Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

The Writing Schedule That Helped Disney Writer Ricky Roxburgh Go Pro

We've interviewed a lot of screenwriters, and there's one thing they all have in common: they're extremely disciplined when it comes to their professional AND personal writing time. Even if a screenwriter is gainfully employed, they often treat their own writing time like a full-time job.

If you're struggling with your writing process, take some cues from the pros, such as Disney writer Ricky Roxburgh, who writes "Tangled: The Series" and works on other Disney TV shows regularly. Even I was surprised by his discipline and the amount of extra time he dedicates to his craft. But you know what? This is what it often takes.

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"My personal writing process is scheduled out pretty heavily," Ricky explained. "I do about six days a week, 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m."

No, folks, that is not a typo. That's a minimum of four and a half hours a day, or 1,638 hours a year. Yes, I'm counting. And, he's not giving us any excuses about not having enough hours in the day. With kids at home and a full-time job, he basically writes overnight.

"I don't sleep a lot," he admitted. "That keeps me honest, that keeps me working hard. It's a habit, at this point, you know."

Malcolm Gladwell famously said in his book "Outliers" that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert at something. For most people, that's ten years, but Ricky's rate can get you there in six. Imagine where your writing craft could be six years from now if you put in the time. There are sacrifices, yes, but also great rewards.  

"So, if I don't do it, I feel guilty, which stinks when I go on vacation. But I get a lot done. And then when I finish something, I reward myself with three days off. Three glorious days off."

Nothing worth having is easy to get,

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