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Friday, 28 January 2011

Dress to Impress? What kind of writer are you?

I often fall out of bed and straight onto my laptop. 

Then I begin to write, all tousled haired, sleep lines creasing my face, jim-jams and dressing gown rumbled with sleepy dust still clinging to my eye lashes.

A friend, fellow writer and publicist, is horrified. 'Don't you have standards?' she asks, well, sorts of shouts really.

She is the really, really elegant type of woman who'd rather die than leave her house without makeup, neat hair and styled clothes. So to dress before she writes is essential for her:

'You wouldn't go to the office in your pyjamas, would you?' she asks.

'Well, no, but I'm not at the office. I'm at home.'

She almost interrupts. 'Your writing is your work. If you dress like you're going to work you'll be more productive.'

She has a point. Her desk is tidy, pens in a pen-holder, dictionaries, thesauruses, factual books are all arranged in alphabetical order. Her computer is dust free, and if there is a coffee cup on her desk you can guarantee it has a drink in it. She always practises a minimum of 5,000 words a day and her notebook is always close by (no suddenly sprung ideas on the back of receipts for her!).

Now visualise my desk, or rather, dining room table. I have THREE cups (two from this morning, the second from lunch). Pens are scattered, and I prefer to use on-line dictionaries and thesauruses, so no books as such, but there are a few (un-writing) magazines. I also share my table with today's post, a Darth Vader helmet that I promised to put the batteries in for my son but never got around to, and yesterday's mail.

I sit here in my 'jimmies' and fresh from sleep (not necessary refreshed) and can happily type when all around me is chaos.

I am the sort of mother who will drop her children off at school in her dressing gown and slippers, while praying the car doesn't break down.

My writing isn't organised. I don't write to a word count. Some days it's nothing, other days I can write chapters.

My friend thinks I would get much more done if I treated my writing like a job.

What do you think?

Clutter or unclutter? Other words... slob or toff?

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