Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Sunday, 8 June 2014

SO YOU'RE WRITING - BUT ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?

I'm not talking the chair you're sitting in and if it's the right height and shape for you, or whether your screen is the correct distance away so as not to ruin your peepers, or that the room is warm or cool enough. Or that you have something red in one corner of the room and a leafy plant in the other for good karma and feng shui. I'm talking comfortable in what you are wearing. I find this is as important as all the above. Now, I know some writers work happily all day in their nightwear, but even the thought makes me shiver because I can hear my mother's voice in my head telling me it is slapdash to do so. She never even owned a dressing-gown because - in her opinion - it was only a short step to becoming slovenly and taking to slobbing around the house all day in it (her words). Hmmm. But if that works for you and you're comfortable then that's fine. But I can't get my mother's voice out of my head so although I don't dress as if for a wedding when I'm writing I do bear in mind someone might knock on the door unexpectedly and I wouldn't want to frighten the horses. These days I've embraced M&S jeggings as my working 'uniform'. They are stretch denim, with a deep elasticated waist, no zips or buttons to dig into your flesh as you sit. Depending on the weather I wear them (I have three pairs - faded denim, navy, and black)with a long or a short-sleeved T-shirt,or a tunic of some sort. And what's on my feet? Well, in winter it will be Ugg boots because there is no central heating in this house, and in summer I like to wear sandals.
Ah yes, summer ... and the writing of summery stories. If I'm writing a twenty-something female character then I have to think back quite some way these days to get into her head. A quicker way is to wear a strappy sundress (sans brassiere)because it makes me feel younger and more sassy and as I walk from desk to kitchen to make coffee and back again it can feel quite sexy to have the hem flapping against my calves.
And jewellery. I know some people find it irritating but I like to wear a bangle of some sort when I'm typing even though I rarely wear one when I'm out. A psychiatrist would probably have a field day with me over that one, but I find it's a confidence-boosting sort of thing to do. When I was writing RED IS FOR RUBIES (published recently by Choc Lit)I wore a ruby glass necklace my daughter made for me and a photograph of some very covetable ruby earrings pinned on the wall.
This all sounds very glamorous, does it not? Now then, I can suffer a bit with cold hands (even in summer, alas) so I always keep a pair of fingerless gloves in the top drawer of my desk. My dear sister-in-law knits them for me and because she knows I have a horror of wearing clashing colours I have them in shades to match just about everything! Prma donna? Moi?
So, I'm writing....I'm wearing the faded denim jeggings today and with it I'm wearing a peach and white spot floaty, bum length, tunic. Leather strappy sandals because - oh happy day - the sun is shining. What are you wearing to write in?

11 comments:

  1. Interesting question, Linda. For me it will almost always be tracksuit bottoms (I also go for comfort!) with a short-sleeved tee-shirt in summer and a long-sleeved tee-shirt and fleece(s) in winter. I hadn't thought of trying to wear some of the clothes my character might wear, but maybe I should give it a go. I'm not sure I'd look quite right in shiny lycra running wear but I won't know until try, will I? I feel a shopping trip coming on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I know a short story writer - male - who dresses a woman to write from that pov......he is totally hetero with a wife and children but.....helps him get in the zone, so he says....:)

      Delete
    2. Whoops, that should have read 'dresses AS a woman' ....:)

      Delete
  2. No central heating! Aaargh! I put CH in this house 25 years ago after five chilbainey winters. I'm a wuss.

    I couldn't write in pyjamas or a dressing gown - well, not after nine a.m. Fraid I would feel slovenly, but that's just me. Other than that, I don't get hung up about clothes, although I couldn't wear a bracelet - I even have to take my watch off as it seems to get in the way of those flying fingers...

    But putting on other jewellery that gets me into the mood, now there's a thought. First purchase that sapphire and diamond ring though (and no, a fake wouldn't cut it for me!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah well, we do live down south about a mile from the sea so rarely get frost, or even snow. But I'm getting to the age when I think CH might be quite nice...:) Happy sapphire hunting!

      Delete
  3. I loved this post, Linda. I smiled when you said about your mother speaking in your head. My Mum was the same and I hate this habit of young mums taking their kids to the school in pyjamas. I once saw a young woman getting out of her car and nipping into the post office - in a dressing gown!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good heavens, Anne ......just for a moment I thought you meant the children were taken to school in pyjamas....tee hee! Thank you for popping by to leave a comment - much appreciated.

      Delete
  4. Wow, Linda - I never actually thought about what I wear when I write but maybe I should.
    I like to write with my shoes off, though. Let the psychiatrists loose on that one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bare feet? Gosh, you're brave, Jennifer - I would go into panic mode wondering if a spider would walk across my feet ....which probably tells you all how infrequently I dust my writing room!

      Delete
  5. I love the idea of writing in pyjamas and dressing gown but I never do it - partly because of upbringing and partly because I just know someone would ring the door bell and I'd mortified at having to go to the door 'not properly dressed'. I don't have any special clothing for writing but I rather like your idea of wearing jewellery appropriate to the character.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love being surrounded by photos of people in the era I'm writing about. After reading this, Linda, maybe I should get myself a forties outfit and dress up? There would still be the problem, though, of the doorbell ringing...

    ReplyDelete