In typical fashion, I’ll be talking to my family who’ll ask me to do something for them and I respond ‘Once I have the time, I’ll do just that.’ That statement always lanches, which ever family member back in the states into a fit of laughter and to ask me ‘What is it you do all day, anyway?’ And then I’m forced into a diatribe about how busy my life is.
Now, it isn’t busy in by normal standards but yes, on a scale I am busy. Busy with my two jobs.
And no, I’m calling being a wife and step-mother a job (though, respectfully, stay-at-home moms with young kids work the hardest then anyone ever). But my actual two jobs; the first and most important is the account handler for Burs business. Sure, he can do it himself but while setting up lectures, doing creative work, writing his book, creating podcasts and networking – making sure to get paid kept falling by the side. And since wives are the supporters of their husbands success (or at least that is what the movies tell me) and money is important to keeping a roof over our heads and food in our bellies – I’ve stepped in.
Many a morning is spent creating invoices, tracking payments and the like. And in all honesty, it takes me about two hours a day. At max. Which leaves the rest of the day, where my other career steps in.
As a (screen)writer, you have three central activities to keep you busy: watching, reading and writing. I have to watch TV shows and films that have gotten made and understand why they were chosen, if I think it’s good and see if other ideas stem from it. I can also dissect the film and see how and why they structured it the way they did and how the timing of action sequences is unveiled. Then I also need to read; newspapers and magazines – for more ideas, blogs and industry magazines – to see what’s happening in the industry, scripts – to see how others are writing, books – for more ideas, research and the like. Then finally, there’s writing. Writing is where you finally take all those things and put them into use. In the end, one should end with a body of work.
However, I spend so much time on watching and reading that I never seem to get to the writing. If I was the sort of person that could follow a schedule, I’d have my day mapped broken out in three hour blocks. Because if you do a little of each, each day, by the end of the month – you’d have something to show for it.
Which brings me to my month of writing. This is what I’ve labeled this May to be. I’m making a solemn vow to myself that I’m going to put watching and reading on the back burner and focus on the writing. I’m devoting two 3 hour blocks to sitting in front of the computer and committing words to a page. If you’re out there and have a desire to write or design or create art, then you too should commit as much time in your day to making it happen.
And for me, I’ll be laying off the Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Fifty Shades of Grey, until months end. Wish me luck (and no writers block)!