Friday, 30 April 2010

Emily's Second Coffee Break: Writer's Bottom

Hello fellow Novel Racers! Hope you’re all well this fine Friday! Last week it was all croissants and coffee, not this week. I’ve got sugar free flavoured bottled water and a range of fruit for you to choose between. I think this is apt for my topic this week and again I apologise if this topic has been talked about before but its good to talk about it again.

I’m a writer. Well, I like to think of myself as one and that means quite a bit of time sitting at my desk - I’m sure you can all relate to that in some degree or another - and the unfortunate consequences, as I’m finding out, are the dreaded Writer’s Bottom, Writer’s Tummy and Writer’s big fat podgy bits! I admit, that personally, it’s probably a combination of lack of exercise, eating too much junk food and sitting at my laptop too much that’s causing me to be aware of my Writer’s bottom and it’s starting to annoying me slightly. I’ve started going to kickboxing and I go for a walk when I can. Plus I’ve started to eat more fresh fruit and less junk food. For crying out loud, I haven’t had chocolate in ages!! But I’m always on the look out for some advice.

So this week I’m asking everyone how do you stop it? What is your exercise routine to stop the dreaded Writer’s Bottom? Or are you a lucky devil who doesn’t get bothered by Writer’s Bottom?

Just share what you’re comfortable with. :o)

18 comments:

JJ Beattie said...

Hi again Emily.

Oh yes, writers' body in my case! I have just started a gym habit - it's not quite a habit yet - because it's just got too bad.

I'm keen to see if the extra energy and sharper mind (apparently) help to make me a more efficient/better/more industrious writer.

HelenMHunt said...

I'm hopeless at taking exercise, but when I was ill last year I had to totally change my eating habits and cut out dairy, red meat and alcohol. That seems to be keeping it at bay for the moment.

Like JJ, I often wonder whether exercise would give me extra energy and a sharper mind ... but not enough to actually do anything about it.

sheepish said...

Firstly sorry for my recent absence from Coffee mornings, work being done on the house has kept me away from my laptop. I probably have the only laptop that is tied to one place!!!!!
As for writers bottom, if only! I don't think I am spending enough time anywhere close to my desk at the moment. I do however run 4 times a week and cycle 2/3 times a week and when the weather warms up I swim as well, so I am reasonably fit. And when I run I do often get ideas for my writing and it makes me feel good so I can't imagine not running.
I do believe though that if you are going to succeed with any sort of excercise you have to enjoy it otherwise you won't stick at it.
And don't overdo it JJ!!!!!!

Chris Stovell said...

I'm a runner too and like Sheepish find that it's brilliant for helping me work through knots in the plot. Just good for feeling balanced generally. I've also started skipping on days when I'm pushed for time - it's fiendish but does wonders for Writer's Kimono Arms... what do you mean, none of the rest of you have them?

Debs said...

My writer's bottom was reined in when I gave up chocolate, cakes, biscuits, crisps for a few months. To be honest the only exercise I get is walking the dog.

My best incentive for keeping my 'wb' in order is a big party this summer that I'm hosting for my mother who's coming over with countless friends from various countries. All she had to do was mention photos and incredibly I felt the need to exercise and cut out the junk food.

Karen said...

Come rain or shine, deadline or no deadline, I march Molly-dog round the fields at the back of our house for at least half an hour every day, which helps.

It also frees up the old brain which is a bonus, and I often get writing ideas as I go. If I'm going to exercise it has to be something I enjoy, that doesn't actually FEEL like exercise!

Flowerpot said...

Good post! I can thoroughly recommend having a Mollie. My dog needs exercising at least twice a day and I have never yet managed to tire her out! I agree with Chris that it really helps sort out writing problems (and others, too) but you have to enjoy it. Having a dog makes exercise fun and sociable and so life is more fun.

Helen said...

I've started running too. Fantastic way for me to get fit as I don't have to travel and can start as soon as I step out my front door. Which, as I have a little 'un, helps with time restraints. After all I would rather be writing when I get a few minutes rather than pounding around the sheep field. It does give me a sharper mind though and creates enegry for the day ahead (I go at 7am).

