Keeping The Main Thing The Main Thing

There’s a story you sometimes hear among Christians, about a famous preacher who was asked about the ‘main thing’ for a Christian to concentrate on. Peace? Love? Hope? Faith? The preacher smiled and said, “The main thing to think about is keeping the main thing the main thing.”

And strangely enough, that applies to writing too.

Any working screenwriter is busy keeping a lot of balls in the air, and attending to a lot of career-related activities: meetings, self-promotion, attending talks and seminars on writing, returning favours to people who’ve helped you, mentoring and advising younger writers. Oh, and, er, writing a blog…

Once you have a show in production, there are a million and one other things you either need or want to keep an eye on too. And they’re all so tempting. A set visit, a lecture, a writers’ social event or a speed-networking evening feel much more like significant, effective work than sitting at your laptop does.

And yes, they’re important. They’re necessary.

But none of them are the main thing. The main thing is writing, and you need to keep it the main thing.

If you’re not writing every day, coming up with new ideas every week, finishing a new script every two to three months, then you’ve lost track of the main thing…

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3 comments on “Keeping The Main Thing The Main Thing

  1. carmel george says:

    Sometimes easier said than done!

  2. Shaula says:

    Very good advice, Debbie–that I particularly need to hear as I am increasingly swamped with requests for script notes.

    I went to the length this week of setting my (personal) email auto-respond message to say I am “out of the office” at a “writing retreat” so I could carve out more writing time. The retreat is taking place on my living room couch… but it’s working: I’m going to hit my Sunday deadline.

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