Behind the Journal

Behind the Writer's Wright Journal: Greta Heinemann

Hi. I’m Greta and apparently I like planning ahead.

When I was 14 years old, I decided that I would move to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. At the time I didn’t speak English and I didn’t live in the United States.

In other words, my dreams were not only ambitious and intimidating, but also pretty far out of reach. Like, transatlantic, language barrier, no money, no work-visa, no career connection and that's not even worrying about talent and writing out of reach. But with a good dose of naiveté {stubbornness?} and the certainty that I would never be happy doing any other job in the world, I wasn't ready to give up.

I took pen to paper and wrote down what I could do now, in my every day life, to make my dreams come true in the future.

Speak English. Save up enough money to fly to America. Start there. It was the initial phase of an easy to follow plan that allowed me to, seven-ish years later, fly to Los Angeles for the first time. I was fluent in English, had a shady LA Craigslist pad lined up and enough money to live on for three months. My 200 internship applications went nowhere and I certainly didn't know a lick about writing, but I figured that would be goals in the next phase of my plan. On the flight to LAX, I journaled my path into learning my craft and finding a way to stay in the U.S.. And a few years later, I finally journaled my way into becoming a working screenwriter. That’s who I am today -- a working writer and... still... a plan-oholic.

I'm weirdly obsessed with the nexus between creativity and productivity and spent the last ten years studying the biggest hurdles that held me and other writers back. Based on what I learned, I developed the Writer's Wright journaling method and productivity tools to keep me focused and creating, no matter the odds. And I was surprised just how much of a difference the small daily habit of journalling can make. 

Whether it is planning my career or next projects, organizing my day or reminding myself of what matters, the Writer's Wright keeps me productive, focused, and sane.

Somewhere between business-analysis and mindful meditation, journaling is an incredibly powerful tool that organically taps into the DNA of any writer. Putting pen to paper, the daily routine, reflection, planning and accountability have helped me build, sustain, and advance my career while also keeping somewhat sane. 

Once I shared the Writer's Wright with friends and saw them making great strides as well, the idea of making the Writer's Wright available for everyone was born. May it bring structure to your stories, careers and lives alike, leave no goal too intimidating and you... always inspired.

Greta

Greta Heinemann is a former CBS Writers Mentoring Program Fellow, a Humanitas New Voices award winner, Final Draft Big Break Winner and writer/producer whose credits include the CBS Hit Show NCIS: New Orleans. You can find her on Twitter @gretaheinemann