Saturday, May 28, 2011

There's a very good reason talented writers strongly suggest writing everyday.

Or at least, Monday - Friday.

The two weeks I spent in Los Angeles completely threw me off my writing groove. I said I was going to write while I was there. What was I thinking?

My schedule was so packed, I had to ask my manager's assistant to cancel two meetings. I was running all over town. One crazy day I had meetings in Santa Monica, Studio City and Beverly Hills. Anyone who has spent time in Los Angeles understands what a clusterf**k that day was.

Last week was not a good writing week. Part of it was jet lag, but a bigger part was my complete lack of motivation. I would open my laptop and just stare at a blank page. After a while, I would go online instead of writing (or unpacking) and next thing I knew, hours had gone by.

I started to get worried. What if I never get "it" back?

This week I forced myself to sit down and write. I wouldn't get online until after I had spent some time working on my novel. It was slow going at first.

After a few days of this, suddenly on Thursday I hit 1500 words without realizing it.

My goal is 2000 words a day. There will be days I exceed that, and others when I fall short. However, I finally feel like I'm back on track.

I'm also working on a new spec script. I writing with another screenwriter who is in the middle of staffing season (for American TV) so I we have to budget our time wisely.

The next time I go to L.A., I don't think my schedule will be as insane. The October trip was my first trip to the States after moving to Rome 2 1/2 years earlier and this last trip was for the JUMPING THE BROOM release. I get why my manager wanted to squeeze in as many meetings as possible.

If I had some money, I would go to a hotel somewhere nice and just write. It would have to be a place with a view and quiet like Ravello on the Amalfi Coast. Any place where there's a ton of sightseeing to do wouldn't work.

Or I would even check myself into a place in Rome. Several writer friends in L.A. do it all the time, especially for big deadlines. I completely understand why so many writers love working in hotels... no distractions.

In the meantime, I will be in my apartment trying my best to finish this novel.


Diana Strinati Baur said...

Arlene, there's a lot here that I relate to. I try to write every day. I succeed pretty well in the off season, in season not so much. Also I have a hard time writing in our apartment. When it's empty, I go up to the suite you stayed in and that's where I find my best writing groove.

It's funny. I always think I am going to write when I travel and I hardly ever do. First, on the plane, I'm too cramped and my eyes are too drive. Then it's jetlag. Then it's all those new impressions, even though it's my home country. etc.

Santa Monica, Studio City and BH in one day? I got a twitch when I read that. I remember delivering samples to design firms in those areas in a day in my Ford Taurus. (twitch).

Keep it up, darling. I find that writing every day keeps the gears well oiled and the flow improves over time. xoxo

Your interview is coming up next week. I have just a couple of more questions for you.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Inspiring as always, cara; it's *so* hard for me to get back in that groove once I'm out of it for even a few days...I imagine with all the excitement (in a good way) in your life, it's even harder to concentrate, so congrats on those words! On Monday, I begin writing before even checking emsils. Love it :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

diana - I see what you do during your high season. I cannot imagine when you would have time to sleep much less write.

I can't write on planes. Maybe I could if I wasn't squeezed in like sardine in coach? Heh.

Yes, that SC/BH/SM day was the last straw. Lesson learned.

michelle - I check emails early in the morning in case there's something important from L.A.

What I've started to do is set a limit. I check them while drink juice or water, then go work out. Once I get back from my work out, I shower, etc. I don't get back online until I've hit my page or word count.

Next time I travel, I have to figure out a way to steal a little writing time.

coco cooks said...

Im using my down time while unemployed, and while CS is away for few weeks to write, write , write. Its heaven. No distractions.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

coco - brava. I need to shoot you an email to find out how things are going in Chicago.