100 Ways To Combat Writer’s Bottom: An Interview with Jane Wenham-Jones

Jane Wenham-Jones is the author of one of my all-time favorite “how to” writing books, Wannabe a Writer? And since I started writing full-time, my arse has been expanding at a rate that’s in direct proportion to the amount of time I’ve been spending sitting on it. So when I heard that Jane had published a new e-book, 100 Ways To Fight The Flab: The Wannabe Guide to a Better Bottom, it was like all my calorific Christmases had come together, minus the associated post-Christmas binge guilt.


Today she’s stopping by to tell us how we can all avoid the dreaded Writer’s Bottom. Welcome back to Catherine, Caffeinated, Jane!

Tell us about your experience with Writer’s Bottom, the tragic and devastating condition that led you to write this book.

WELL… First of all, I would like to make it clear that I coined the term—in a hundred years, when it is a recognised medical condition I would like to be remembered as the woman who identified this debilitating syndrome. Actually I don’t feel my own bottom is in too bad a shape (cos I follow my own tips, natch!) but I certainly have had plenty of experience of putting on weight when I have been writing a book. You get to the end of the day, wrung out and emotionally exhausted, feeling as if you’ve run a marathon but of course you haven’t. You’ve been sat on your backside, and probably eating all sorts while you’re at it!

Aside from doing a Hemingway and write standing up, what can writers, generally speaking, do to avoid this? (If anything!)

Follow my tips of course. Eat a chilli a day. Eat dark chocolate. Go for a brisk walk before bed. It’s all in the book…

What are you thoughts on “magic” underwear: yes/no/several constricting layers of it at all times?

Spanx work miracles. No wonder Sara Blakely is now worth a billion dollars.

Is there anything we can do that will both increase our word count and enable us to eat as many crisps (chips, American friends) as we want? Or is that just a pipe dream?

Type sitting on an inflatable exercise ball—you’ll have abs of iron.

Please give us the three tips from 100 Ways To Fight The Flab: The Wannabe Guide to a Better Bottom that will a) instantly transform us into skeletal versions of our former selves and b) ensure that we drop what we’re doing and go straight to Amazon to buy the book.

Here are three tips chosen at random:

Think thin

There is a lot to be said for the power of positive thinking. Have you noticed how skinny people are always twitching about and never sit still? Tell yourself you are a thin person too and start fidgeting now. Walk rapidly instead of waddling along like a fatty, throw the kids’ crusts to the birds instead of hoovering them up (thinnies disdain leftovers) stand tall, think slimline and practise an irritating laugh and trilling: Sometimes you know, I forget to eat altogether…


Cut the carbs

There is no doubt about it, however much you may be 9clinging onto that packet of custard creams, that this works. Eat no rice, potatoes, bread, cakes, pasta etc and you will lose weight. If you don’t drink alcohol either it will fall off. Also, the benefit of the high protein approach – lots of meat, fish, eggs, cheese – with salad or vegetables, is that if you do it properly you won’t feel hungry either. (Bored and deprived maybe but certainly not starving). In fact, after a while, as you rediscover your hip bones and note just the one chin looking back at you from the mirror, you may find you really feel quite energised and jolly. I think it’s the smug feeling of virtue that cheers me up! Opponents of this plan, usually to be identified by the plate of chips in their hands, will whine on about heart disease and cholesterol levels but really they’re just feeling bitter about the lack of biscuits. Useful for a quick fix when you’ve got two weeks to get into the dress you haven’t done up since 2006.

Cut the fat

Doing this is much, much worse. You are condemning yourself to a dreary existence of dry toast, flavourless leaves, bad-temper and hunger (or was that just me?). Yes, a multi-million pound fortune may have been built on the premise that if you give up butter you’ll get thinner legs, but if you’re that desperate to lose ten pounds it is probably less painful to cut a leg off.

Another reason to buy the book is that we are running a FAB competition with it—to win six nights here—which is a wonderful, gorgeous place. More details and full rules can be found on my blog. Get your entries in before April 26th!

(‘Before and after’ pictures and grateful testimonials also especially welcome.)

Now that you’ve written (hugely entertaining!) guides to writing books, selling books and not expanding like a rubber dingy that’s had its cord pulled while you do those things, what’s next for my favourite advice-giver?

I am thinking of some other hundred-tips books…. 🙂 But my agent is getting very fierce about my writing another novel— so have to get a few chapters of that under my belt first. Prime Time—my last one—has just been shortlisted for the Romantic Comedy category of the RoNas which is very exciting.

Richard and Judy are presenting the awards and I was already down to compere (have done this for last two years). So at present all my energies are directed into sticking to every tip in the book so I can fit into the new frock which was only available in a size too small…. 🙂

Thanks so much, Jane!

Find 100 Ways To Fight The Flab: The Wannabe Guide To A Better Bottom on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and other good e-book stores. Visit Jane’s website here or follow her on Twitter here

15 thoughts on “100 Ways To Combat Writer’s Bottom: An Interview with Jane Wenham-Jones

  1. Danielle says:

    Just from what she has said in your interview, this book sounds like a breath of fresh air. Cutting carbs is only possible if you allow yourself to eat fats. So many people just dont know this! Off to buy the ebook now 🙂

  2. GrADABOUTsteph says:

    Great to know I’m not alone in this phenomenon – its a new unpleasant discovery for me, who since graduating and being unemployed has been fantastically productive on the laptop but of course – ALL OF A SUDDEN – my jeans are tighter and my tummy is definitely sticking out more. Just today bought some new running shoes so this book will be a great companion to make ‘light’ of the situation…. 🙂

  3. karlgdnr says:

    I’m definitely buying this! She’s got such a down to Earth, honest approach. We want to be thin and we don’t want to be deprived. I’ve read so many books that take health to the EXTREME above all else. I read one about only eating alkaline that was ridiculous. Off to buy it now! Thanks for sharing

  4. janewj says:

    Thanks all for your comments – thrilled some of you are planning on getting the book and thanks again Catherine for having me on your blog. Hope your trip went well jxx

  5. janewj says:

    Reblogged this on Jane Wenham-Jones and commented:
    Very pleased to have been interviewed by the lovely Catherine. She is hilarious. (And knows a bit about a bit too! Have a look and enjoy.) Only just remembered one can do this reblogging lark. So here goes…

    • trendyhammer says:

      I haven’t Blogged for a while now. I DO SO NEED to get ‘back into the swing of things though.

      In relation to ‘Writers’ – or perhaps Typists’ Bottom’, – I have a bum the size of which, a Beached Whale would struggle to believe lol. This is due, almost certainly due to the fact that I ADORE my Food.

      The MAIN reason however, for what I describe as N.B.S (Numb Bum Syndrome), is my being a Wheelchair User since birth, due to Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus.

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