Is Your Butt Shape Related to Your Character and How About We Stop Telling Authors to Get Their Butts in the Chair

Did you know that scientists classified women’s rear-end shapes? Or that people think that butt-shape is linked to character?

Yes. I know! This is terribly important information.  So important that the Black Eyed Peas have sung songs about bottoms.

What you gon’ do with all that junk?
All that junk inside that trunk?
I’ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my hump.
What you gon’ do with all that ass?
All that ass insigh’ jer jeans?
I’m a make, make, make, make you scream
Make you scream, make you scream.
Cos’ of my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump.
My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps.

— “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas

Anyway, scientists have split us female bottom owners (not male bottom owners, of course)  into four basic categories:

  • Round
  • Square
  • Upside down heart
  • Heart

Sigh. So it looks like I need to get a booty-pump. 😉 

And also, people are also saying that your bottom shape tells something about your personality. And I say, “Um…. no.”

A lot of mentors tell authors to just get their butt in the chair and write, which is sort of simplistic and sort of true, but also not how all creative people work.

Some of us (me) don’t need that mantra because I have a big guilt complex about not working when I’m SO lucky to be a writer, but also because I (cough) actually look forward to writing.

But not all writers are me. And those who aren’t? Yelling “PUT YOUR BUTT IN THE CHAIR” like some sort of drill sergeant really doesn’t help.

As author and blogger Gail Gauthier said,

The expression butt-in-chair has come to mean, I think, a strategy that involves simply soldiering on. It’s often seen as a method of working for those who are strong enough that they can just put their shoulder to the grindstone and push. When I see it used, it is often accompanied by a certain amount of judgement addressed toward those who don’t have the natural discipline to simply plow through a project.

Author and teacher J. Robert Lennon wrote just this past April that what he termed “the ass-in-the-chair canard” “…is in fact an insult to almost everyone who has ever struggled with the creative process, and as a teaching tool is liable to do more harm than good. It embraces several dangerous lies: that writer’s block is the result, first and foremost, of laziness; that writing (indeed, any creative pursuit) is like any other form of labor; and that how hard you work on something is directly correlated with how good it is.” As he also says, being able to sit down and work relatively easily without struggle isn’t a moral victory making one writer superior to another. It is simply a method of working.

Gail Gauthier

Telling people they are lazy because they are blocked or not producing really is kind of uncool. Life is more than butts, isn’t it? To be the best authors we can be, we have to be students of nature and people, of interactions, of life and emotions so that we can replicate that on the page.

If your butt is always in the chair, you can’t always do that.

Plus, you run the risk of dead butt syndrome, and nobody wants that.

BUTT IN CHAIR Mushroom Burgers

Mushroom Burgers of BUTT IN CHAIR

Recipe by CarrieCourse: DinnerCuisine: vegetarianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Stuff That Goes In It

  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh mushrooms

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 4 hamburger buns, split

  • Optional: Sliced tomatoes and mayonnaise and lettuce and raw onion and cool condiments like crispy chili

How to Make It

  • Stand up. Shake your fist at all those writing mentors who say, “To write you have to put your butt in the chair.”

    Ha! Like it’s that easy?

    Writing isn’t just about sitting!

    It’s also about nourishment, nourishing the muse, and also your stomach, damn it.

    Let’s make burgers! Where we don’t kill any animals.
  • Find a really large bowl. You can’t do that in front of your computer, can you? Well, you can, but you can’t put the first 9 ingredients into that bowl.
  • Combine all those ingredients. Think about how nice it is to be out of a chair.
  • The whole “butt in chair” thing comes from Mary Heaton Vorse who told author Sinclair Lewis, “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”
  • Feel a little angry at her even though she is dead and was probably cool and stuff. But you can stand and write, too. Or flop down. It isn’t all about the chair, Mary!
  • Take some calming breaths and shape the stuff in the bowl into four 3/4-in.-thick patties.

    Google Mary. Realize she was a novelist and social activist. Feel guilty about thinking ill of her.

    She also wrote creepy things.
  • Find a big and heavy skillet.

    Use those writer wrist muscles to lift the skillet onto the burner.

    Put oil in.

    Turn the burner onto medium.

    Wonder if you can earn money blogging on Medium.

    Decide no.

    Bet Mary made a lot of money.

    Add burgers; cook about 3-4 minutes on each side; they should be a nice light brown color.
  • Put the burgers on buns and add the stuff you want to add.

    Find Mary’s “Sinister Romance” story online. Read it.

    Eat standing up and toast Mary. 🙂


  • This recipe is adapted from Taste of Home
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