This Sunday is when the annual New York Marathon is run. This is a race that requires both training and stamina to complete, much like writing. One of my friends is a diehard runner and I asked him how he trains. One of my principles is that the last 10% of completing a screenplay requires an additional 90% effort. He says that completing a race takes the same kind of determination.
Once you hit your wall, the effort of pushing through it is like running the whole race over again.
One of the reasons that so many people fail at selling their screenplays is because they become exhausted from having an inefficient writing process which wears them out. They simply don’t have what it takes to go the extra mile. If you don’t have a good regimen, even if you drag yourself across the finish line of one screenplay, you will be too tired to do what’s necessary in order to win, which is to write multiple screenplays. Therefore you must learn to pace yourself as any good runner will when trying to complete a marathon.
If you think of yourself as a marathon runner who must run many races in order to win, it will change the way you organize your work.
My friend uses the following schedule: day one he rests, day two, he does an easy run and goes to the gym. On each progressive day, he increases the intensity and length of his run then takes every third day off. I asked him, “why every third day?” He answered, “The body needs time to process and to rebuild itself.“ I took his suggestion to heart and now write for three days steadily increasing the length and intensity and then take a day off. I’m finding that I have lots of energy and story ideas. Try this marathon approach to writing and see what happens.
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz