We're delighted to have Shelley Munroe here today--even if she is standing over us with a whip and a bullhorn. Um, perhaps I'd better let her explain:

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.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Park your vehicle in one central place and walk to different shops/destinations to complete your chores.
Walk your children to school instead of driving them.
Go for a walk after dinner. Take your children and husband with you and make it into family time.
Explore some of the National and State parks during weekends and holidays.
Walk barefoot on the beach.
Take the dog for a walk.
Do the housework – not my personal favorite, but I’m just laying out all the options!
Go dancing or put on some music at home and shake your groove thing.
Use that gym membership.
Drag the old bike out of storage.
Take up a new sport.
Try gardening – grow your own flowers and vegetables.
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?

Liz Jasper here again, and for the record, Shelley, I like exercise (I also like chocolate, a lot, so you do the math). A little about Shelley:

Shelley Munroe 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--it came out yesterday! Congrats, Shelley, from all of us here at the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers!--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. You can visit Shelley's website at http://www.shelleymunro.com/


  1. Heather Hiestand // April 18, 2008 at 5:56 PM  

    Excellent advice! I've definitely been feeling the effects of not following said advice the past six months. Must get going again!

  2. Shelley Munro // April 18, 2008 at 6:12 PM  

    Heather - this bottom spread thing creeps up on a person. You've got to be vigilant!

    Liz - I love chocolate. sigh - it's a weakness.

  3. Beth Trissel // April 18, 2008 at 10:55 PM  

    What a fun post. And so true. Your new story sounds lovely too. And I just rhymed.
    Thanks for visiting the Fuzzies! We are honored.

  4. Jenyfer Matthews // April 19, 2008 at 2:13 AM  

    Shelley - great post and so so true. I have no choice but to do many of the things you suggest since we don't own a car and live in a fourth floor walk up!! But I am still trying to make time to go for a swim 3x a week. It's a great time for letting my thoughts drift and sometimes I come up with a gem :)

  5. Shelley Munro // April 19, 2008 at 5:10 PM  

    Beth - thanks!

    Jenyfer - a fourth floor walk up sounds as if it's very good exercise. It must be difficult when it comes to carting home groceries/shopping.

    Liz - thanks so much for inviting me to visit. I've had fun. :)

  6. Mary Marvella // April 20, 2008 at 3:16 AM  

    Thanks, Shelley! Your advice is practical and doable. My horizons have spread sooooo much! Lov e the cover. YUM!