The Great Bottom Spread Caper by Shelley Munro

What they don’t tell you when you start writing…


One of the most common questions people ask me during an interview situation is about my advice for aspiring writers. What tips would I give to anyone starting out writing?


Aside from the advice to read, read and read some more and to sit down and write, my best tip is to exercise on a regular basis, because writing and all the sitting involved during the writing of a book, leads to bottom spread.


Yes, sadly true….take it from one who knows. It even bears repeating. Beware the dratted bottom spread.


“Exercise?” you cry. “I don’t have time to exercise.”


Yes, I can hear your words of disbelief echoing around the globe now.


The thing is, bottom spread is insidious. It creeps up on a writer and suddenly…wham! Shaking head. It’s not a pretty sight.


Luckily I have a solution to halt bottom spread. One word, and no, it’s not a dirty one.




I’m all about multi-tasking whenever possible so here are some ways to add exercise to your routine without too many radical changes.


  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  2. Park your vehicle in one central place and walk to different shops/destinations to complete your chores.
  3. Walk your children to school instead of driving them.
  4. Go for a walk after dinner. Take your children and husband with you and make it into family time.
  5. Explore some of the National and State parks during weekends and holidays.
  6. Walk barefoot on the beach.
  7. Take the dog for a walk.
  8. Do the housework – not my personal favorite, but I’m just laying out all the options!
  9. Go dancing or put on some music at home and shake your groove thing.
  10. Use that gym membership.
  11. Drag the old bike out of storage.
  12. Take up a new sport.
  13. Try gardening – grow your own flowers and vegetables.
  14. Fancy a swim? My local pool has water aerobics, which actually turned out to be a lot of fun. Swim or walk up and down the pool.


As well as a great way to combat weight gain, regular exercise helps with concentration. It gives you time to think about your characters and plot. Yes, it’s that multi-tasking thing again. Exercising is me-time and although you mightn’t think so at first, it’s also fun. So get to it! Sweat those toxins out and you’ll find you’ll feel better. You might even live longer and gain in self-confidence. And above all, you’ll stop that nasty bottom spread!


What do you think about exercise? Do you like it or hate it? Do you exercise? Pssst – do you suffer from the dreaded bottom spread?

  Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand and loves to write. She was horrified to discover the truth about bottom spread and has worked hard to combat said problem ever since. Shelley likes walking the dog and cycling but hates housework. Her most recent release is Wanderlust, a contemporary tale of travel through India. It combines all of Shelley’s favorite things: exotic location, love, and lashings of intrigue and murder. Wanderlust is available from Cerridwen Press on 17 April—today. You can visit Shelley’s website at

4 Responses to The Great Bottom Spread Caper by Shelley Munro

  1. Michele R.

    Hi Shelley!

    It is great having you here! I am starting to develop the dreaded bottom spread! ARGH!!! I got a new computer about 6 months ago. It is a dream computer! Anyway, since I got it, I have been on it like on an average 3 to 4 hours each night! I used to do physical activities in the evening. Now my activities consist of blogs, contests, websites, etc.! Which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong, but like you said, you tend to gain weight when you sit so much.

    Hey, throw me some ambition, drive, energy, persistence, etc. to get me jump started back on my exercise routine, ok?


  2. Debbie Wallace

    EVERYTHING spreads on me! LOL Seriously though, this was a great post. I recently broke out my bike and tried riding it a few days a week but it soon found its way back in the corner of the shed. I’ve NEVER liked excercise. Unfortunately I’m going to pay for that.

  3. Shelley Munro

    Hi Kimberly – I think I hate you 🙂

    Seriously though, I think regular exercise really helps me with concentration, and I find I do some good brainstorming and plotting while out walking or cycling. And you’re right. It definitely helps when it comes to a writing block.

  4. Kimberly B.

    I don’t suffer from the dreaded bottom spread (sorry ladies, but all the women in my family have fencer’s butts, it’s genetic), but I definitely have other parts of my body that suffer from inactivity, like my stomach and arms. When I’m writing at home, I like to take a break with an exercise video, not just for the calorie burning benefits, but because of all the tension and soreness that can build up when you sit in one position for too long. It’s good when I’m feeling blocked as well; I step away for a little bit, and come back with a fresh perspective.

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