The Written Agenda: A Preview Inside the Writer’s Notebook

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

As a newbie writer in the film production industry, I often find it hard to get my creative juices flowing in one direction. Writing is one thing, but being a writer in the film production industry is another. Unlike my previous motivations and intentions when I write, this one tends to lean on the business perspective. Before all of this, I just used to dabble and scribble random words into my tiny journal. But right now, it's a whole new experience.

There’s a bunch of struggles that I encounter in my writing tasks too, along with the need to educate myself in the craft and industry. It’s an on-going process where I get input from multiple directions and perspectives. The good thing is, after a few months of being in this position, I’ve developed my own strategies to help me finish each writing task and translate my visions into text. Let’s call them my Six Nuggets so that it’s easier to digest for you. (Get it?)

1. Find Your Writing Style

My first nugget when it comes to writing is that I should always be familiar with my style. I would often describe my writing style as narrative, descriptive, and research-based. It’s important to know this because you’ll know your own strengths and weaknesses when you are tasked to write a piece.

In this way, you can use it to your own advantage by knowing what type of work you’re most comfortable with, what works for you, and what doesn’t. Moving forward, you’ll know how to deal with the tasks as they come along. This will be the foundation of every written output you submit, so make sure it's strong.

2. Everything Takes Time

This is something I have always believed in, even in other aspects of my life. My second nugget pertains to how important time is when you’re on specific writing tasks.

Working alongside our Director Theo, some tasks require urgent output like the Director’s Treatment, a letter to a prospect or client, social media invitations, and thank-you notes. These are the type of tasks that I usually end up writing really fast, but not creative enough as I would’ve wanted it to be. They would still be sufficient for its purpose but lacks the oomf factor that I always look for. It takes time to write a good piece that is aesthetically-pleasing when you read it again. Some tasks that aren’t as urgent, like writing blogs, event descriptions for the next month, social media posting captions, and homepage texts. These are the type of tasks that I could spend hours or days writing, and they would end up really well. Like good wine, let it take time.

3. Find the Delicate Balance of the Right Time, Mood, and Zone

Again, time plays a huge part in my work. My creative juices are usually churning during evenings and early mornings where my thoughts are fresh and I have a lot of ideas coming in. That’s why when I don’t feel like writing at all, (except when it’s part of the urgent ones I mentioned), I don’t write at all. So much time becomes wasted when you just stare at your journal or your computer screen forcing yourself to put something on that blank document, when in fact there’s none. Work and write when you feel like you’re in the zone. In this way, you’ll save more time and you are much more productive.

4. Jot Every Thought Down

Whenever I go out for leisure, I always carry a small journal or notebook plus a pen so I could doodle random thoughts that come. I used to have this favorite café near a boulevard in Manila that I go to frequently. The barista knows not to bother me when I put out my notebook and start scribbling. At the end of the day, I read all the random ideas and try to organize them. Sometimes I end up with a bunch of ideas that I no longer have a problem thinking of new content for the whole week. Whether it be a random phrase or word, jot it down. Who knows, this might be the next million-dollar idea?

5. Discipline is Key

Even though I’ve said earlier that I don’t write at all when I’m in the mood, I still spare some energy to write a short piece every day. My life-long mantra is that “It’s not every day that you are motivated, but be disciplined every day.” My fifth nugget would be to write something every day, even if it’s just fifty to one hundred words, do it. Make it a part of your daily routine to do something that you love so that it doesn’t feel like a burden in the long run. When it’s part of your routine already, it becomes similar to muscle memory. But discipline also comes in other forms too. Make sure you’re also disciplined to learn something new every day. You can read a short article or other blogs, you can read about the rules of grammar and writing, and you should also be disciplined when it comes to taking breaks and rests. Know when you should take a breather, and do it. There’s nothing more damaging than overworking yourself way past your limits.

6. Be Bold Enough to be an Open Book

It should be part of your character to be open to changes, criticisms, learnings, opinions, and experimentations. Sometimes I get an uncomfortable feeling when I try something new, and it's usually a sign that it's going to be great. This is where you get to know more about yourself and what you can do. You’ll never know what you’re good at until you try. It’s also very important to keep your mind open when someone gives criticism. Learning this sixth nugget will help you not only in writing but in other aspects of your life. Getting a fresh perspective from other people will help you grow and become better in what you do. So the next time someone gives you a bad review, take it constructively. It’s part of the learning process.

Hopefully my six nuggets would help you improve the way you write and do your work. If you have any tips that you’d like to share with me, please feel free to send me an email. I would be very open to suggestions.

In the meantime, check out other content in our VONAS X Blog post page to unleash the independent creative within you.

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