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Balancing Work and Play

How Can I Juggle My Full-Time Job and Write My Screenplay?


It's the age old question of how to create balance in your life. Well, you can have it all... just not at the same time. But don't let that put you off as there are definite ways to schedule in more writing time into your busy life.


Writing a screenplay is a challenging and time-consuming process, and balancing it with a full-time job can make it that extra bit harder. But rest assured, with the right strategies and a bit of determination, it is possible to write a great screenplay while maintaining a full-time career.


So let's explore some tips for juggling a full-time job and writing your screenplay:


Set Realistic Goals

We know you want it all now but the sooner you can accept that it's not going to happen quickly, the sooner you'll start taking some productive steps towards your goals. The first step in balancing your job and your writing is to set realistic goals. This means figuring out how much time you can realistically dedicate to writing each week. Once you've done that you can break your work down into manageable chunks. Don't try to write your entire screenplay in a single sitting – instead, focus on writing a scene or two each day.


Make Time for Writing

Once you have set your goals, you need to make time for writing. This means finding a time that works for you and sticking to it. Some screenwriters prefer to write early in the morning before work, while others prefer to write late at night. Whatever works best for you, make sure that you make time for writing every day. You can also find extra pockets of time. Work out what day to day things are 'time wasters' and make a conscious effort to replace them with writing, think doom scrolling on social media - tally up the time you waste and replace it with your script wherever possible. Remember to take breaks if you need to though. Writing every day isn't always possible - even the best plate spinners need to rest. If you're balancing work, writing and family life or other commitments, you don't want to burn out. Your health should always come first.


Use Your Commute

If you have a long commute, consider using that time to write. Whether you take public transport or drive, you can use this time to think about your script, plan out scenes, or even write a few pages. Obviously, be safe! If you're driving; don't be physically writing... be thinking instead, or handsfree voice noting. If you're on the train or bus, you can carry a notebook with you - or make a playlist to help you daydream up your script. You can get creative with how your commute can be best spent developing your script.


Be Efficient

Efficiency is key when it comes to juggling a full-time job and writing a screenplay. Make sure that you are using your time effectively, and don't waste time on distractions. When you sit down to write, focus on your work and eliminate all other distractions, including your phone, email, and social media. Top Tip is to set alarms on your phone for 45-60 minutes and then place your phone in the other room. Write solidly for those minutes without distractions. Even if you're staring at a blank page or out the window. Get in the habit of cutting out distractions and you'll be writing loads before you know it. We repeat the alarm method throughout the day at Script Stable - it's particularly helpful for those with time blindness.


Stay Positive

Finally, it is important to stay positive and focused on your goal. Writing a screenplay is a long and challenging process. It can be frustrating and sometimes downright depressing but with determination and persistence, you can create an incredible screenplay... and even if it's a terrible screenplay; you can fix that with re-writing. Stay positive and focused, and don't let setbacks discourage you. Some days you'll feel like you're not getting anywhere at all but just think of The Shawshank Redemption. Andy Dufresne chipped away slowly at that wall and it got him out of that prison. It took time. It took perseverance. But he didn't give up. You don't have to be happy all the time, especially if you're finding it hard but keep showing up and keep reminding yourself of the end goal. Stay positively focussed and you'll get there.



More than anything the best advice that Script Stable can provide is to give yourself a break for not being able to do everything all at once! Juggling a full-time job and writing a screenplay can be a difficult task, whilst it is not impossible it doesn't mean it's easy. With the right strategies, you can write a great screenplay while maintaining a full-time career. Just remember to set realistic goals, make time for writing, use your commute, be efficient, and stay positive. The time is going to pass anyway, you might as well chip away - your future self will thank you for it.


 

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