Inspired by my own post last week about staying in love with your script, I decided to make this week's post a tough love reminder. Don't be a big baby- get back to work.
Why do writers get paid six figures for a few months of work? Because they spent months and years not getting paid. If that's true, then it means that even if you're not making money as a writer, as long as you're writing, you're still working. And if you're working, then it's your job. And if you're not doing your job, well, you should probably be fired.
Even if you're not making money doing it, you're working toward your career as a writer. That means it can't go on the back burner. It can't be left until next week. It can't be put aside while you do everything else. This is your job. Even if you have another full time job, this is also your job. Make it a priority.
If you don't treat writing like your career, it will never believe it is.
I confess- I'm writing this post mainly as my own kick in my pants. I have a couple of projects I'm not getting paid for that I have set my own deadline to finish. And the last couple of weeks I've had many moments thinking "I'm not in the mood," or "I'm too busy," or "I'll do it tomorrow," or my favorite: "Fuck it. I give up."
When I worked as an assistant in an entertainment law firm in Beverly Hills, and my spoiled lush of a boss would tell me to redline that actor's contract, I wouldn't respond with "I'm not in the mood," or "Fuck it. I give up." No. The firm was paying me, and so I did it. Immediately.
When I worked in reality TV, and they told me to show up at the parking lot at 5am every morning to drive me up the hill to spend 16 hours with a literal princess who wanted to be a country music star (even though she couldn't sing a note,) I wouldn't respond with "I'm too busy," or "I'll show up tomorrow." The production company was paying me, and so I showed up. On time.
Because there's no one sending you a check in the mail every two weeks to write your script, and because there's no one, but you, tapping their fingers on the desk waiting for your pages, it's easy for to put it aside, ignore it, procrastinate, and just fuck it.
But that check will never come in the mail if you don't write it. And no one will ever tap their fingers on their desk waiting for you to turn in your pages, if you don't finish it.
Want a tip? Make a list of the upcoming competitions and finish your script in time to submit it to them before their deadline.
Boom! I just blew your mind.
Do you want it to be your job? Then act like it and get back to work.