Screenwriting : Balance in life by Kris Polson

Kris Polson

Balance in life

I am a closet writer. There I admit it... I say that cause writing is something that I have come to love later in life, but have a "day job" that takes a lot of my creative time and energy, but it does pay the bills. Screenwriting is now a passion, and yet, my passion takes a back seat a lot of the time to make room for things that I feel are more important (i.e. paying job, family time, and church). I am curious, how many others are out there that go through the same things, and how are you finding time to both create and fulfill other responsibilities?

Kerry Douglas Dye

Major problem right now. I'm just trying to squeeze out 30 minutes a day to write until my toddler's in school. I remember a decade ago having lots of free time but no good ideas. Now I have a massive backlog of ideas and no time to execute on them. Frustrating.

Kerry Douglas Dye

"Consider starting a writer's group"!! Spoken like a man who may not fully grasp the concept of zero free time. :) The problem with sacrificing sleep is that on a chronic sleep deficit, the quality of writing suffers. And I mean to the point that literally gibberish will emerge from your fingers. You read what you wrote and it's like the Mad Libs version of what was in your head. Anyway, I'm luckier than some. I only have one kid, and my day job is relatively 9 to 5. Once my nutso toddler learns to go to sleep before 11pm and/or starts school, I'll get some time back. I'll do the sort of freewheeling things I did before fatherhood, like see the occasional movie, or read a book, or finish a screenplay. But for now: I know what zero free time looks like. When I was a Normal, I thought I knew busy. Now that I'm a Dad, I realize how blissfully naive I was.

Kris Polson

Thank you all for the great feedback and ideas. I have begun the process of writing at least once a week for 1 hour (Thanks Joey!) I have been able to get a few more pages written. I know it is going to be a slow process but it has already become very rewarding. :)

William Martell

I wrote a page a day before work... and I spent the day at work thinking about that page whenever I got the chance. But once a week works, too. The key is not to think you have to do everything at once, you can take it a page or a day at a time and things add up over time.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hey Kris, believe me, I understand. I lead a very chaotic life. I'm pulled in all different directions. Constantly. Kerry mentioned the stress of being a new father... Well, I'm the mother of three. If anything, that has made me the queen of multitasking and crisis management. Therefore, in life, I say... nay, I yell, "BRING IT!" Use your fine-tuned, life skills to your advantage. Don't fall on that easy sword of excuses. If you truly wish to write then you truly are the only one that will make that happen. Make the time. It's there. William, and others, have made great suggestions, here and on other threads, about managing time. Get up a little earlier in the morning, write a few lines, a page. Perhaps turn off the TV on some evenings, write another page or more. Find a way that works for you. Perhaps inform your family that you are taking a couple of hours on Sundays to write and kindly ask to not be disturbed -- unless the house is on fire. ;) Get your writing time on the schedule. Treat it seriously and others will to. The more you write the more productive your writing time will be, even when you only have 10 minutes. Understand that any time you are thinking about your script, you are "writing." Researching online is working on your script. Reading that book about screenwriting during your lunch break or on your bus commute is also working on your craft. Speaking of books, I have a couple of recommendations about juggling life and writing; "Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life" by Anne Lamott; and "The War of Art, Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles" by Steven Pressfield. Both are quick reads. Both will make you laugh out loud and give you a motivational 'kick in the ass.' "The War of Art" was recommended to me by RB when I was struggling. I found it incredibly inspiring. :) Anyway, I know it sounds a little hokey, but do put your happiness right up there with everything else. Give it the same level of importance as all your other responsibilities. Because, at the end of the day, a happier, fulfilled person makes a better parent, a better partner and a better writer. :) Best to you!

Kris Polson

Thanks Beth!! I have "The Art of War" in our home, so I need to get it out and read it.

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