Friday, September 18, 2009

What are you wearing?

Note to self: When trying to teach a two-year-old the alphabet, remember that "the letter u" can accidentally be translated into "the letter me".

On my Rhode Island Romance Writers loop, we're discussing what we wear when we write. (Well...we're romance writers. What do YOU think we wear?)  Stereotypically, romance writers wear slinky robes with boas and mules with feathers. But the most commonly worn writing-attire for RI Romance Writers is anything with an elastic waistband. And thick socks. (Feather boa optional.)

Flannel pajamas appear to be winning.

As for me, I don't have any particular outfit that makes my writing more prolific. Instead, I wear my Muse Hat.  When I'm writing romantic comedy, it's a great big purple hat with a green ribbon band that trails down the back. There are cherries on the brim. When I'm writing my paranomedy (huh?) it's a black velvet hat with a zebra band and a tall, straight, black feather. And when I'm working on non-fiction, it's a fedora with a placard tucked in the band (does it say "Press"? I--I think it does!)

My Muse Hats enable me to write anywhere, at any time of the day or night. As long as I have a place to sit and a moment to think. I can switch them as necessary. And the best part is--they're imaginary!

Awwww. I'm sorry. I bet you were wishing you could see a photo. Heh. Sorry. Nope. You'll just have to imagine them, too. Which is a good thing. You see, by wearing an imaginary hat, it's always with me. I never misplace it. I never have to worry that the baby's pulled off the cherries or the dog has eaten them.
I don't have to fret that the velvet pile is getting wet or the feather crushed. Better, I can turn the hat from purple to red and the cherries to a parakeet at a moment's notice.

I think all writers should endeavor to find their own Muse hats. Having special writing clothes is a dangerous practice. It makes it too convenient to blame your clothing for your lack of output. And while I certainly applaud the theory of putting yourself in the right psychological space to get your writing done, I fear that using physical items to do so is another way to throw up a hurdle. We writers excel at at fabricating excuses and reasons not to do the very thing we profess we must do or die.**
So tell me--what do your Muse Hats look like?

**Apparently this morning, I'm wearing my Jane Austen hat. I'm sorry.  I watched Sense and Sensibility-again--before going to sleep last night. I fear I needs must write in a convoluted fashion else I should swoon. Oh, Willoughby...

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