Sunday, December 17, 2017

#Scriptchat Transcript - How to Juggle Writing Time with Day Job and Family

Tonight, we shared ideas on how to get words on the page when you're working a day job, or juggling family, or school. Learn tips to keep your writing on track while living a life!
Enjoy! @jeannevb

Read the transcript here.

We'll be taking the next three Sundays off from the chat:
     December 24th - Happy Holidays!
     December 31st - Happy New Year!
     January 7th - Golden Globes #glush

See you on January 14th with Jenny Frankfurt @FinishLineScrip - TOPIC: Tips and Tricks for Rewriting Success

#Scriptchat Transcript - How to Juggle Writing Time with Day Job and Family

#Scriptchat Transcript - How to Juggle Writing Time with Day Job and Family

Tonight, we shared ideas on how to get words on the page when you're working a day job, or juggling family, or school. Learn tips to keep your writing on track while living a life! Enjoy! @jeannevb

  1. #Scriptchat TOP OF HR 5pm PT: Juggling family, work or school! How do you keep your #writing on track while living a life? Let’s share tips! Chat deets: #amwriting
    #Scriptchat TOP OF HR 5pm PT: Juggling family, work or school! How do you keep your #writing on track while living a life? Let’s share tips! Chat deets:  #amwriting
  2. Hello, Peter from DC here. First time here. Great topic #scriptchat
  3. IT’S #SCRIPTCHAT O'CLOCK: Juggling family, work or school! How do you keep your #writing on track while living a life? Let’s share tips! CHAT HERE:  #amwriting
  4. Lemme tell you something: I just did TWO nine hour shifts with only four hours of sleep btwn them and guess what? #scriptchat
  5. Great to be here, Thanks so much for the warm welcome. Hey Collin. I live in DC #scriptchat
  6. Will there be actual juggling lessons, because I brought 3 oranges to practice with... #scriptchat
  7. @jeannevb This is an excellent question. Something I really struggled with last month in particular. #scriptchat
  8. I'm currently juggling decorating the tree and the chat... #scriptchat
  9. I'm currently writing my last essay of the semester whilst doing #scriptchat; I've learned the value of deadlines to a writer. #scriptchat
  10. Let's shout out some tips on how you get writing done while holding down a day job and/or juggling family responsibilities. #scriptchat
  11. FYI, the chat room is still set at 140 characters. #scriptchat
  12. I write every morning before I head to work. I try to log at least an hour sometimes 2. For me, I'm freshest in the morning. #scriptchat
  13. @chasinglamely Yes, deadlines can be a great motivator! Whether hard deadlines for submissions or self-imposed ones to aim for. #scriptchat
  14. @SarahAlexis4 deadlines have taught me how much of an excuse writer's block is. You can do it, you just don't want to. #scriptchat
  15. Before I broke in (the 3rd time) I worked in a warehouse 40-48 hours a week and wrote (at least) 3 specs a year. #scriptchat
  16. I used to set aside an hour to write every day before going to work, and the goal was 1 good page. That's 3 specs a year. #scriptchat
  17. Other good thing about deadlines/goals is we can kind of like reverse engineer the steps we need to get to that goal/deadline. #scriptchat
  18. Great topic. Finding, setting aside writing time is something I've thought about constantly. #scriptchat
  19. Agree with the deadline motivator. Am heading to Story Expo in NYC in March Aiming to have 2 web series/feature script done. #scriptchat
  20. I write afternoon-night now. I worked swing shift most of my life and those hours stuck. #scriptchat
  21. Also with goals/deadlines, TELLING others about them is a good motivator. It's easy to fool yourself, less so others #scriptchat
  22. Helps if your job doesn't require creativity & take home work #scriptchat
  23. @Chiefscribe1 Awesome. What web series scripts are you doing? Hoping to finish season 2 of my show #scriptchat
  24. The thing about a day job is - it's secretly "thinking about the scene I'm writing" time. #scriptchat
  25. One tip @zackgutin gave me years ago was to try to write during your lunch hour. If only I took a lunch break... #scriptchat
