We need concentration to do anything, but when we talk about screenwriting, this requirement grows up in maximum level.
Keep the concentration and be productive is indispensable to the professional screenwriter. Common myth of you need inspiration to create is a novelist thing (novelist can take up 5 years to write a simple book); nobody will wait for your brilliant idea. There are many screenwriters around the world who write with lightning speed. It doesn’t mean all of their screenplays are good, however this kind of screenwriter has real chances to develop 1 good screenplay, while you’re still waiting for a brilliant idea.
There’s a concentration technique which I’ve used; sure, sometimes I don’t need it, but there are hard days, when keep up the concentration is almost impossible. I’m talking about the Pomodoro technique. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but if you wanted to use it, you’ll have to respect it and you have to be hard in its practice. Well, nothing works without commitment – NOTHING.
This technique was created by Francesco Cirillo, an Italian; it works to a lot of things, but here what interest us is the screenwriting.
Turn on the chronometer on your cell phone, and split your work time in 4 blocks of 25 minutes. Each 25 block you’ve a break of 5 minutes and when the last block has finished, you’ve a longer break – I’ve a 20 minutes break, but you can have a break of 30 minutes (I don’t like too longer breaks).
Ok, but there’s a problem when we talk about screenwriting, you can be in a good running of your writing, and the 25 block may be ending. I’ve learned this in the practice, so if your writing is in the good running when the 25 block has finished, you can start a new block of 25 minutes; you can amend the blocks if you are in a productive mental work, but you need to know when you do the amends you can’t break them, and you’ll have to keep working until the end.
If you follow in this way, in the final of the amended blocks you’ll be tired; it means, you’ll may have a longer break – this break time depends of the number of blocks that you have amended before. Example: if you amended 2 blocks of 25, you have a break of 15 minutes, but if you amended 3 blocks of 25, you have a break of 30 minutes.
About the breaks: it’s the time you can do what you want. I know, our tendency is stay on computer (email, social media, etc) but my advice is prioritize distraction moments; no more tension, you know? Go walking, look out the window, breathe and relax. In the lazy moments brilliant ideas rise up. I’ve had good ideas while I was washing dishes in my kitchen, for example.
Well, I hope the Pomodoro helps you in your writing. That’s only a tip, a technique which works with me and maybe it can works with you.