So, I’m right in the middle of this Six Week Spec thing. Actually, I’m well into the second half.
And it’s really interesting. I think Geoff put it in place to not only see if the ten writers he selected could complete this feat, but how we do it. What we learn from the experience. How we navigate the panic and stress that the deadline creates. And I don’t want to speak for him, but I feel like the main goal of this is not to write a masterpiece, but to just write and complete something. The process seems to be more valuable than the finished product. At least, it is for me.
It’s been really nice to have a deadline. And it’s a strict one: I’ve told friends, family, and the internet that I’m doing this, giving me absolutely no choice but to finish. So I’ve been writing more than ever. And although I’ve heard this a million times, now I know it to be true, the great secret is: just get something on the page. If I’m stuck, or don’t feel particularly funny or creative – who cares. I just write the scene even it’s the worst version of it, because having something to edit and work with is leaps and bounds easier than staring at a blank page. And because of this accelerated writing period, I’ve had to KEEP GOING no matter what. A couple times, I reached a point where I know I would’ve gotten frustrated or discouraged and given up, had I just been working on this script in my own time. But I kept going. And what it’s allowed me to let go of, is that fear of the work being bad. I don’t mind if the first draft of this thing isn’t the best thing I’ve ever written, because once I have a draft done I have an eternity to refine it into something I am proud of – I plan on working on this well after the six weeks is over.
I’ve learned what I need to do to get the writing going. It involves blocking the internet, putting on some non distracting tunes, and freewriting before I begin on 750words.com – this helps me get my thoughts together, and really hone in on what is going to happen in my upcoming scenes.
One thing that I feel almost… guilty about, is that I work in pretty much a haven for writers. theOffice is a shared quiet workspace with ergonomic chairs, coffee, wifi, and silence. It’s the most comfortable, least distracting place to write on the planet, and I would not be feeling as positive as I am without it. Okay, I don’t feel that guilty. Very, very lucky though!
Let me know if you’re doing the Six Week Spec, or if you’ve done anything similar. I’d love to hear your experiences. If you’d like to hear how the other writers are doing, Geoff’s blog has our weekly updates, and search #sixweekspec on Twitter to see progress and hear stories from tons of writers that are taking on this challenge.