  26. (hey, those two posts I wrote didn't show up! The ones showing off my notebook!) #scriptchat
  27. I work w/ a timer a lot. Trained me to just get started and stayed focused for a doable amount of minutes per writing session. #scriptchat
  28. I always looked for day jobs that didn't require brains (for many reasons). #scriptchat
  29. @Chiefscribe1 I get fifteen minutes in my lunch break. The rest is done between customers, sometimes four words at a time #scriptchat
  30. For me, though, it would be great to just set aside 1 hour for screenwriting. Been very busy with article writing, too. #scriptchat
  31. On topic: Try to give your undivided attention to your kids when you can. That way you won't feel guilty when you have to ignore them for a few days when you're on a deadline. #scriptchat
  32. A big help for me was breaking down types of writing. "Active" writing that requires concentration you can't do at work #scriptchat
  33. @jeannevb Also, utilizing time time when waiting. Like waiting for an appointment or for something to start. #scriptchat
  34. @wcmartell My job involves talking to people all the time, so very little time to think about scenes. #retail #scriptchat
  35. Lunch break is a good plan - just write one good page... they add up! I would rewrite and do clean up on days off. #scriptchat
  36. "Passive" stuff like brainstorming, prep work, playing with dialogue, you can do while at work... since they take time anyway #scriptchat
  37. Sometimes I get up early in the morning to write. I have used a timer to keep me on track. #scriptchat
  38. If you have a life, you need to make sure your writing time is productive. It's not Twitter/YouTube/writing time. Just write. #scriptchat
  39. Yesterday, I finally finished working on the first draft of some supplemental content I'm working on for the show. #scriptchat
  40. @DevSeventyFive Yes, I do group ones or solo-sprints! Nice to have the good energy/company writing w/ others. #scriptchat
  41. Always have a way to write down ideas. They might come during other parts of your life. Jot them down, come back to them later. #scriptchat
  42. Breaking writing down into simple tasks with clear goals, I think, is key to making progress in a chaotic time #scriptchat
  43. There are some good apps/extensions out there for helping to minimize the distractions of notifications/internet while writing. #scriptchat
  44. At university, I write from midnight to 3am on whatever paper is due. Classes 9-3, work 5-11. #scriptchat
  45. I am an IT nerd and go to a lot of boring meetings. Plenty of time to daydream. #scriptchat
  46. Do any of you have tools/programs/schedules/apps to keep you organized and on track? #scriptchat
  47. @blueneumann I agree! Chunking a project down into doable steps. Can make the whole seem less overwhelming too. #scriptchat
  48. @jeannevb If short on time during lunch break, spend 5 min making a writing to-do list to tackle in the evening. Helps focus ur creative energy #scriptchat
  49. With the winter break coming up, my plan is to make sure I sit down and write 3,000 every day by 5pm. #scriptchat
  50. I started using the notes section on my cell phone to jot down ideas if I'm on the metro. #scriptchat
  51. No programs, no schedules, I'm not great at adhering to them... plus I can't predict my inspiration. #scriptchat
  52. @jeannevb A few weeks ago, I came up with a schedule for writing. I just need to follow it, or revise it to fit my article work #scriptchat
  53. @jeannevb I love how I can label the status of my scenes in Scrivener. So index cards I mark "To Do" "First Draft" etc. #scriptchat
  54. @Chiefscribe1 I took a Lyft home today and used my notes section, which was actually inspired by events in the car #scriptchat
  55. @DevSeventyFive @AnotherEitan Like many writers, it's his way of dealing with the fact that he has no friends #scriptchat
  56. I have ~40 days off. At 3,000 words per day, that's a novel. Or about three screenplays. #scriptchat
  57. I would do an outline first, so that I knew what I needed to write each day. One issue with a page a day is knowing they add up- #scriptchat
  58. @SarahAlexis4 @jeannevb Same here! I also love how i can organize my thoughts, helps me know what I need to write next #scriptchat
