for your screenwriting career. What are the milestones? What needs to be accomplished and by when? Having a clear roadmap in front of you makes it much easier to continue writing as other responsibilities return to your life.
A great way to hold yourself accountable to get to your writing goals is to enter screenwriting competitions. The best part is that you will be given a clear deadline to complete your tasks. Believe it or not, some writers find having a deadline is the ultimate inspiration.
The lockdown is the perfect time for effective performance. You can use the extra hours to develop your script, educate yourself on screenwriting, and plan your career. So, go ahead and start putting your story down. Who knows, maybe in a few years you’ll be getting an Oscar for it.
Are you going to use some of the tips to improve your skills? Can you share the best screenwriting software you ever used? Leave comments below, we’d love to hear from you.
BIO: Thomas Glare is a passionate filmmaker with a Master’s Degree in Screenwriting. He helps other writers get their stories down on the page and up on the screens. He loves to share his filmmaking experiences through blogging. Thomas is developing a script for a full-length feature film that will hopefully go into production in September. In his free time, he likes to have fun with the Book of Ra (and win some money!).