You shouldn’t be wearing PJs when you write.
I know. You have decided based off that sentence that I am wrong and probably one of those people who asks for Caesar salads without the dressing. (What can I say? I really like plain lettuce.)
After all, isn’t writing in pajamas the ultimate freelancing dream? I too, when given the prompt “What do you want to be when you grow up and why?” as a fourth-grader with braces and an obsession with horse dresses scribbled in my illegible handwriting that I would like to be a writer, because I could stay home in my pajamas all day.
But writing in the same clothes you woke up with isn’t nearly as dreamy as you’d think. Let’s start with that word- “Dreamy.” Because that’s what you do in your pajamas. You dream, sleep, and snore. You associate these garments of clothing with the epitome of laziness.
When you go to school or to an office job, you get changed into a different set of clothing than the one that you went to bed in. This is partially because you don’t want to be smelly. (That’s smart. Keep doing that.) But there’s deeper reasoning than that. You start wearing clothing that says something about you to the outside world. They’re clothes that you associate with work and focus.
By wearing clothes that you sleep and relax in, you’re telling yourself that any work you do while wearing them isn’t serious.
Instead, you’ll procrastinate. You’ll do the dishes. You’ll open up Buzzfeed and take a quiz on what type of horse hoof you are according to your Zodiac sign.
In order to be a productive writer, you need to get dressed in the morning. That doesn’t mean you are condemned to a life of navy pant-suits and closed toe shoes. You can put on clothes that say “I’m a writer!”
If you got up from reading this blog, walked over to your closet, scanned the hangers, and came back worried that there are no clothes that scream “WRITER!” in there, Don’t worry. I’ve got you.
You see, I too was once a pajama writer. Even worse, I was once a pajama liver. Most of the time, I wore sweatshirts, sweatpants, and graphic t-shirts that advertised bands I no longer liked. I saw fashion as a waste of time.
And then I discovered literary fashion. A style that makes you look like a book lover. When I started dressing to express who I really was, I became much more confident. I felt like a writer. And because of that, I wrote more. Getting dressed became my first creative act of the day.
But wait. Creating a wardrobe from scratch? It sounds overwhelming. Expensive. You don’t know where to start. You don’t have the time to start. You’ve got novels and poems and plays to write, after all!
That’s why I’m launching my project Writing With Style. I’ll be blogging about different bookish elements of clothing, what makes them literary, how to wear them, and how to find them- cheaply. I’ve already done the work. All you have left to do is what writer’s do (second) best: Read!