Dressing Up to Write

What I’m about to talk about will not work for everyone.  Indeed, some people will actually be hindered by what I’m about to describe, because every writer is different, and the boon of one might be the bane of another.  That being said, this might work for you, so don’t knock it until you try it.

This is along the idea of “fake it until you make it.” Some people have the ability to fake a smile even though they’re not feeling particularly happy, and eventually, they become happy.  It’s like that.

When getting ready to write, dress up like you’re going to work.

Again, this isn’t going to work for everyone, and depending on your profession, you might have to tailor this advice to something else.  If you’re a fireman, for example, it might be a little bit too uncomfortable trying to write while wearing bulky protection.

This works for me, though.  As a programmer, I can pretty much wear whatever I want, but I choose to put on slacks and a button up shirt when I go in to the office, and that increases my productivity.  By putting on clothing which I associate with productivity and professionalism, I become more productive, and more professional.

So it is with my writing.  If I want writing to be my job, then I need to approach it with the same respect that I give my full time job.  When I do, it helps my self-image.  I stop feeling as much like a hobbyist with confidence issues, and I become the author I want to be.

I know that part of the reason it works for me is related to my time in the Air Force.  Putting on a uniform meant something to me, and I still have a great deal of respect for the uniform, and for those that are willing to put one on every day.

Self-image is important when it comes to writing.  Some of us have enough problems hushing the inner editor and chasing off demons of fear and doubt.  When I dress up to go to Starbucks, I put on armor that helps deflect some of those self inflicted barbs.

Some people are going to work better in a bathrobe, and if that’s what works for you, then keep doing what you’re doing.  But if you’re like me, and you sometimes have trouble being productive, this could be just the thing to try.  I’ve settled on business casual so far, but I might bust out the suit some time and see how that feels.  It might be just the thing.

One thought on “Dressing Up to Write

  1. I dress for certain things that others might not. For instance, and I know this is silly, I dress better when I am going on a long walk than if I am just walking on the property where I live. I realize it isn’t necessary but as I have been walking much more over the past year I have noticed that plenty of folks choose the ripped jeans, faded t-shirt and sandals. I choose nice, comfortable, cool capris mostly since it has been so warm this year. I wear shoes AND socks. For me it harkens back to when I ran track in school. In our practice clothes we didn’t do nearly as well as when we wore our uniforms. Or perhaps we always had an opponent and that is why we did better. I don’t know. But I do know that I can knock out a 3 mile walk when I am dressed for it and it feels like nothing.

    You just might be on to something, And if it works for you, I say more power to you.

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