by Jess Hinds
BEFORE YOU WRITE CHECKLIST
1. Have you settled into a comfortable space with everything you might need?
2. Do you have water?
3. Have you turned off your phone and disconnected from wifi?
4. Have you written down your goals/intentions for this writing session?
5. Have you taken a few moments to let go of anything that will not serve you in this writing session?
6. Have you taken long deep breaths to help calm your nervous system and get some oxygen to your brain?
7. Have you connected with your character/s?
8. Have you taken a few moments to step into your character in the time and place that your scene begins?
9. Have you allowed yourself to fully feel the weight of what is happening to them at the moment?
10. Can you feel the characters emotional need?
11. Can you visualize their tangible want?
AFTER YOU WRITE CHECKLIST
1. Did you thank your character and let them know that you will be back?
2. Did you take a few breathes to let go of your scene and return back to your own life?
3. Did you cross off your goals and celebrate accomplishing them?
4. Did you categorize today as a successful writing day because today you wrote, and the definition of a writer is someone who writes?
5. Did you schedule into your calendar your next writing session time, location, and goal?
Hey There Writer,
I hear you. I see it. Sometimes it feels like we are writing and rewriting and rewriting for so long that we start to believe that we might never finish a project. I wish I could tell you that every script requires three draft and a polish and then you're done. But the truth is, when it comes to art, there is no rule. There is no algorithm. Anyone who tries to tell you that there is only x amount of draft you need is misguided or ill-intentioned.
Scripts are like children. Some are quiet and learn to crawl, walk, and speak according to research averages. Others start to walk before they crawl. Others learn how to speak three languages by the age of four. Some wet the bed until they are nine. Some pull the whiskers off Mister FuzzyPants and blames it on their recently deceased GamGam. You can waste a lot of precious energy wishing your script were easier or on a more traditional track. But that won't help nearly as much as meeting the script wherever it is at and helping take the next step forward.
The scripts that I work the hardest on are always the ones I am the proudest of. They are the ones I learn the most from. My sci-fi/romance/gender-morphing/reincarnation script that took me five years to bring to completion taught me more about the craft of action writing, the art of allowing an audience to fall in love, and most important - helped me work through my deep-seated fears of commitment (well most of them, let’s not get too excited). I would never take those growths away in exchange for it to “be easier”.
If it were easy everyone would do it, and it would be of far less value. What you are learning in this process will take you so far beyond this individual script. You are developing muscles and tools that will serve you on your next fifty scripts.
You must remember that you are not just working on a single script, you are training and conditioning yourself as a writer. Time spent training, practicing, developing your voice and craft is never a waste.
Every script is written one word at a time. Just keep writing word after word. One day you will look up and realize you’re done… well at least with this script. Then the joy will wash over you, causing you to forget how difficult the journey was, encouraging you to start the next script.
Always Keep Writing,
Written by a dyslexic, proof read by an apathetic foreigner.
39 West 29th Street 2nd Floor New York, NY
The Science & Art of Writing was founded by award winning writer & certified yoga instructor Jessica Hinds.