Adi is a scriptwriter, script-editor and creative writing instructor. She writes film & TV scripts, short stories, long letters and casual poems. She is also the co-founder of Hubitus – a space to write in. Adi lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.
My writing space is located on the second floor of a small apartment in south Tel Aviv, above a spice market. Unfortunately it has no doors, but it has borders. Going in, I know writing is about to take place.
2. Work hours
I prefer writing in the morning, when my mind is clear and my subconscious is still approachable. When the day moves along I tend to lose my concentration and my mind drifts to more prosaic places. I especially hate the afternoon hours – between 1pm and 4pm, when the sun is high and bright and there are no shadows. When the night falls, you can usually find me contemplating, not here but in my bath. If needed, I write my thoughts on the walls of the tub with erasable crayons. I envy those who write during the small hours of the night, when the world is asleep. I wish I could do that, but me, I’m more of an early bird.
Every day, with my first cup of coffee, I write 3 morning pages in handwriting in a designated notebook; I write them on this couch. Following the advice of the person who introduced the morning pages to the world – the writer and mentor Julia Cameron, these pages are not of an artistic nature. They are not a diary, nor a documentation of my life; they’re just what they are – bits of sentences, lost thoughts, unspeakable desires, old obsessions, random memories and broken words. I’ve been doing it now for 2 years, and I have filled 5 notebooks, leaving no margins to breathe in. When I find it hard to wake up and pull myself out of bed, they are the ones who do it for me. Deprived of any censorship or self-criticism, they are my anchor in my everyday life.
I need coffee to write; it’s a life-long addiction and a daily ritual. After a long day of writing, my desk is covered with more than 6 half-empty cups. Whenever I feel I can’t sit and write, I “force” myself to go to a nearby café where I treat myself to a strong café au lait and a carrot cake, a bribe for the writer inside me, to start justifying the money she has just spent. It usually works.
When it comes to writing, I feel like time is on my side. Before I start writing, I usually determine a time quota – 2 hours for example, or a daily schedule – from 9am to 12am. I use an hourglass, and whenever I need to, I watch the white sand as it pours down. It relaxes me and keeps me focused at the same time. When I take a break, I lay it down horizontally, to better separate my net writing time from the gross. I’ve noticed that 2 gross writing hours usually add up to 1.5 hours of pure writing, and 6 hours become 3.5. I believe that better understanding this mechanism can help me manage my time more precisely and meet my goals.
I write on a pc laptop, using Microsoft Word 2010, with a scriptwriting program named Dialogue. I often use the internet (google chrome), mainly for research and idea hacking. I tend to have more than 10 tabs open simultaneously, and I save the most inspiring pages, like this one, as potential starters for future stories. Most of my characters’ names, by the way, were chosen from name-your-baby web sites. A few years ago, I decided to teach myself touch typing, using web apps, and since then I write in the rhythm of my thoughts. Whenever I’m stuck, I just let my fingers go with the flow, without thinking.
I’m not easily distracted by phone calls while I’m writing. I just don’t answer (it’s usually the bank anyway, and we have nothing to talk about). But I do use my Smartphone for time management and inspiration, with apps like Work Logger and Inspiro.
I have a great passion for boards. Their nature – to be erased – ignites my imagination and urges me to free associate. When needed, I take a picture of the board, before I erase it.
I tend to work on various projects simultaneously. Each project receives its own drawer (I can literally say I write to my drawers). Most of these drawers are filled with half-baked texts, such as: 1) A mystery novel about an isolated kibbutz in the desert. 2) A script for a feature film about a broker who ends up killing her boyfriend during a trip to Georgia. 3) Short stories, waiting to be gathered into an anthology named: All the Stories that Didn’t Win 1st prize in any Competition (or 2nd, or 3rd). 4) An autobiography which deconstructs and reconstructs my family structure. 5) Poems never to be read by anyone, semantic souvenirs from all my broken-hearted episodes.
These are my dictionaries. I use them constantly. Among them you can find bilingual dictionaries, a visual dictionary, a rhyming dictionary and a thesaurus. An unknown word is a good excuse to start an unknown story, and a fine word always opens your appetite for more. I also keep books concerning my writing themes near me, for example the Deuterocanonical books or a birds manual. Books about writing are kept next to my desk, on my bed and even in my bathroom, so that I’ll never feel alone in the writing process. They give me strength. They ease the pain.
You can find Adi on LinkedIn right here…