Pixar Rules of Story #17: Practice!


No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

As we approach the end of the list of Pixar Rules, we can see how many of them overlap and intertwine, supporting each other in the advice and guidance they are giving us.

Rule #17 is one that is probably linked to all of them because it has quite a broad message to get across. To me, Rule #17 is about practice. As writers, we should all be writing. As much as we can. Whenever we can. Practice, practice, practice.

It doesn’t matter if what we write is for a particular script, or a scene we are working on, a poem, a treatment, a letter or complete and utter gobbledegook – when we are writing, we are practicing.

As the rule states, “no work is ever wasted”. When we write there will always be misfires, stuff that just doesn’t work, no matter what we do with it. That is part of practicing. Write it, learn from it, use it, or park it – and then move on.

When I taught myself to juggle I did it through practice… doing the same thing over and over again, until I mastered it and stopped getting it wrong. Same for teaching myself to walk on stilts; keep getting up after you fall off. Practice, practice, practice. (Summers were veeeery long when I was a kid and at least I have a calling to the circus if I never make it as a writer.)

So, I don’t want to say a lot about Rule #17 as I think it is self-explanatory – keep writing, keep practicing, use what works, park what doesn’t but don’t get hung up on “bad stuff”, just learn from it an move on to the next bit of writing..

Practice, practice, practice!

Feel free to comment below and remember to come back next week for Rule #18 – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Please also check out the Introduction to the series if you missed that!


Posted on July 1, 2015, in Learning, Writing, Writing Rules and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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