  59. @SarahAlexis4 I only use Scrivener for my novels & for organizing research. I've never tried to write a script with it, have u? #scriptchat
  60. There's a app that I downloaded called Slack. Awesome way to collaborate with other creatives, writers. Am lovin it. #scriptchat
  61. @jeannevb @SarahAlexis4 Actually no... I like to start fresh when the actual script starts, to keep things simple #scriptchat
  62. - add up to a story, and each page mattered and wasn't just "tap dancing" to make my quota. #scriptchat
  63. Ending the day's writing session w/ breadcrumbs/notes as to where to pick up next can help keep momentum going for the next day. #scriptchat
  64. A strong support system really helps… and finding people who keep you accountable. #scriptchat
  65. @jeannevb Yes, accountability! Writing buddies, writing groups, online programs. Also nice to have that sense of community. #scriptchat
  66. @SarahAlexis4 I love ending my day after just starting a new scene. Next day, I'm not staring at a blank page. #scriptchat
  67. I don't see the point in artificial deadlines or rituals. I just write when & where I can #scriptchat
  68. Hard part of writing with family is getting them to leave you alone. Before they are awake or after asleep helps. Or threats. #scriptchat
  69. @SarahAlexis4 @jeannevb Finding a writing group around here that isn't too snobby for screenwriters is incredibly hard. #scriptchat
  70. I've floundered last week, but have been waking at 5am to write before the house wakes. So hard to get out of bed, but I'm so happy once I do. #scriptchat
  71. @rdlln Agreed! But I do try to maximize my productivity when it comes around, mine it for all its' worth #scriptchat
  72. @wcmartell yeah, unfortunately I'm up so damn early staying up after them isn't an option #scriptchat
  73. @jeannevb I usually move from Scrivener to FD but I do often write rough/first draft scenes in Scrivener 1st if I started there. #scriptchat
  74. @rdlln If you can get stuff finished without deadlines, great - but eventually there will be deadlines. #scriptchat
  75. @collinlieberg @SarahAlexis4 @jeannevb If I had a static schedule, I would. We have a writers' society at my uni, but I can't go #scriptchat
  76. @SarahAlexis4 @jeannevb Same here... but I lay out the key moments on the cards, then put that into FD #scriptchat
  77. Find an accountability buddy to report to weekly. Kinda like Weight Watchers. Having to admit you cheated keeps u on track #scriptchat
  78. @chasinglamely @SarahAlexis4 @jeannevb Not having a set schedule definitely hinders me a bit. Some days work at 7am, others 2pm #scriptchat
  79. I've twice resorted to setting up shop in our small bathroom to avoid familial distractions. T'is tricksy to concentrate when everyone is home. #scriptchat
  80. @DevSeventyFive @wcmartell I'm shocked that isn't a movie yet. An angry writer kills those who interrupt his writing time. #scriptchat
  81. I do run 2 Facebook groups - one for web series writers, and another for screenwriters of all mediums #scriptchat
  82. @wcmartell yeah, but at that point you're getting paid to make them & can spend your days writing #scriptchat
  83. @chasinglamely @SarahAlexis4 @jeannevb I feel that. Also, my day is essentially uni, work, write, sleep. 7 days a week. #scriptchat
  84. Some people need something to keep them writing - keep them moving towards "Fade Out". Others can just do it. #scriptchat
  85. I have a transcriptionist who does 30 pages at a time... my challenge to myself is "how quickly can I do 30 pages?" #scriptchat
  86. @filmwritr4 I'm in at least one of them, but I'm just not terribly active! #scriptchat
  87. One thing I really started to appreciate switching between Scrivener, FD and paper notes is how important "simplicity" is #scriptchat
  88. When it becomes your job, you need to be able to work on a deadline. Sometimes training is required. #scriptchat
  89. @chasinglamely It's okay! I need to be more active in mine, too! Both of them! #scriptchat
  90. (why does windows pick *now* to download some damned update?) #scriptchat
  91. If I have a self-imposed time to write, it keeps me on track. I am too easily distracted by surfing, etc. 5-7 am for me. #scriptchat