So full of enthusiam for running am I that I wrote an article all about it on the Powder Room Graffiti website.

Ellie said...

I'm another runner! Gosh, there are a lot of us. I've only been running again since Christmas (I had to stop a couple of years ago after I badly sprained my ankle in a Bridget Jones-style treadmill catastrophe, and it has taken a while to get my confidence up again). Possibly foolishly, I've signed up to do a 10k in September with some girls from work. To keep myself motivated, I track my runs on www.runkeeper.com - it's amazing the difference having a chart makes!

Captain Black said...

Right, listen up: throw away those diet pills and fad diet books, it's all bull$hit. Your weight is like a bank account, there are deposits and withdrawals. To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you eat. It's that simple.

You can either obsess, like many seem to, about the reduction of intake aspect; or you can, like me, focus on the calorie burning aspect. For me the choice was simple: a life of dieting, failure and misery or some exercise and eating and drinking what I like.

In April 2007 I restarted running - yes, I'm afraid there's yet another runner in out midst. Since then I have lost 20 kg (44 lbs) in weight. Anyone who's met me will testify that I like eating and drinking, and in these last three years I've hardly changed that at all.

My grand total so far is 2,693 km, which I think works out as an average of 2.4 km per day. Of course, you don't have to do anything as "extreme" as running for exercise. As I said before, simply burning more energy than you absorb will do the trick.

I apologise for the slightly ranting/arrogant tone of this comment, but it's a pet hate of mine. It annoys me when people get conned by fad diets and other such mumbo-jumbo.

And can you tell that I've recently read Bad Science by Ben Goldacre?

Helen said...

Captain Black I'm right with you there. As many of you know I love baking, I love cooking and I'm not going to give any of that up. Because to me it is one of life's pleasures. Which is why I've started running (which is also become a life pleasure).

See I *can* have my cake and eat it. Fnar ;)

Denise said...

Great post and one I'm thinking about a lot at the moment. My writer's bottom tends to get worse in the winter when I don't get out cycling or walking much. Too much sitting (though sadly from being at work rather than industrious writing!) gave me 2 slipped discs a couple of months ago. That really focuses the mind on how to get more exercise! I've not been allowed to do much till now, but am about to join a gym again. I've used them on and off for years but I think fear of my bad back returning will keep me there in the future.

I didn't do anything to hurt my back, it just happened and apparently that's very common. You've been warned! Apparently it's all about strong core muscles - I'm sure mine are under there somewhere...

Rowan Coleman said...

I just have a writers bottom, that's it.

Sylvia Phoenix said...

I also do a bit of running but not as much as I should. I like to play a game of badminton too when I get the chance, but that hasn't happened for a long time. This evening I'm going to allow myself a couple of glasses of red wine and hang the consequences.

Luckily I don't eat much chocolate so my writer's bottom is under control. Just.

CC Devine said...

Hello Emily! Sorry I missed your great post last week.

I agree with many of you that exercise can give you the opportunity to reflect on where your wip is going and figure things out. I am rubbish and inconsistent with exercise but incorporate walking into my daily commute so do get a bit in without 'noticing' it.

Well done Captain and those of you who have been managing the food/health balance well. I agree with you in principal but find that for many (women only?) the relationship with food can be an emotional one so logic and knowledge about sensible output/input may not always be sufficient when it comes to what we put in our mouths or our attitudes to exercise.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Good topic Emily ... writer's bum is an occupational hazard (it's the proximity to the kitchen :) Daily dog walk used to do it, but we had to leave our lovely hound in the uk :( Perhaps time to join the runners ... have your read Murakami 'What I talk about when I talk about running' BTW?

Jen said...

Hi! I just found your blog thanks to Miss Talli Roland!

I have to say that thanks to my active day job I haven't been subjected to writer's bottom but I better watch out when it because something far more serious, this could be something that I fall into and I don't know what I would do!!! I'd need to get up and go for a bike ride...

AKAmamma said...
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