I am currently on a shoot in San Francisco. I’m primarily here to conduct interviews and tape B-roll for a series of short videos. In an effort to complete another project due at the end of the week, I am writing scripts in my “downtime.”
I have nothing against San Francisco, but I am jet lagged, miss my family, had to change rooms at 2:30 in the morning because of water dripping from the ceiling onto my bed and, if I may be blunt, my gastronomic system is a little backed up. None of this has put me in the mood to come up with pithy and energetic host script copy. So what to do?
I’ve devised a few tactics over the years to help me continue writing even when I really don’t want to. A deadline is a deadline. So it’s handy to have a cadre of tricks to help bust through that block when necessary.
- Dance to fast music – This is my number one, go-to block buster. I put on one song with a driving beat, sing loudly and dance passionately. For me, this is a shortcut to meeting my muse because I totally leave the writing behind for 5-minutes and come back refreshed and energized.
- Take a chore break – If I am at home, I find it helpful to work on rhythmic activities like washing dishes or folding clothes while my sub-conscious works on the work. I almost always come up with an exciting breakthrough this way. If I am in an office, I might clean my desk or do some filing, anything to keep my hands busy but my mind free.
- Walk away from the writing – Get out and take a walk. This is another way to get the blood pumping and the words flowing.
- Go over the top – Write wild and crazy, over the top stuff. Try alliterations or some rapping and rhyming. It’s fun and you just might come up with ideas that make the final draft.
- Check out a list of clichés – If I am having difficulty with a subject matter, I often look up a list of clichés on the internet. Yes they are staid but they can also be entertaining. And even better yet, they can help me get a grasp on concepts in a focused and fun way.
- Get help – I have a couple of producer friends that I can call or email with a problem section and they help me work it out with a fresh eye. I do the same for them. It’s kind of like having a writing elf. And let’s face it, two heads are better than one.
In this particular San Francisco block, I’ve elected to write something else, something that I know would flow – this blog. It’s been fun and I’m feeling ramped up to continue the writing-for-hire. If you have any other tricks let me know. I’ll post them and maybe try them next time. Happy writing!