Claire Weaver

Writing a script (or a book, a comic, etc.) takes a lot of time. Professional writers have the advantage of being paid for the hours they spend at the keyboard every day, meaning they can dedicate their working hours to their one true passion.

But what if you’re not yet a working writer?

Like many people, I have to work a full-time job in order to pay the bills. It’s an industry job, which is great, but my dream is to write for a living. And I’m not going to achieve that dream if I don’t write on spec.

So, the question is: Is it possible to find time to write? And by "write," I mean, doing so consistently and prolifically while working 40+ hours? Not to mention the 10 or so hours a week wasted sitting in LA traffic…

The short answer is "yes." It is possible to do both. It isn't easy, but writing is important to me. More important than hanging out at the beach, more important than playing the latest "Uncharted" video game (though I do love me some Nathan Drake)...and more important than sleeping in.

The trick is to work smart. I get up at 6am and I write for at least a solid hour. I've trained myself to be able to "turn on the genius" and jump straight into writing when I have a spare five or 10 minutes (it's amazing how much time that adds up to). I also carry a notebook or my iPad with me everywhere (or, if I forget, I'm not shy to ask someone for a pen and start writing on my arm. Warning: Just don't forget to type it up before your next shower).

An hour a day, plus a few moments here and there, quickly adds up. By the end of an average week, I’ll be 15 or more pages further into my latest script. This way, the whole thing will be down on paper within two months. And that schedule still leaves time for the day job AND frees up my evenings for whatever fun stuff I want to do (cue the start-up sound of my PS4).

I'm always meeting people who want to be writers. They say, "I have a book idea I'm going to start work on when I get time." Or, "I'm a writer, but I don't write very often because I have to work and go to the movies and hang out with my friends."

If you're one of those people, I have a terrible truth for you: You're not a writer. Writers write. You find the time. You make it work. You do what it takes. No excuses. 

Unless, of course, your boss calls.


Categories: Writing Tips

About The Author

Claire Weaver is a Creative Executive at a film & TV production company and a Co-Host on the industry-centric podcasts “Holy Moxy!” & “You Had Me At Hollywood."

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