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The start of the creative process. Nothing but a blank screen looking back at you!
Where do you even start?
I was lucky to have been given a clear starting point by my gorgeous wife Katie. Back in 2014, she gave me a course for my birthday entitled "How to write a movie in a month". Whilst she was playing football (soccer) on Sundays, I devoured the course and started to write down outlines and ideas. I just never found the month to write the actual screen play. So this is me carving out the time to come to LA and make it happen.
Today I spent three and a half hours reading the course and making notes, 1 hour watching YouTube guides on how to use Final Draft and I was getting ready to go! I was itching to write but...â¦..
Slowing down to speed up
My mum always used to say to me, "More haste, less speed." I never really got it when I was young, I just thought it was annoying! Now I get it. Sorry, Mum.
If you dive headlong into something without some idea of what you are going to do then you end up creating more of a mess that takes you longer to undo than if you had learnt first and implemented second.
There is a counter argument to this that I see at Rebel Business School all the time where people have been thinking and planning an idea for years without ever implementing! I am not there yet!
There is a middle ground where you are prepared and ready to go, you know what you are going to do, and you have done the groundwork ready to start!
For me the groundwork is 3 fold:
For someone as driven as me to get shit done this is a little bit frustrating but I know I will get more out of the experience if I put in the groundwork!
I have committed to writing a screen play whilst I am here plus 2 other goals. I have committed to myself (which historically speaking I am not great at keeping those commitments to myself!) plus I have committed to you! I am more likely to keep my commitment to you! I would love your help keeping me accountable! To help me stay accountable and see what I have committed to go here
What else happened?
The 15 minute rule is where you commit to doing 15 minutes and give yourself permission to stop after just 15 minutes. What I found was that I got into it and ended up doing an hour and a half once I got going. There is power in just beginning!
Day 5 - Friday
I really got into the writing today and found a glimpse of what I could really achieve! I managed to get myself to 30 pages of a screen play!
There is a rule of thumb in screen writing that it is about 1 minute per page so if you are looking to write a 90 minute screenplay then 90 pages should be there or thereabouts! I was so pumped; a third of the way there! WOW. I didn't want the weekend to come. I just was buzzed to keep writing! It took 4 days to really get going but once I had started, I didn't want to stop!
What have I learned?
It has been an intense first week with a lot going on! Reflecting back, here is what I have learned:
I think it has been really good for me to start something completely new. It has shifted me out of my comfort zone, allowed me to experience a beginner's mind again and I have developed a whole new appreciation for how hard it is to get going on a new project. I think all these things will help me in my work at Rebel and give me new content and ideas to share with you.
Week 1 summary - what happened?
That is nearly a third of a screenplay, baby!
I feel like I have made good progress but I am worried that the days are slipping away. Maybe my expectations are too high but I thought I would have been further along already. Why haven't I written a whole script yet!?!?!?
I will report back next week with more. In the meantime, if you would be interested in helping me with comments on my script then I would love to hear from you. I think I have realised that I am going to need help to make this script as good as it can be!
If you are up for having a read and passing comments then let me know.
âHave a great week and I will write more next week.