Dress the part so you can (maybe) act the part

 

Writers are rare birds. We like to separate ourselves from the rest of the flock when we do our work.  Solitude is our natural inclination.

We also like to be comfortable. So, so very comfortable.

When I was in college, I could only write if I was wearing my “writing shirt” – a grubby, hole-filled, but incredibly soft and heavy shirt. It kept me warm. It anchored me – a security blanket across my shoulders. It wasn’t meant for others to see, it was only meant for me.

These days I don’t have the luxury of wearing “comfortable” (read – not appropriate for public viewing) clothing. My office is on the first floor and it’s me who has to get up to answer the door. I’m there when the kids come home from school and work.

I don’t wear pajamas. I don’t wear sweats and I’ve long lost that beautiful (to me anyway) writing shirt.

That doesn’t mean I’m not comfortable, of course I am. Discomfort takes away from creativity.

But it does mean that I am a little more put together than I was in earlier writing days.

And guess what? My writing is a little more put together as well.

Co-incidence? Maturity? Experience? Who knows.

But here’s a suggestion. If you have a  comfortable uniform that you wear when you write, and you find that your writing may be getting a little sloppy, a little too relaxed – try mixing things up a bit.

Put on a button down shirt.

Wear shoes instead of slippers.

A cardigan instead of a stained sweatshirt.

Even consider upgrading your writing utensils to something a little more polished.

We’ve all heard the advice to “dress for success. In this case”, why not try to dress the part of a successful writer? Updating your outfit may turn out to be nothing. It may not change your writing one bit,  but then again maybe, just maybe it might jump start some creative spark.

You’ll never know until you try.

***

Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.

Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com) She writes about her chickens for GRIT, Backyard Poultry, Chicken Community, and Mother Earth News.

13 thoughts on “Dress the part so you can (maybe) act the part

  1. I love this! I always do the outfit upgrade to write, but I like the idea of upgrading the writing utensils and area as well. 🙂 Great suggestions!

  2. My wife grew up in an eight person home so she is always commenting about my desire or inclination to be fine on my own. I don’t see it as a negative like she does, but I understand her thoughts about it. Sometimes we need the peace and quiet to connect the dots about what we want to write. When I post something I want it to not only be worth the readers time, but worth mine as well. There is enough noise on the internet without me contributing worthless drabble.

    I can write in whatever clothes I have, but I certainly enjoy a music barrier to allow my thoughts to not be interrupted while creating.

  3. Pingback: Dress the part so you can (maybe) act the part | Dar Writes

  4. You inspired me. I am now dressed in ‘adult’ work clothes. We’ll see what happens.
    Thank you for the idea of leveling up. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, and today was the day.
    Best,
    Darlene

  5. I got sucked into Lularoe to rock the whole comfort AND fashionable thing at the same time haha.

    But I’m so with you, just dressing nice makes me feel better about myself, my day, and what I’m doing with it.

    I like to “dress like an artist”, in fun prints and funky outfits, makes me feel the part and it’s a nice creative outlet each day, even when I have monotonous tasks on my schedule. Life is too short to wear boring clothes, right? 😉

  6. In high school, a teacher shared a study with our class that showed that students who dress up for class absorb more information, and that dressing professionally for tests result in higher scores. It was in college, when I had to dress professionally for work some days and not others that I realized that, at least for me, it was spot on advice. There’s something about feeling like you look the part that sets your whole mind into the mood of being productive.

    ….or maybe it’s just that in my frumpy work clothes I wasn’t distracted by anyone wanting to interact with me, but it’s probably the professionalism thing.

  7. Pingback: Dress for Success |

  8. Hahaha, I have the opposite problem. I usually sit down to write after work (day job) in an uncomfortable outfit (complete with painful bra) and struggle to write. Then on weekends when I kick back with my slob clothes, it’s all systems go!

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  12. I loved the idea of us writers being a “Rare breed” can’t say I have ever had the need for special clothing to enable me to write
    Although I do wear casual clothing as normal attire, but if it helps wearing a favorite shirt or whatever – then why not

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