Screenwriter's Guide to Navigating a Government Lockdown.

How to stay focused, productive and positive during these testing times.

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by Script Reader Pro in Screenwriter Career
March 24, 2020 12 comments
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3 practical tips for writers during a government lockdown.

In light of recent events due to our government’s measures around the world, here are some practical tips on how to stay focused and sane.

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1. Get some serious writing done.

Despite the difficulty of the situation maybe there’s a way to make lemonade out of lemons.

This just might be the perfect opportunity to really immerse yourself in the world of your story and create something really special that you can show people once this thing blows over.

If you’re currently working from home and no longer have to commute to work, add up how many hours you’re currently saving a day by not having to do so.

Let’s say it’s an hour and a half a day. Multiply that by five and you have practically a full day’s extra writing on your hands.

There are a lot of character developments and plot twists that can be squeezed out in that time. Use it.

Create a new routine.

When a weekly structure or routine suddenly vanishes due to events outside of your control, it can feel like having a rug pulled out from under you.

But it can also be an opportunity to structure a new working week for yourself. One that includes all the extra writing you can.

Whether you use a productivity app, a calendar or just a notepad and pen, make sure you block out specific times to write during the week and stick to them.

So if you don’t know them already, check out the work of productivity/habit experts like Chris Bailey, James Clear, Michael Hyatt, etc. and nail a solid writing routine.

Download this free eBook on working remotely.

If you are working from home now, you might be interested in this eBook Working from Home Temporarily.

It’s from Take Control Books and their titles usually retail around ten bucks apiece, but you can download this one for free.

It contains sections on how to set up remote tools, structure your day, set boundaries for kids, etc. and you might find it useful.

how to write a tv series bible

2. Spend some time improving your craft.

Now might also be a great opportunity to do some extra research on how to become a better writer.

Here are some free resources besides writing that will help improve your craft.

Read screenwriting books and blog posts.

Don’t believe the naysayers—reading screenwriting books and blogs is a great supplement when learning how to write.

Here’s our recommendation of what to read while in lockdown:

10 best screenwriting books to read in 2020

How to write a screenplay that’s unlike any other

How to become a screenwriter

How to write for TV

How to format a script 

Read screenplays.

If you’re already familiar with the site, you’ll know we’re very strong advocates of reading scripts. It’s quite simply one of the best things an aspiring writer can do to improve their craft.

Here are some links to professional screenplays to get you started:

50 best screenplays to read and download in every genre

50 best TV scripts to read and download for free

40 TV show bible examples to download and study

20 best comedy scripts to read and download for free

The best original screenplays for the 2020 Oscars

3. Plan the next stage of your screenwriting career.

In all probability, everything that’s going on now will soon become a distant memory. So, now is also the perfect time to take stock of where your screenwriting career’s at right now and where you want it to be.

Make a list of everything you want to do when the world gets back to normal.

How can you revamp your networking strategy?

What screenwriting contests do you want to submit your script to?

What managers do you want to contact? etc.

Overall, what concrete steps can you take now to get your script(s) ready for the market later?

Below you’ll find some resources to help you do all of the above post-virus:

How to sell a screenplay: 6 best ways to make a first sale

How to get a screenwriting agent and manager in 10 steps

10 best screenwriting contests

2020 screenwriting events calendar

Best screenwriting courses in the US, Canada and worldwide 

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While we’ve spent this post recommending you use this time to knuckle down and write, we understand that for others, now might not be such a great time to do that.

We all react to crises in different ways and so it’s perfectly fine if you can’t focus on your script right now.

These are definitely strange, Orwellian times to be living through, so don’t feel guilty if you’re not writing as much simply because you’re not in the right headspace.

Now might not be the time to focus on your writing, but on making sure you and your loved ones are doing okay instead. If anything, this moment has underlined just how the best things in life really are free.

Feel free to share your experiences writing during lockdown and feedback in the comments section below.

how to write a tv show bible

Enjoyed this post? Read more… 

Script Ideas: 5 Proven Ways to Unlock Original Movie Ideas

How to Become a Screenwriter: A Pro’s Guide to Unlocking Your Career

How to Write for TV: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Career

[© Photo credits: Unsplash, Pexels]

  1. Paul Edwards says:

    Awesome advice

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Paul!

  2. Victoria Chicon says:

    Thanks so much, you describe perfectly my feelings and ansious. Your voice help me to keep going.Blessings to all of you

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thank you, Victoria – stay safe!

  3. Val Phillips says:

    Great post. Thank you. Loved the TP humor.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for the shoutout, Val!

  4. Orji Joseph says:

    This post came at the right time. To me, there’s no best time to write other than now. I’m so grateful working with your guidelines. And thanks for the 3 practical tips

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You’re right, it’s the perfect time to write. Thanks, Orji!

  5. Stephen Beyer says:

    Thank you for your advice. I suffer from severe sleep apnea which has been under control since last July after a long 14 month struggle. As of recent apnea levels have spiked due to the current climate and has left me ill with apnea side affects. I just finished my second screenplay and will start my third. And I will take the advice of writing only an hour and a half a day to make sure I am getting the proper rest that is required to recuperate and to stay healthy. Thank you again!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Sounds like a plan, Stephen, and good luck with your third script!

  6. Ian Masters says:

    Thank you. I’m certainly in the latter camp – now having more time than ever but also home schooling (kind of) and not in the right head space to focus on writing. I hope it will pass, but I guess I’m also wondering whether, in the larger scheme of things, my story offerings and spec tv pilots are that important after all. Or whether anyone will want to read anything at the moment or whether the industry will be different when we come out of the other side. Or whether everyone and their dog are now writing that screenplay that they’d been meaning to do. All in all I’ve decided it’s worse to force myself into a new writing schedule, but at least for the first two weeks to let it play day by day. This could be a long haul, and I hope I will get my mojo back and find a new rhythm and structure for writing. But I don’t want to push myself too hard too soon and then struggle later. Stay safe and positive people. Thanks again.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Ian – try not to worry too much about what may or may not happen and get back into writing if you’re able. If not, that’s fine too. Maybe you will down the road 🙂

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