As of today’s writing, I am now 50 pages into my pilot. I haven’t talked about it much to anyone since I started working, just that I’ve actually been working. There’s two reasons for that, and they’re both that it’s more important for me to be writing and getting it done than anything else.
I’m now 50 pages in, and I’m not exactly sure if I have another 5 pages, 15, or how many more it will take to get to a satisfying conclusion. Pilots are tough. Ask anyone who’s written them, watched one that never made it to air, or watched one that was less than stellar to kick off a series. There’s a lot of work that has to be done just to get to “this is what the show is.” I’m not so much worried about writing a good pilot as I am with, you guessed it, finishing this draft. Because it’s not my pilot that will be finished, it’s this particular draft. And, cliché of clichés, writing is rewriting. It’s going to need work whether it’s the best thing I’ve ever written or not. No one bats 1.000, and I’ll be lucky if I hit .270 this season.
What I’m excited about is this. I’ve written 50 pages in 15 working days, spending 30-40 minutes per day. I now understand prolific writers. If you’re doing this full-time — and not the kind of “writing” I used to do where you work from home, screw around, run errands, look for work, etc. — I get how people can churn through seemingly impossible mountains of work day after day, year after year. And I’m not even one of the faster writers I know.
The trick truly is, words on paper.
Quality is a whole other ballgame. I’m not painting the Sistine Chapel here. I’m just drafting. I did it today, I’ll do it tomorrow. And one day I’ll have a draft I’m happy with. Right now I’m thrilled with 50 pages (and I know where I’m headed next).