Anyone who spends a great part of a workday sitting at a computer may find it difficult to stay fit. This is especially true of aspiring screenwriters who often put in a full eight-hours at a day job before coming home to stare at another screen. So for anyone who has felt a punch to his paunch from the doctor’s passively accusatory phrase, “sedentary life style,” here’s a brief diet and exercise guide that perfectly fits (or rationalizes) what you’re already doing.
STEP ONE: Skip breakfast. Any child knows that skipping burns calories.
STEP TWO: Jot dot ideas that for some reason flow so readily when you’re preoccupied while driving to work, but prove so elusive during actual writing time. Steering with the knee stretches the hamstring, and the constant braking every time you return your gaze to the road has a burn ratio of one calorie to every gallon of gas.
STEP THREE: Read the trades tucked away in a spreadsheet. Fear of getting caught will cause a cleansing perspiration that not only cleanses the pores and pours away water retention, but also keeps time-sucking co-workers away.
STEP FOUR: Everyone knows that Hollywood-types are American royalty, but all the same, avoid Burger King, Dairy Queen and White Castle.
STEP FIVE: Instead of the drive-thru, take a long lunch by sneaking out to a matinee. Successfully avoid the concession stand for a zero-calorie yet artistically satisfying break in the last row. Climbing the steps is as good as going to the gym.
STEP SIX: Realizing that the film you’re watching is completely awful, you eat your heart out with the thought that they’ll make this crap, while your superior script sits sobbing in a dark drawer. Unfortunately, heart is a very high-calorie meat. And you chase it with some popcorn and M&Ms (the perfect sweet/sour mix) when you stop at the concession stand on the way out of the theater.
STEP SEVEN: Take 30 steps to the mailbox to check for rejection letters.
STEP EIGHT: Exercise your eyes by reading three times the somewhat encouraging though obviously photocopied closing line, “while this subject matter does not suit us, we look forward to your next submission.” Burn seven more calories by suspending your disbelief.
STEP NINE: Stare at computer. You will lose no calories. But you may lose faith.
STEP TEN: Clean sock drawer. No sane, educated human being could possibly produce a cogent script when that calamity of catch-all drawer weighs heavy on the mind. A good cleaning can burn three calories, approximately one of those M&Ms—four calories if you stock heavy, woolen socks.
STEP ELEVEN: Have one Ambien and one Cymbalta for dinner and fade out.