Screenwriting : Getting in the zone by Robert Russo

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Robert Russo

Getting in the zone

How have you learned to focus mental energies on writing? Is there a routine you follow. Meditation? What gets you into that flow state where the ideas are coming easily?

Nathan Smith

Music usually does it for me. I like to have some other noise going on around me while I write to help keep me focused and from going off on tangents. I've found listening to the audio of old Judge Judy episodes helps too.

Dan MaxXx


Robert Russo

Drugs is very vague haha

Shawn Speake

Marijuana, molly, the occasional upper is not bad. Mostly marijuana. Soundtracks work for me too. A current fav is THE BOOK OF ELI score.

Robert Russo

I find that going for a drive at night is very helpful.

Nikki Ackerman

I second Nathan. Music. I put on John WIlliams or a movie soundtrack channel on Spotify. It also helps to write when you're alone. If I'm home writing and anyone else is there writing gets interrupted.

Craig D Griffiths

I always stop writing before I have reached the end of what I know

So when I sit down, I know what I want to write. This warms me up and I can continue. Getting anything started is always the hardest thing to do. It is easier to keep something rolling than get it going.

Plus if I have unwritten work in

my head I am keen to get going.

Phil Parker

Long walks in a quiet neighborhood. I listen to a podcast along the way (sometimes one about screenwriting) to warm up my brain. Then about halfway through the walk, I turn it off and use my phone to dictate my ideas.

David Melbourne

I also find that music helps me get into the mood. I'm a big fan of Jazz and find it helps getting the juices flowing. Mainly stuff without lyrics.

Doug Nelson

A professional writer is always 'in the zone'.

T.L. Davis

Well, there is the writing and editing and revising and marketing and writing novels and magazine articles and rewriting and revising and editing those and then back to scripts, evaluating and acting on feedback there, but when I need ideas, driving.

Craig D Griffiths

Doug Nelson professional writers can always writer, that is true. But just like professional sports people, it is 90% mental. Otherwise the phrase “get your head in the game” wouldn’t exist. The more professional we become the easier it is to accept that “writing muscle” memory.

But I guarantee they have their rituals.

Michael Hultquist

For me it's "butt in chair". Get to work! Haha. But yes, some days are more "in the zone" than others. I like to keep certain books and/or other reading material around me similar in tone to what I'm writing sometimes to refer to in order to help me achieve a more appropriate mood. Or maybe play a song to achieve a more appropriate emotional approach. I also go back and read my previous pages of the work and that helps get things flowing along.

Debbie Croysdale

@Michael “Butt in writing chair” is essential, there is no point in being a couch potato intellectual. If I cannot get into zone of particular script on screen in front my eyes, I open a blank page and write what is in my head and if at home archive wild card ideas for another project. If in a writing room and cannot for whatever reason resonate with the actuality of the group, I create a hybrid of what is already on the table and then pitch idea.

Jenny Masterton

I just commit to writing a certain number of pages a week. It's a discipline. Very easy to fall off the wagon.

Phil Clarke

There's no substitute for sitting down and writing. To be a writer, this has to happen. But you don't want to overdo it; this is counter-productive. As we all know, sitting in front of a screen for hours on end is not good for us, so in order to give myself the best chance of writing my best work, I make sure I get plenty of exercise and fresh air. I even practise yoga. You have to look after your most essential tool: your brain. So I also eat healthy, keep hydrated.

Roberto Dragonne

I like to think about my characters. Where I left them last time I wrote, what they need, what's next for them... and things like that.

Karen Stark

Sit down and write. We spend so much time procrastinating about being in the right frame of mind and lets all be honest here, it's total BS. Open your document and write and except that it will likely be sub par. No ones creating gold right off the mark. This idea that we need to be in a good place to write, is only our own fear doubting our abilities to produce anything worthwhile. Just except that your not going to create anything good enough until you revisit that work over and over. A writer must write or they are not a writer, they are a dreamer. I know this because I am the worlds greatest procrastinator and self doubter. A writer however must face their demons and live with self loathing long enough to find something to say.

Robert Russo

I think that there are many ways to go about writing. Different things work for different people. The sit down and write no matter what approach can possibly work but I feel like I have to feel inspired and excited about what I am writing or I know I am going to be rewriting it anyway.

Karen Stark

As soon as a writer places restrictions on how and when they allow themselves to write, they're simply using it to avoid writing in the first place. Instead of imposing restriction on yourself which destroys creativity, why not just embrace the medium and get on with it. No one ever wrote anything without needing to rewrite it anyway.

Robert Russo

Whatever works for you Karen. But I have a different feeling about how I write.

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