  92. Keep a note pad with you at all times, or use your voice recorder on your phone, to catch those random ideas that pop up. #scriptchat
  93. @Chiefscribe1 I hope, when I'm big enough to quit my job, I can retain that writing schedule #scriptchat
  94. That's something I love about "writing" at work. No internet, no TV, no distractions (besides customers) #scriptchat
  95. I remember getting some great writing advice from @thelaurengraham's memoir. It was about setting aside an hour and writing; #scriptchat
  96. But also great thing about working: I keep a running list of interesting names, as well as make notes of interesting people #scriptchat
  97. the premise was that in that hour, you open two docs. One for the writing and one for venting. Always be writing in one of them. #scriptchat
  98. lol. It ain't easy Chris. And sometimes it's an hour or I get up at 3 am so that counts #scriptchat
  99. @Chiefscribe1 the other benefit to writing before work is it keeps the story in your head all day for organic ideas to emerge. #scriptchat
  100. I find working on one project at a time, even if I'm taking notes or brainstorming ideas for others, is effective for me. #scriptchat
  101. @AnotherEitan @wcmartell If it's an assignment that doesn't pay enough to quit my day job I can't take it, since I know my job is too demanding to make the deadline #scriptchat
  102. @collinlieberg That way I'm not stretching my writing time over multiple half-finished projects and not getting any done #scriptchat
  103. @jeannevb @Chiefscribe1 Yes, I love how morning writing (& writing regularly) keep the project simmering away in subconscious. #scriptchat
  104. Stephen King's 'On Writing' also has great advice on getting words on the page while working. #scriptchat
  105. I love letting things stew... I know people are nuts about writing to just write, but I try not to unless I know what I'm saying #scriptchat
  106. @collinlieberg @filmwritr4 @thelaurengraham indeed. Writing advice aside, the most enjoyable memoir I've ever read. So funny. #scriptchat
  107. (well, mostly). Because I have to go through all that shit again #scriptchat
  108. @jeannevb Pressfield's The War of Art is also good in terms of resistance and procrastination, etc. #scriptchat
  109. i get ideas and write stuff down at all hours. My phone has become a good, if passive writing companion. #scriptchat
  110. @DevSeventyFive I liked that book. She also has a great podcast companion to that called Magic Lessons. #scriptchat
  111. @Chiefscribe1 My phone is the enemy during my writing time. I deliberately let it run flat before that time starts. #scriptchat
  112. One At A Time: Also helps with rewrites. Finish B, rewrite A, write and finish C, rewrite B, etc. Alternate projects - FINISHING #scriptchat
  113. Write your goals down. Then break them up into baby steps with goal dates for each step. It helps. #scriptchat
  114. @chasinglamely I put mine in my desk drawer sometimes so I can't see notifications pop up and don't absentmindedly pick it up. #scriptchat
  115. @filmwritr4 @Chiefscribe1 absolutely. If I'm writing, nothing else matters. If you need to interrupt, you'd better be dying. #scriptchat
  116. @jeannevb Good thing about doing that is one could celebrate/acknowledge the milestones along the way. Nice to note progress. #scriptchat
  117. @chasinglamely @filmwritr4 @Chiefscribe1 The problem is me writing looks like me not writing, so I always get interrupted #scriptchat
  118. At the warehouse, I once had an amazing scene idea, wrote it down on the top of a box... and had to cut off the top of the box! #scriptchat
  119. @blueneumann @filmwritr4 @Chiefscribe1 I have a rule with my family and friends: If I have a laptop open, assume I'm writing. #scriptchat
  120. @AnotherEitan @wcmartell If I didn't have a family & job that requires work after work, I could make a deadline #scriptchat
  121. @wcmartell I keep getting ideas for SF stuff from recycling, co-workers think I'm crazy for photographing junk! #scriptchat
  122. What I love about #WRAC17 is you state your goals & they support you so you can cross the finish line... with reminders, too #scriptchat
