More Thoughts on Scribal Maintenance

Around the same time that I published my previous post, I also wrote a guest article on the importance of voice for the Save the Cat! blogsite.

I enjoyed working both of these blogs; there was a synchronicity to them, a connect, a resonance that I had not been feeling lately.

I’ve received a great deal of feedback in response the my thoughts on voice, most positive, a couple of snarks (which, in truth, made me giggle), but all in all, I realized that the conversations on forward motion, on voice, are not even ready to be over, that the surface of these topics has barely been scratched.

So, I think I’ll return to the aforementioned subjects time and again… for, as my voice continues to strengthen, grow and develop its own unique style, I find that writing about the experience provides me with a meditation of sorts; the action helps my voice to grow further, and so on and so on and so on…

But today’s maintenance is of a different sort. We talk about nurturing the soul, the voice, the muse… but what about the body?

Writing is a sedentary occupation; therefore, it can be considered unhealthy. Not only has sitting for long periods of time been linked to premature death, think of what it does to the shape of your ass. Not pretty.

I’ve been working very hard to establish a new routine – one that begins each day with a minimum of 4.5 miles (the 10,000 step equivalent) at a moderate to vigorous pace. It feels great; I love to start my day in the quiet of the early morning, break out into a good sweat and feel those endorphins as they course through my veins. My head is clear; the voices don’t scream quite as loudly as they do at other times. I’m able to focus on the task at hand… and provide myself with a direct channel to my muse.

Plus, the area where I live offers a gorgeous walk. I can zip down past the parrots of Riverside Drive, whiz by the original Bob’s Big Boy, shoot over to WB and either head down Forest Lawn to Griffith or hang a right and head past Clooney’s haunt – The Smokehouse – and navigate the white picket fenced streets of Toluca Lake…. or, it’s off to Lake Hollywood, to play amongst the deer, eagles, coyotes, bunnies and rattlesnakes. Wander around the reservoir, scale the embankment up the fire road to Bette Davis’ “Wolf’s Lair” (now owned by Moby) or onto the Valentino estate, hike up Mulholland and climb the hills to the peak directly above the Hollywood sign. The workout is lengthy; the view, exhilarating.

I might add that, without exception, these walks generate extreme story-building.

Wolf's Lair - Ghosts of Hollywood Past

During a recent junket, I came up with a log line, and by the end of the walk, had 40 beats dancing around in my head. Zipped home, hopped into the shower to give my grey matter an extra boost, and within two hours, I had a complete outline knocked out.

That doesn’t happen when I sit on my ass. Not by a longshot.

So, as I’ve pledged to nourish my voice, today, I pledge to nourish my body. To move it each and every day, for it is the only one that I have. To be kind to it; to take the time to feed it what it needs – which is not only what it wants. Although, The Counter is opening in my hood today. We’ll probably have to journey that direction soon. But – we’ll walk. It’s a 1.5 mile round trip. I’ve measured it.

So… get out there and move that body, for it will thank you. As will your mind and your muse.

And, of course, your ass.

Now, go write.

HRH, Princess Scribe

What I am reading: I had a flight delay, and picked up a copy of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. I literally could not put it down. I tried to sleep for a bit, but rose at 2 am, just to get back to the story. A brilliant debut from this author. I hope the film delivers.

What I am watching: I’m getting ready for production training, and have a slew of films to either view or revisit: Guinevere, Homegrown, Bongwater, The Cell. My Netflix queue runneth over.

A Royal Shout-Out: To friend Justin Baker, who massacred IO West’s improv contest The X-Ecution, with his #winning actor-turned-children’s-party-performer driven pilot, Dusty. Follow Justin @Acts4Food to see how he’s spending his winnings… and, of course, to hear how those network meetings go.

About princessscribe

Screenwriter. Creator of things. I love tacos. "Midlife on Fire" Volumes 1 & 2 now available at
This entry was posted in Today's Blog, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to More Thoughts on Scribal Maintenance

  1. I do my best writing while I run. I bring a digital recorder with me because my memory is shit. Believe me, when I play it back, there’s a lot of heavy breathing … and not the sexy kind. 🙂
    As always, great advice!


    • Jeanne, me too. I downloaded a recording App to my iPhone, plug in the headphones and start chattering away dialogue, etc. Hope to do it running, soon, been way too long, but the movement is so good on so many levels.

      Now, if I can just manage to use duct tape to lift my ass….


  2. Jan Militello says:

    Yep. I find my voice on a nearby trail.

    At the end of each day, I think about what plot points or scenes I want to work on the next day.

    The next morning, I do my *writing* during the hour I’m either hiking or biking. Instead of a recorder, I use my cell to call the office phone (oftentimes repeatedly) with insights, lines, scenes, and changes that I fully believe would *never* come to me while staring at the computer screen. By time I sit at the keyboard, typing up what comes from those messages provides a full day’s work.


  3. Peter says:

    Your Royal Highness, good afternoon from London, working out, sleeping, just relaxing allows you subconscious to go to work, and it just loves to pop up say hi, “Here’s the answer to that problem”


  4. I’m a firm believer in switching mind gears!

    And let us not forget showers. Some of my greatest Aha moments have been in the shower!

    Hmmm. That sounds a little….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s