Why Are You Dressed Up?
That’s what Dylan, the seven-year old, asked me as she entered the house. “Are we going somewhere?”
I glanced down at my attire and wondered what she thought of my other clothes. I wasn’t wearing a tie or even shoes, for that matter, but I was “dressed up.” I always wear button down dress shirts, so that wasn’t it. The only difference in what I had on was that I was wearing slacks instead of jeans. Even my dress socks were normal!
“No, we’re not going anywhere. I have to finish a manuscript.”
She nodded. “Oh, well, you look nice.” And she ran off to her room to torture her Barbies.
“Thanks,” I said after her disappearing back. “I think.”
One of the statements I hear when people find out I’m a writer is “Wow, you must love being able to work in your pajamas all day. If it was me, I’d probably work naked.” My head fills with images I don’t need and I wonder if they’ve ever sat their bare ass in a leather chair for hours on end. It’s not comfortable. It’s sweaty and sticky and stop trying to figure out how I know that.
Yesterday I talked about my routines on here as a writer and I left this one out in order to have something to talk about today. One of my routines has to do with how I dress. For twenty-five years I worked in the food industry stuck wearing a uniform which came with a hat and a name tag. It was to help give employees a professional clean look as well as uniformity. It also helped push a company mindset upon them. When we donned that costume - I mean, uniform - we were company people there to work.
It was the mindset that I wanted. I love writing and while I have always been able to write anywhere at any time I wanted to take a business approach to what I was doing. After all, this is my business now and I want to succeed. Therefore, I decided writing in my boxers was out. That didn’t give me a business mindset, but more like I should be on my couch watching a NCIS marathon while eating popcorn and drinking beer. While that’s relaxing, it’s not going to help me accomplish my quota of words every day.
Since this is no longer a part time gig, but my livelihood, I decided it was time to dress the part as well. If I get it into my noggin that I’m going to work, I might actually work and part of that routine is getting dressed. Since I am not the type to go to Wal-Mart in my pajamas nevertheless the office, my day starts with getting dressed for work. Besides, I don’t wear pajamas, but that’s a post for another time.
Even though I don’t go as far as a tie, I try to avoid my weekend casual wear as that will put me into more of a relaxed mode than I want. I dress as if I’m going into an actual office and it helps me remain professional in my writing regiment. It may only be wearing slacks instead of jeans, but it works for me. Of course, I still wear my black fedora whether it matches my outfit or not, but hey, who will see me?
Writers sometimes need those little quirks to help them keep doing what they are doing. Artists and musicians are often the same way. This week I’ve shared some of mine. What are some of yours?
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