  123. @DevSeventyFive @SarahAlexis4 I went six months without a phone. Everyone said I was crazy, but I've never been happier. #scriptchat
  124. @wcmartell That's great. JK Rowling tweeted that she came up w/ the Hogwarts houses on airplane sick bag. haha #scriptchat
  125. @SarahAlexis4 @wcmartell I wouldn't trust everything she tweets, though. She's been known to be a little... unreliable. #scriptchat
  126. Being an artist means being trained to bring a book with you #scriptchat
  127. I have a calendar on my wall where I write down how many pages I write each day. Goose eggs guilt me into working harder. #scriptchat
  128. @blueneumann Absolutely. I could leave the house naked. I couldn't leave without a book. #scriptchat
  129. Reading is part of writing. So if you can't write in 15 min increments btwn work, at least have a book with you & read. #scriptchat
  130. @chasinglamely I keep getting blank books for gifts. Never use them. Make my own from laser paper reams and get 'em bound #scriptchat
  131. For me, it's a tough balance between the discipline of schedule without inhibiting the creative juices. #scriptchat
  132. @chasinglamely Much cheaper, more easily disposable, you can rip pages out, etc... #scriptchat
  133. @gaffneyfilm make sure to use the #scriptchat has tag so people can see your thoughts!
  134. @jeannevb I'm usually busy reading news of some sort during lunch. On my phone. #scriptchat
  135. @blueneumann @chasinglamely I have a special leather-bound notebook that a friend made for me. It's my best friend. #scriptchat
  136. Setting boundaries can be tough, yet it important to protect writing time. Sometimes may have to say no to things if we can... #scriptchat
  137. @chasinglamely That's cool! I have some real nice ones... but I can't bring myself to write in them #scriptchat
  138. @DevSeventyFive @blueneumann it's not trendy enough to sell. That's why I'm working on "Fidget Spinner: The Movie" #scriptchat
  139. Once you do it for a living, your new day job becomes going to meetings... when do I find time to write? #scriptchat
  140. @blueneumann @chasinglamely I had a story idea for my web series that came up before I went to bed once. Forgot it after... #scriptchat
  141. @blueneumann @DevSeventyFive Plus, you lose the potential free advertising when Vivid make their "parody" version. #scriptchat
  142. That would be pointless for me since I've no way to gauge in advance how much writing time I'll have available @jeannevb #scriptchat
  143. @blueneumann @chasinglamely And I did explain the idea to a friend, who'll be working with me and Kriss on the show. #scriptchat
  144. @filmwritr4 @chasinglamely That's the worst, coming up wth an idea and realizing you already wrote it. #scriptchat
  145. Shout out your biggest specific struggle & maybe someone has a tip to help... #scriptchat
  146. But I can see how it could help for those who do @jeannevb #scriptchat
  147. @jeannevb Getting enough enthusiasm to do "hard" writing when I'm so exhausted from working! #scriptchat
  148. @jeannevb Short attention span, getting bored with what I'm doing, distraction. All part of the same bag. #scriptchat
  149. @rdlln Maybe just make a list then, with no due dates. Keep crossing off as you accomplish the mini goal. #scriptchat
  150. @blueneumann @filmwritr4 I always have the Seinfeld thing when I do that."Fast monkey spasm... does that mean anything to you?" #scriptchat
  151. @blueneumann @filmwritr4 @chasinglamely No - worst is having a really great idea, not writing it down, forgetting it. #scriptchat
  152. @jeannevb @rdlln I'm fine with getting bored, I know I'll get back into it. That's why I make all those little prompts #scriptchat
  153. @collinlieberg @jeannevb This is why I make soundtracks and keep visual inspiration... to kickstart the mood #scriptchat
  154. When I ran into problems with my one page, I'd make a list of things that I needed in that page for the story. Outline! #scriptchat
  155. @jeannevb @rdlln I should do that. At least it could alleviate any worries and stress about deadlines. #scriptchat
  156. I am bombarded by ideas from CNN headline, a random web site, a couple arguing in Starbucks. Now I can write that stuff down. #scriptchat
