Getting My Sh*t Together! (Self Improvement)
Do you ever feel like the blob? You know the gooey monster from the classic horror movie, all sluggish, and slow? While I might not demolish everything I come in contact with I’ve definitely been relating with that character way too much lately… and it’s about time to do something about it!
For the past few months I’ve been very discontent with my reading and writing patterns, right now it feels like I’m not being anywhere near as productive as I could be. The other day I asked my friend and co writer for “Ready To Mingle” what his daily reading and writing schedule is like. He told me he reads every night before bed, and on a daily basis he writes 5 pages if scripting or at least 100 words when outlining. When I heard this, I realized one thing, I have ZERO discipline! His daily reading and writing schedule is pretty obtainable, with effort… time to put in the effort.
I read that one of the most effective ways to improve your screenwriting (other that actually writing) is to read as many screenplays as possible. Part of my plan for self improvement includes reading at least one screenplay a week. I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this already! Now, that’s not to say I don’t currently read screenplays, I just don’t do it nearly as often as I should be. With great resources like IMSDb and Indie Film Hustle out there it’s so easy to find all the best screenplays new and old, and most of them are FREE. There is literately no excuse for me not to be reading up!
Part of my big picture goal for the year is to write two feature screenplays, and complete the pilot and series bible for, “It’s All Good”, an adaption of “Attendance is Required” a short film I wrote a while back. At this point I’ve almost finish the outline for one of the screenplays, and the first draft for the pilot. I’m not in love with the pilot in its current state, but after some good notes from some of my writing peers, I have a new direction I want to take the next draft. The outline is based on another short film I wrote about a year ago. The short film script always felt entirely too rushed, so after setting it aside for a good while, I decided to pick it back up and expand it into something larger.
For the other screenplay, I’m not quite sure where to start. I’ve been inspired by the life events of celebrity defense attorney Robert Shapiro. The issue is that most of the research I need to do is scattered throughout court house and police departments around California. For me to get the most of the files I need I’ll just drive to Los Angeles so that’s not too difficult, but one of the biggest cases is in San Francisco, so I guess I need to plan a trip… I’ve been to San Francisco, once before and it was a very stressful city, with all the hills, and traffic. If I’m gonna go back I want to go with a group of people, and a few extra dollars. Hopefully, if all goes according to plan I should be able to make that research trip by the end of April!
Something else I used to do, but haven’t in a while is taking online classes! Back when I first discovered sites like Lynda, Masterclass, and Skillshare, I was taking as many classes as I could watch! In the past few months I’ve been absent from those valuable resources, and plan on making a glorious return! Masterclass just released a few classes I’m extremely excited for like Jodie foster Teaches film making, and Natalie Portman Teaches Acting! One really cool thing that I’m not sure everyone knows is if you have a library card then Lynda Online Learning is Free! I highly recommend taking advantage of that killer opportunity.
Have you seen those ads on Instagram for those backpack strap looking thing you can wear thats supposed to help you stand up straight? Well, I bought one and it actually kinda works. To be fair I didn’t buy the official one, I got a cheap knock off, so the issues I have are all because I cheaped out, Ive talked to others who brought the real ones and they love it. So anyways I never realized how often I slouch until getting the posture belt, so not only am I getting my shit together but I’m improving my posture in the process!
For anyone out there who has a unique reading and writing habit feel free to share it with me, maybe it could help me in adapting mine. If you are at all curious about the screenplays I will be reading, I’ll be posting a thread on my twitter account @LandonCoats1. What’s your favorite screenplay? Leave a link to it in the comments so I can see what all the hype is about, and if you know any good online classes please do the same! I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!