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72 Hours…

March 6, 2011

This post is a quick follow-up to my previous post, 140 Hours, in which my goal was to write for five hours per day in February.  It was inspired by Stephen J. Cannell who wrote for five hours every day for six years before getting his break…and then he continued to write for five hours a day after that!  I had tremendous respect for Cannell before February, but now I can truly see how dedicated and hardworking he was.

I was hoping to at least make it to 127 hours, so I could throw in a few James Franco and/or rock climbing metaphors, but as the title would suggest, I barely made it to half of my goal.

72 hours, or

2.5 hours per day

I started the month off strong, averaging about four hours or more per day during Week 1, but eventually I started my normal procrastinating regimen.

I found that in order to even come close to reaching my goal each day, I needed to start the day off by writing for at least an hour before going to work.  An hour is hardly enough to complete anything substantial, thus I was left looking forward to my lunch break to finish whatever scene or sequence I was working on.  So, by waking up early and writing before doing anything else, I set myself up to write for at least two hours.  The days that I slept-in and didn’t make a conscious effort to write at lunch, ended with me staring at five hours worth of writing at night.  Sure there’s plenty of time most nights, but my mind is not quite as nimble and creative when I’m half-awake at 11:30 PM.

Anyway, the morale of the story is to write as early as possible.  The earlier I write, the more I write.  Successful and prolific writers probably don’t writer later; they write now.  So, write right now.

On the bright side, at least now I have a fairly easy record to break in April during ScriptFrenzy

Oh and James Franco probably isn’t a procrastinator…that guy works hard.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2011 1:25 am

    This is a really cool goal, I hope you stick with it! Just out of curiosity, what screenplays are you working on for this challenge?

    • March 8, 2011 8:53 am

      Hey Nathan – Probably too many different things…. A Modern Family spec, a web series episode for a friend in VA Beach, a feature I’m working on with a partner, and I also included script swaps that I’ve been doing online…. Oh, and I misjudged a contest deadline, so now I need to throw a new pilot into the mix. At least I (like you) now realize the value of outlining, so that makes things easier / more efficient.

      (PS: I keep trying to listen to TWWT, but every time I try to download, something goes wrong…might have to have Micah just burn me some CDs…)

  2. Christopher permalink
    March 8, 2011 2:52 am

    This is Christopher, from the original 140 hours post. Sad to hear you didn’t quite reach your goal, but at least you put forth an effort to dedicate some serious writing time.

    As for me, I’m happy to report that in February I completed both the first draft of a new feature screenplay, as well as my submission for the Nick Fellowship. I celebrated briefly (oh did I ever), but it’s just the beginning. Can’t rest on the laurels. Gotta keep grinding!

    • March 8, 2011 8:49 am

      @Christopher – Glad to hear February was productive for you and also congrats for making the Nick deadline (something I did not…). Good luck to you with the fellowship! Keep me posted on how your other scripts are going as well. Many more contests/fellowships coming up, so the grind is just beginning…

  3. December 18, 2011 11:14 pm

    Don’t stop, keep going. I hope you’re not too downhearted about not making your goal. I really respect the fact that you came back and told us what you’d achieved, even though it wasn’t as much as you’d hoped.

    This blog is an inspiration and great source of information. Please keep up your work, and continue to let us know how you’re doing.

  4. December 18, 2011 11:16 pm

    PS – If you’ve not heard of it, I imagine you’d LOVE this. Keep an eye out for it. I just attended the last one, the next one may be in another year or so.

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