Q: When is the most popular day to start a screenplay? A: Tomorrow?


Homer and Marge have been having marital troubles, a long dry spell.  Marge is unhappy about this for some reason.

MARGE: Homer… We need to talk about the martial difficulties we’ve been having lately.
HOMER: Marge, there’s just too much pressure, with my job, the kids, traffic, political strife at home and abroad but I promise you, the second all those things go away, we’ll have sex.
MARGE: I simply can’t wait that long.


Screenshot (70)

When someone says, “I don’t have time to write,” it shows an imperfect understanding of what writing is. To them, it’s long, unbroken hours at a desk with no distractions, a perfect utopian tomorrow. They say, “Whelp, I don’t have three uninterrupted hours with which to commit my acts of genius writing, better stall until tomorrow.”

Trying and failing is incredibly psychologically dangerous. Stalling to tomorrow is even more dangerous. Tomorrow comes, and so on, and even if those three hours do show up, the weight of all the subsequent procrastination makes each subsequent day exponentially much harder, until writing becomes impossible. (I am often guilty of this).

Writing isn’t about reorienting your entire life, it’s about making use of the time you do have. If you get stuck and can’t move forward, make sure you do something, find some way to maximize your time.  The best time to start a script is now.  “Procrastination is the Grave Opportunity is Buried in.”


Note 1: This entry is a rewrite (and hopefully an improvement) from an older post.  Writing is rewriting and all that stuff.

Note 2: Here’s a Relevant Onion Article.  Giving an Onion link to a procrastinator is like giving a Zippo to a serial arsonist, but this one has an important lesson.

Published by Matt Lazarus

WGA screenwriter offering in-depth writing instruction, notes, critique, and assistance.

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