Based on what I’m seeing on various social media outlets and assorted online forums, a lot of screenwriters, including myself, are taking part in the self-imposed project of cranking out an entire script by the end of November.
I think it’s great that so many writers are taking it upon themselves to accomplish this. It definitely helps you establish a kind of rhythm or pattern or whatever you want to call it that you can incorporate into your writing process the other eleven months of the year.
A few months ago, I’d originally set a personal goal of having this draft of the low-budget comedy done by the end of the year, so that’s what I’m shooting for. At the rate of approximately 2 pages a day, there’s no reason it couldn’t done by or at least around Thanksgiving, which would be nice.
What’s also proving to be very helpful is that because this is a first draft, which means it will most likely suck (as first drafts often do), and require the requisite inevitable extensive rewriting, I’m not constantly fretting over whether a scene or a line is perfect. I might spend a minute or two on it, trying alternate takes, but I get it out of my system and move on to the next scene. For right now, whatever I write down works.
It’s a very liberating sensation, and removes a lot of that “I have to get it done!” pressure.
Also good – setting a realistic goal. A lot of writers post updates like “Only 12 pages today. Will try to do better tomorrow.” My at-least-2-pages-a-day quota seems kind of dinky in comparison, and while I wish my output were higher, you gotta do what works for you. My schedule also plays a factor. I only have so much time to write, especially during the week, so I figure I can only produce so much in this timeframe, and take it from there.
What it all boils down to is that no matter how much or how often you’re writing, the important thing is that YOU ARE WRITING. Don’t stop, and definitely try to keep up the pace once the calendar changes to December 1st.