Getting Writer Blocked

My writing process is very goal-oriented – I try to write 2 to 5 pages everyday, come up with a new idea once a week and finish a script a month. I need to always be striving towards a goal because I am so easily distracted. My attention span makes the dog from Up look like any hacker in a terrible b-movie.

Old-fashion hacking scene

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Side Note: who remembers Swordfish? Yeah, neither do I.

See! I am not disciplined. This is why I hate writer’s block. When I can’t think of what to write, I miss my deadlines and stop focusing on writing altogether. I recently experienced a serious case of writer’s block that made me feel like this:

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Here’s a little more about my latest battle with a writer’s ultimate nemesis. I was working on a new script about a employee trying to deal with a very corporate boss. I was racing through it. I had the first 25 pages done in a week.

I arrived at a critical scene that kicked off the second act. It was all going good, but I just couldn’t get the scene right. I wasn’t sure how subtle I should make the turn, if I had the right characters in the scene (probably means I need to spend more time differentiating each character) or how the conflict should play out.

I kept coming back to the scene. I rewrote, deleted, rewrote, deleted, rewrote, deleted…

What Feels Like 38.8 Days Later

Rewrote, deleted, rewrote and deleted it again.

It was infuriating. I couldn’t figure out how to beat this writer’s block. I tried a beat sheet to lay out the scene. That idea failed. I bounced ideas off a fellow writer. He was no help. Finally, I got inspiration from Neo himself, Keanu Reeves.

My friend convinced me to see Keanu’s film, John Wick. I enjoyed the film, it’s a tight action movie with a simple story that works. Character motives are clear, the plot moves and the tone is fun. Check out the trailer:

I’m back. No joke, I just spent the last 30 minutes watching John Wick clips. I swear a gold fish could finish a blog post faster than me. Think about how crazy that sounds – you can’t even use a computer underwater!

“I swear a gold fish could finish a blog post faster than me. Think about how crazy that sounds – you can’t even use a computer underwater!”

Anyway, this simple, but effective action movie made it obvious why I was stuck: my plot was too muddled and I couldn’t neatly transition to act two. My solution? Follow John Wick’s lead and take revenge on my script by tearing the convoluted mess apart. The script now resides in trash can heaven. Thank you Keanu for your endless wisdom.

Keanu Reeves Saying You're Welcome

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The next step is to restart my simplified script, or I could just watch Swordfish.

Actually 99 Minutes Later

Back from watching Swordfish. That was not a good movie.

Until next time,

Mr. Struggle

Getting Writer Blocked

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