I think I've cleaned the house 20,000 times and in doing so I must have concluded in some manner - conscious or otherwise - that that was a better use of my time than writing one good sentence, one great joke, one good scene. It was also a better use of my time than attempting to write one good anything and not succeeding.
I'm here to say, none of it was a better use of my time despite what the outcome might have been. Being a writer means accepting you're not always going to be in the sweet spot. Some sessions might just be shit. That's the truth. They might just be shit and the truth is THEY'RE STILL WORTH IT. They're certainly more worthy than cleaning the stove. (really, who cares about the stove? And whoever that is, do you really want to be friends with them?).
The secret to writing is... finish that sentence. Did you say rewriting? Yes! Of course it is! But there are many secrets to writing and one of them that kinda shines above all others is showing up for it. The secret to writing might just be writing.
Each time you show up, the chances of it being shit or not run about 50/50. When you don't show up, having anything good in your quiver has about a 0% chance.
I have a lot of resolutions. Some have nothing to do with writing. And I can hear some irritating person say, "Doesn't everything have to do with writing?" Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, irritating person you shush up. But I will tell you, one real resolution that I do have and am putting down here to be super clear about it and risk vulnerability, is this year I am committing to finishing our screenplay and getting it read for feedback and for selling.
The important part of the equation in my resolution is when I say "finishing" it means I'm going to have to show up for it, no matter what. Nobody's gonna read half an anything.
Which means I'll have to move my schedule around, bargain with my husband, hire a sitter when necessary - basically it means doing whatever it takes to meet my goal. And that, In actuality, takes so little. When I was in writer’s rooms on shows we had a saying when we felt fried, “We’re not digging ditches.” Writing might be “hard” but come on, it’s not that hard.
So yeah. That’s it. I’m committing to simply showing up. I don't have to write 8 hours in the day (never gonna happen) and I don't have to make every scene perfect, I just have to show up and work with my partner towards crossing the finish line. That is achievable and that will get done.
That's all I got for me and for you. Feel free to share your goals in the comments - might help you stick to them - and it might just be another day and another night and yes, time is bullshit and not real but for what it’s worth:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Writer, Writing Coach, Writer Supporter.