It’d be nice if we all had the freedom to work on whatever our hearts desired throughout the day, but in reality, most creatives work a day job and then tackle their own projects in their spare time. As screenwriter Brian Koppelman points out, having only an hour or two to work on your project each day isn’t necessarily a limitation. It can promote focus.
In an interview with author Ramit Sethi, Koppelman explains how he wrote Rounders while working full-time. Rejecting the notion of quitting his job to become a screenwriter, Koppelman worked on the script for just two hours each day:
“I felt alive in those two hours in a way that was different than I felt in any other point in my day… in that period of time, I felt alive, engaged, like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing… I had gotten a piece of advice that said, don’t quit your job, because the pressure on you then will be so great you’ll be thwarted. You want to eliminate sources of anxiety when you’re creating. So in an hour a day, you just get rid of all the nonsense. You’re going to come in there, and you’re going to do your thing.”
We’ve pointed out before that you shouldn’t use your day job as an excuse to not pursue your passion. Some people may argue you should quit so you have no choice but to succeed at your dream. While that sounds good in theory, it’s not practical, and, as Koppelman points out, it can actually be counter-productive.
On the other hand, just an hour a day can force you to stay laser focused on that project and get more done than you realised. The key (and Koppelman briefly touches on this), is to create a system that allows you to work and still make time for your passion project.
Check out the full interview in the video above, then see what Sethi has to say about it below.
Instant Creativity With Brian Koppelman [I Will Teach You to Be Rich]