Clothes and Modes

So my decision to scale back the dayjob?

It was a good one. The next two months are looming ahead a particularly dense forest. We’ll get through just fine – we know all the wolves by name – there’s just a lot of brambles waiting to snag on the way.

But that’s pretty par for the course. I’m hunkering down; I can feel the reptilian part of my brain kicking in and triaging things.

(If I’m slow to respond to things, my apologies.)

And I’m relying on old hacks. Cooking in batches to eat through the week; working on the train (that’s where I’m writing this post!); prioritising choir, so I have some decompression and social time.

And then there’s the clothing.

This is a weird one. We’ve all seen the cartoons about freelancers, yes? Pyjama-clad, food-spattered, wild-haired?

I can’t do it. Not because I take any particular interest in clothing, but because I use it to shift between modes. The dayjob is business casual – for me, that’s usually dress pants and a button-up or cardigan. In an ideal world, I’d add oxfords, but the gravel roads eat them.

So that works through the day. And then the moment I get home…


It’s the writer outfit of tee-shirt and jeans. Physically changing what I’m wearing helps transition my brain from one sphere of my life to the other. It’s a bit doing mask work in theatre. Very subtly, mostly unconsciously, the face beneath the mask starts to assume the same expression.

The inside starts to mimic the outside. That’s really the heart of it. That’s why I fully dress and wear makeup even when I know I’ll be home all day writing. It’s a ritual; prepping the outside preps the inside as well.

Of course – as with everything in creative fields – it totally depends on the individual. If writing in pyjamas works for you, rock on with your bad self.

For me, I just need a way to navigate the different areas of my life. Especially right now, with so many threads interweaving! (At the fundraiser for CANTICLE, I went with my convention wear: jeans and blazer, tee underneath. It got me into the right headspace – and I felt like me.)

What about you? What are your  sartorial preferences?


What I’m Listening To This Week

I’ve been drafting hard and fast, so I’m living with a lot of long instrumental pieces. Mostly early twentieth century. I’ve quite enjoyed exploring the works of Rimsky-Korsakov, a Russian composer. This one is a new favourite for obvious reasons. 😊

Posted on May 21, 2018, in Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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