The beginning of a new year is full of hope. No matter what last year looked like, we are always hopeful that the next year will be even better. As writers, we are always living in hope. We put words on paper hoping that someone will be so compelled by them that they will spend millions of dollars to bring them to life. And yes, sometimes our hopes can dim as we write script after script and don’t yet see the fruits of our efforts. But, it’s important to remember that every new script written, every notecard on structure, and every word on the page, are the building blocks that build you up as a writer and bring you one step closer to your dreams.
A new year is always an excellent way to reset expectations and rekindle your passion for screenwriting. Here are six ways to help stoke your screenwriting fire.
Take a Break
Seriously. The last few years have been brutal. Sometimes the best thing to do is to allow yourself the space to reset. Sleep in. Take walks. Volunteer. Whatever it is that’s restful for you, take some time to enjoy it.
Watch Inspiring Movies and TV Shows
It may sound obvious, but seeking out and watching the TV shows and movies that are in the genres you’re writing and that are creating buzz is an important practice. There is so much content filling our screens right now; find the shows and movies that inspire you and let your writing brain soak in them for a while.
Find a Writer’s Group
Working with a writing group can be a great way to bounce ideas off of each other and get feedback on your work. Collaboration can help keep you accountable and motivated to keep writing.
Create Your Own Rhythm
Some writers write every day, others very much don’t. Worry less about what other people say you should be doing and focus on what works best for you. Do you like writing in the evening or in the morning? At a coffee shop or library or at home? Does it help to play music or not? Dig into what’s most helpful in your writing process and find a way to be consistent that best reflects your needs.
Whether it’s watching YouTube tutorials, popping into a free seminar, breaking down your favorite show, reading scripts, or taking a class, it’s important to keep your writing muscles strong. You can also try doing some writing exercises, like free-writing or prompt-based writing, to keep your skills sharp and your mind open to new ideas.
Be Creatively Promiscuous
Don’t be afraid to mix it up. Get out of your comfort zone and pick up a camera or just your phone and start taking videos or pictures. Try your hand at editing or dive into a completely different discipline. When you’re feeling stuck, try pottery or knitting or something you do with your hands that lets your brain work away at story problems. Don’t be afraid to try new forms and let your imagination soar.
2023 is full of promise and hope. Lean into your creative spark and see which of these methods might work for you. We can’t wait to see what you create!