  157. We all want to be productive, but it's important not to beat yourself up when you don't meet your goals. Start fresh next day. #scriptchat
  158. I've only got one goal, get the script to the point where I'm ready to share it @jeannevb #scriptchat
  159. @jeannevb Absolutely! You can't make good progress if you fixate on bad progress #scriptchat
  160. @jeannevb I don't know... Beating yourself up a little here and there AIN'T all bad... #scriptchat
  161. I think it's important not to *reward yourself* for "failure". People get depressed, reward themselves - and that's a bad habit! #scriptchat
  162. Don't beat yourself up, but don't reward yourself. If I don't make my pages, no movie for me! No ice cream! #scriptchat
  163. @jeannevb I agree. We can learn/adjust accordingly from days when no writing is done. A new day is a chance to go for it again. #scriptchat
  164. I think for me the key is writing regularly and keeping momentum going. Some days may just be a bare minimum goal, that's okay. #scriptchat
  165. Remember to pace yourself, and you can take "you" time if you need it. Gotta take care of you. #scriptchat
  166. But if no words get written day after day, change up your routine/thinking. Def of insanity is doing same thing over & over. #scriptchat
  167. F5: SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING - under $10! How do you write a fight scene? "The best book on the practical nuts-and-bolts mechanics of writing a screenplay I've ever read," Ted Elliott. "Shrek", "Pirates Of The Caribbean"  #scriptchat #amwriting #film
  168. Healthy body healthy mind means more and better pages #scriptchat
  169. The goal is to finish. Fade Out or The End or whatever. Find what gets those results and do that. #scriptchat
  170. Yep, for me when I write daily it keeps my inspiration alive and momentum fuels forward movement. #scriptchat
  171. Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking there’s always something else to read or study rather than just writing. I think it feels easier than the struggle of actually writing pages. #scriptchat
  172. @jeannevb I always feel a boost of energy & inspiration at AFF in October. To sustain that, I often listen to a wide range of screenwriting podcasts to/from work. #scriptchat
  173. Every word written is one word closer to FADE OUT. Just get there. #scriptchat
  174. Sometimes what works may not be something you like - doesn't matter. Do what works. Writing is a job (or will be eventually). #scriptchat
  175. I tend to "multi-task." Write while watching something (often with the wife). It's slow, but I do usually get *something* done #scriptchat
  176. Everyone has their own rhythm and keeping balance and fun in the equation is equally important #scriptchat
  177. Better to burn out than fade away. Better still to FADE OUT after burning away. #scriptchat
  178. Thanks for a great chat & a great 2017 #scriptchat! We’re taking the next 3 weeks off for the holidays and #GoldenGlobes! Join us back on January 14th at 5pm PT
  179. @DevSeventyFive @FlutterFerret I write out of order, so try to figure out what's needed before and after #scriptchat
  180. @jeannevb ⬆️. This! “Bird by bird” - I always dream of having an entire day or an entire block of time to focus but it never comes. Writing sprints (even 30min) really can be effective. #scriptchat
  181. Happy writing, y'all. Happy holidays and keep hustling.... #scriptchat
  182. Happy holidays and New Year, everyone! Thanks for chatting, as always. :) #scriptchat
  183. @wcmartell I don't know why the pictures I posted didn't show up. But they do make me look like a giant baby, so... #scriptchat
  184. Also, fellow writers, remember: Holiday calories don't count and it's cold out. Fuel up for a night in wwriting! #scriptchat
  185. FYI, Storify is going away in May, so we'll be looking for new way to grab transcripts. If anyone knows of one, ping us! #scriptchat
  186. @blueneumann @wcmartell only let's 140 chars in, so if your tweets were longer than that, maybe that's why didn't show #scriptchat
  187. Here it is, the book and how much I've gone through in ONE WEEK. New record. #scriptchat