Daily Dojo

Josh’s Silly Writing Tip #2

When you’re writing your rough draft (aka vomit draft) it’s good to have two notebooks right next to your computer.

One will be for what you’re working on … you’ll take notes and bits and pieces on things to remember while in rough draft mode … your treatment or outline will be in there, and if you don’t use an outline or treatment, then emergency contact numbers for when you start to lose your shit (kidding on that last one, or … am I?)

The other notebook will be an idea notebook, for ideas specifically unrelated to what you’re working on.

This one is very important.

Because of how the mind works, when you’re in what the mind considers the drudgery of massive page output, your mind will do everything it can to distract you … because your mind has already “seen” the movie you’re currently writing, and it’s bored with the details of making it work and the hours it takes to get the pages done … so it will offer up a lot of ideas for other movies.

A LOT of ideas … your mind will basically pitch other movies to you, the whole time.

It will tease you, your mind, saying, why waste time with THIS movie, this OTHER MOVIE will be even cooler! It will throw all sorts of great movie ideas at you, anything to get you to stop working on whatever it is you’re working on.

So what you do, when that happens, you pick up the notebook, WRITE THE IDEA down, tell your mind, “that is a great idea*, we’ll get to it after I get this done” and your mind will bitch and moan and throw a few more ideas at you. Anything to get you to do something else other than what you’re doing.

You don’t want to waste these ideas … write ‘em down and save ‘em for later, but don’t let your mind distract you.

It’s silly but lemme tell ya, it works.

*Even if it’s NOT a great idea, lie your ass off and tell your mind that it is, write it down anyway. You don’t want to get into an argument with your own brain about the merits of an idea unrelated to what you’re working on … because your mind is you, and you’re a clever goose … you will spend hours just debating, “is this a movie, it’s not, it is, get on youtube, check that one scene” and if you’re drawn into that debate, the mind’s won the battle by getting you away from your current hard work … just agree that it’s a great idea, even if you suspect it isn’t, and promise to get right to it as soon as this rough draft it done. Your mind will moan like a teenager, but this way you’ll stay focused.

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