We all want to be as productive as possible. But we’re also human. We get distracted. We procrastinate. We don’t bring our “A-game.” So in an era of high expectations, it’s critical to develop “productivity hacks” to make the best out of every single day. Our productivity depends on factors such as fatigue, the day of the week, mood, family, weather, and a thousand more reasons why not to write on a particular day.
choreographer Twyla Tharp discussed in her book “The Creative Habit” about her daily rituals or daily practices as she awakens at 5:30 am, changes her exercise clothes, goes outside, and calls a cab to take her to the gym where she exercises for two hours. she states that “the daily practices aren’t the exercise; it’s the taxi I called it every morning. The minute I advise the driver where to go every morning, I have done with ritual or daily practices”
Tharp is a choreographer whose works incorporate the Broadway melodic version of Singin In The Rain, Movin’ Out and The Times They are A-Changing. She transcribes how innovative people create ceremonies or practices that make a path or direction, a provoke and, a reminder, a motive, and a mental framework that encourages innovativeness or creativity in life.
Tharp’s own philosophy or concept, which is reliable with hers, is that “over-thinking” hinders profitability. We solicit ourselves unlimited inquiries rather than inspiring appropriate to deal with content or work. We stress excessively over the work, rather than simply doing it. Stress later, during the rewrite.
Tharp claims to begin a similar way every day wipes out such inquiries, as, “Why am I doing this?” Once she’s in the taxi, it’s past the point of no return, the wheels are rolling. The ritual/ practice also eliminates thinking “would I truly like to do this now?” Again, it’s too late and no point of return, she’s doing it. Don’t over-think. Do it.
Looking at some of the most prolific screenwriters you can perceive how daily practices for productivity get them started and keep them writing:
1. Stephen King. Pet Sematary (Screenplay), The Shining (Teleplay), The Stand (Teleplay), The Green Mile (Source Material).
Throughout the period when he wrote Carrie, Cujo, Salem’s Lot, and Christine, King worked from late at night, and continued through the morning, fueled by cocaine and a twelve-pack of beer. Every night. Since those days, the situation was different, there have been family interventions, rehab and recovery was going on but king’s current practices or work is different. The first thing was making a cup of tea at around 8:00 am. Then before he invests time to write well, takes vitamins, plays his favorite music, and then sits in the same seat with the same direction to create associate with previous day memory, with paper scattered around his work area, the same desk -Just so.
2. Joan Didion. A Star Is Born (Screenplay), The Panic In Needle Park (Screenplay), Up Close and Personal (Screenplay)
During the day, Didion has dinner and drinks, during the night time she reviews the pages from the write-up written in the afternoon. She says she needs dinner and a stiff drink to give her space far from the pages. She utilizes that time at night to make notes on her work.
When she begins composing/ writing the following day, she knows exactly where to begin, having made the notes — which is simpler than facing a blank screen. When she’s having some fantastic ideas, it’s simpler for her to proceed onward to new ground.
3. Jack Kerouac. Pull My Daisy (Screenplay), On the Road (Source Material), Big Sur (Source Material).
On the Road was apparently based on Kerouac’s travels with Neal Cassady, during which they immersed themselves completely into a lifestyle of sex, drugs, and jazz. You could state that experience was a piece of his daily practices that made him productive towards work.
One of Kerouac’s practices involved lighting a flame of candle around midnight, and writing by its light, then blowing it out when he was done, written work near sunrise. He’s quoted as saying he wrote On the Road in a week, on a single scroll of paper. Drugs were also being a part of it.
Some of his different and unique practices: When he took breaks, he’d do headstands, at that point remained to bring his feet down to touch the floor nine times. Another included “praying to Jesus to protect my rational soundness(energy) and my vitality so I can help my family… ” which incorporated a pet (cat), his better half, and his paralyzed mother.
4. Kurt Vonnegut. Slaughterhouse-Five (Source Material), Happy Birthday Wanda June (Screenplay), Breakfast of Champions (Story by).
Vonnegut illustrated his routine in a letter to his better half, clarifying that he begins a day at 5:30 A.M. and composing or writing until 8:30. Around then, he’d break for breakfast, and afterward kept written work until 10:00 A.M. Whatever remains of his day has a strict standard too, although he got done with composing work at 10:00 A.M. The other ceremonial exercises included walking into town, doing errands, swimming a half-hour, doing push-ups and sit-ups, at that point returning home at 11:45 A.M. rest of the day spending time in a bar with friends, teaching and learning literature and enjoying jazz until fall asleep at 10:00 P.M
5. May Angelou. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (Screenplay), Georgia, Georgia (Screenplay), Sister, Sister (Teleplay)
Among her particular practice, Angelou keeps a lodging room in the place where she grew up and pays for it month to month. At 6:30 A.M. she goes to the inn space of the hotel room to compose or write her work. She keeps a duplicate of Roget’s Thesaurus and the Bible with her to give motivation or diversion. She had a strong inclination towards religion with a theory of big mind and little mind. She could d solve puzzles or play cards or read the bible with that little mind to approach the big mind to help her with more profound topics she was writing about.
Angelou has some strict behaviors with respect to the hotel room, including not enabling the housekeepers to tidy up things if she disposes of a page and needs it later. She generally writes until around 2:00 P.M., at that point returns home with the pages to tidy them up, which means to make notes and edit topics.
Looking at this particular group of screenwriters some regular formal components are obvious;
- They started to write things at 5:30 A.M in the morning because it’s time to win world by using your inner energy (sometimes, it was a slightly later reasonable hour of writing, say 6:30 or 8: 00A.M still seems early)
- If they didn’t begin early, they tended to begin later in the day (or night) and run throughout the night – which is my own inclination.
- Many of these customs / practices included doing some type of activity, headstands and pushups for instance, however more sensibly – taking calm walk.
- Almost these scholars appeared to coordinate their work with drinking alcohol– either wine or Scotch particularly into their schedules. For some it was just a break.
- Some of them enjoyed taking different medications – including cocaine (Stephen King) and amphetamines (Jack Kerouac).
Famous writers reveal some of the tricks on how to stay productive for a long time. However, now you know five daily habits that can increase your productivity: a writing goal, morning pages, working out, tools for organizational habits, work conditions. You can either apply all of them to your daily routine or keep on developing your own unique practices of habits. I believe true writers do not use universal formulas to stay productive. They are constantly evolving and their habits are not exceptions.