Your Writing Motivation Sucks

Sammy Montana has worked in different capacities in Hollywood… Read more. To get Sammy’s free screenwriting advice subscribe to his YouTube channel. For his high quality and fast turnaround script consultation services contact him on Linkedin. Twitter: @IAmSammyMontana

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Screenwriters writing motivation sucks! Why? Screenwriters are guilty of two big mistakes which kills their writing motivation.

Not only do these mistakes kill their motivation but they assist the logical side of the brain to create excuses. These are excuses that justify the lack of writing time!

Screenwriters Kill Writing Motivation

Screenwriters kill their writing motivation without realizing it until it’s too late. If screenwriters brought these unconscious habits to their conscious minds they can recognize them and stop them immediately. After all, you can not stop a habit you are not consciously aware of.

These motivation killing strategies are: addiction to external stimuli and addiction to complaining.

A great article that explores addiction and what it does to a person physically and emotionally is Feelings of Loneliness and Depression Linked to Binge-Watching Television.

Script EXTRA: Creating a Successful Writing Practice

Screenwriters Excuses to Avoid Writing

Screenwriters are very creative when it comes to making excuses to avoid writing.

They use and become addicted to external stimuli.

Maybe the writer needs to check Facebook messages.

Maybe she “needs” to respond to outstanding emails or phone calls.

Maybe watch some TV or an indie film for “inspiration.”

Maybe pornography addiction.

Maybe general internet browsing addiction.

Others make it a point to binge watch shows so that they can “catch up.”

Maybe they are tired from lack of sleep.

Maybe they are even depressed.

Any of these sound familiar?

These excuses have not even scratched the surface of what writers invent.

Script EXTRA: This Scene Sucks – 15 Screenwriting Mistakes to Avoid 

How To Become a Great Screenwriter

Even though the use of external stimuli is comforting at first, the long term consequences, such as procrastination from writing, hinders your growth as a writer.

Your growth as a writer comes only from writing badly, rewriting, getting feedback, writing a little better and getting more feedback.

Doing it as much as your time would allow during the week is a very effective method for screenwriters.

Over a period of years, as you write and learn from your mistakes, and calibrate your writing to grow, you will grow.

There is the fact that you must fit time in your busy schedule to watch and analyze both scripts and movies.  I love Jeanne Veillete Bowerman’s perspective on this matter: Balls of Steel: How to Manage Time Flying.

Screenwriters are Complainers

Screenwriters are notorious for complaining about what’s wrong with their career. Lets call this addiction to complaining.

I know it’s not exactly a genius of a title but it gets the point across. I read a book by Napoleon Hill once called Think and Grow Rich that had a huge impact on my thinking when I was younger. To learn what it taught me read on.

How To Stop Complaining

I learned that successful people take any negative energy they have and direct it into something positive.

Notice that they do not try to eliminate their negative thoughts. If they tried to fight their negative thoughts they will very often lose.

I strongly recommend reading this book.

One of my favorite quotes in the book is “A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.”

Let that sink in for a minute in order to grasp its deep meaning.

Look, nobody’s saying screenwriting is not a challenging career. It is. That will never change no matter how successful a screenwriter becomes.

Read Script magazine and you will be surprised to discover how similar some of your “struggles” are compared to working screenwriters.

It’s hard enough to crank out enough scripts quickly enough to make a decent living. So do not make it harder by complaining and wallowing in your poor-me attitude.

Script EXTRA: Pursuing a Writing Career When You Feel Lost

Most screenwriters, except the ones living in their own mental utopia, go periods without work. Eventually their time diminishes in the limelight to a certain degree, and they worry about being found out as a “fraud.”

The one thing to remember is addiction to complaining is a time waster that will cause procrastination and maybe even lead to an addiction to external stimuli.

Now the question you should ask yourself is; do you really enjoy and want to write or do you prefer to procrastinate?

Summary

There are no benefits to developing addictions to external stimuli and addiction to complaints.

Since all screenwriters will experience this to some degree in their lives, the key is to recognize it and be good to yourself and write, god damn it, write!

The world needs to hear your voice sooner or later. Just do not forget to be entertaining in the process of doing so.

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One thought on “Your Writing Motivation Sucks

  1. NoMinorChords

    Good advice, Sammy. However, I always found Napoleon Hill’s relentless positivity to be actually a turn-off because instead of being simple, it was simplistic. Isaac Asimov – who never seemed to have problems getting motivated to write – once commented on the absurdity of Hill’s “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve,” by observing (and I paraphrase), “I can CONCEIVE of flying faster than the speed of light using only the power of my mind – but it’s not actually possible.” But Asimov also contributed this, which I think is relevant to your article: “And above all things, never think that you’re not good enough yourself. A man should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning.”

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