4 ways to overcome writing setbacks, from the writer of ‘Lincoln’

The movie picked up 12 Oscar nods, including one for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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Since the movie’s release, Kushner has given a number of interviews about the enormous difficulties of writing “Lincoln.” In December, for instance, he described his reaction to Steven Spielberg’s having asked him to write the script.

“I had said ‘no’ to writing the screenplay,” Kushner told a crowd at the Jacob Burns Film Center. “I just thought this is impossible … I [couldn’t] imagine writing lines for Abraham Lincoln to say.”

Although you’re not tasked with writing a film about America’s greatest president, there certainly comes a time when you think an assignment is impossible—whether because it’s too large, too time-consuming, or too tedious.

Should that ever be the case, take inspiration (and solace) from Kushner. Here are tips from the writer of “Lincoln” on powering through a difficult writing assignment:

Re-evaluate—don’t give up.

When he turned in the first draft of the film in 2007, it was a whopping 500 pages. (One page in a screenplay equals about one minute of screen time; that means Kushner wrote an eight-hour movie.)

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