Like most writers, I’m not above peeking through the keyhole to see how the other guy is getting words down.I used to look out of sheer interest, but because of today’s fast-evolving writing/comm/marketing technology I’m actively looking for ideas to steal, which is why I sat up and noticed when uber-screenwriter John August published an extensive ‘How I Write‘ post on his blog, and expanded that into a “Workspace” series profiling other screenwriters.
(He borrowed the idea from “The Setup” blog, which focuses on younger, more technical users who use an almost punishing range of technology.)
A few interesting notes:
- August makes frequent use of Freedom — a Mac/Windows product that shuts down your Internet access for X amount of time
- Like so many other truly fulltime long-form writers, he shoots for a set number of pages a day (in his case, five script pages)
- August writes his non-screenplay text on a programmer’s text editor, a growing trend for online/non-print uses
- When starting a screenplay, he often leaves town, locks himself in a hotel room, and does nothing but hash out ideas for a week
His use of a programmer’s text editor is a growing trend in a world where printed stuff is increasingly irrelevant, and chasing a target number of pages is also pretty common.
Less common is the bit where he hides from the world when starting a new project, something I’ve never truly considered — though I can see the value if I was trying to fire up something on the level of a campaign.
I liked his post so much (and the other “Workspace” posts that followed it) that after I’ve settled into the new year, I may do something similar myself.
Most copywriters aren’t as forthcoming about their habits as other writers (or maybe nobody ever asks us), but as a certified writing tools geek, I’m interested.
Keep writing, Tom Chandler.