Dress for the Job and More?

Posted by Mary Marvella | 4:44 PM | 8 comments »

I've read articles and attended workshops that advise us to dress for the job we want. Since some multi-published authors and people who work from home work in their sweats and /or pajamas, maybe we can use something else to help us pretend to be what we want or to have what we want.

I do recommend changing into clothes that mean it's time to write or work, even if you put on cleaner sweats. You can still be comfortable. Even combing hair and adding a touch of lip gloss can make a woman feel more ready to face the world.

I'm stealing parts of this from a workshop I attended at RWA National in Dallas last summer.

Why not do the positive things published authors and other professionals do?

Professionals sign contracts and we do want to do that! Why not compose contracts for the sales we want to make? You could fill in the blanks for the dream contract you want or you could sign that contract with yourself. Look at that contract and think about how much you want to replace it with a real one!

Professionals get paid! We can pay ourselves. Yes we can! Write yourself checks, even of you print them yourself. Sign them with the name of the publisher you want. ( Not to be cashed, of course) Pay yourself with things you want that make you feel better. You could make coupons and certificates for things you want. BUT you must pay yourself for working.

Make up book covers for the books you want to sell and display them. Yes, put the titles and your pen name and your dream publisher. If you are good with graphics be as fancy as you want.

People who aren't writers might create awards they want!

Give yourself realistic deadlines, because professionals in any field work on deadlines.

Make a schedule, even a loose one. I'm not into schedules but I really need to set time for writing on new things, editing old things and just plain old writing for fun.

Spend time with people who do what you do. People in industry spend time with people in that industry in professional situations. We can do that with chapter meetings, conferences, critique groups, and on line. (I spend way too much time on the last one, but it helps keep me up on trends and in touch with professionals I might not otherwise meet in person.

We can socialize with others in our field, see the above. Each of these can allow us to socialize with people who understand our challenges and successes.

Professionals research and we must do that! Professional magazines, Writer's Digest and Romance Writers Report, provide tons of information about the industry.

What can you suggest?


  1. Nightingale // January 28, 2008 at 9:18 PM  

    Good advice. I repeat myself when I repeat myself by saying that writing is a solitary pursuit. When my muse goes mute, I take a shower, light a candle, fluff my hair and change into a romantic blouse with fluffy sleeves.

    Not really but the candle and feeling good about yourself and especially MUSIC can jumpstart a muse.

    Mary's advise also harkens to the book/movie/etc. The Secret. As far as I can tell, the Secret is to be happy and believe.

    Kathryn Falk is/has written a book about The Secret that would be worth a look-see.

  2. Nightingale // January 28, 2008 at 9:18 PM  

    Well now I wish I could spell. Mary's advise should be, all together now--ADVICE!

  3. Mary Marvella // January 28, 2008 at 10:00 PM  

    Thanks, Linda!

  4. Cinthia Hamer // January 29, 2008 at 7:22 AM  

    Good suggestions, Mary.

    I'm not one to go to all the lengths you've suggested, but I do feel that my writing goes better when I sit in "my" space...that is, in the area I've designated as my office. I can NOT turn the internet on or I won't get any work done--too much temptation!

    And no successful author ever got published without a strong belief in themselves.

    If you don't have that, no one else will believe in you and no matter what you do, you're not going to sell that book.

  5. Mona Risk // January 29, 2008 at 10:31 AM  

    Good blog Mary. I like to write at the same place in comfortable clothes with a glass of water beside me and a cup of coffee. I have special easy to wear sweat pants for writing time.

  6. Misc. Muse // January 29, 2008 at 10:33 AM  

    I've been thinking of going to my favorite resturant and drinking coffee while I write. At home I am so distracted. It will probably be different when I get my office set up. DS hasn't left home yet. i am really not wanting to hurry him out the door. I know at home- I will think of all the things that need cleaned and sorted.

  7. Beth Trissel // January 31, 2008 at 9:07 AM  

    Caught me, Mary. Still in pj's!
    will ponder advice in clean(er) sweats. :)

  8. Helen Scott Taylor // January 31, 2008 at 6:04 PM  

    Interesting ideas, Mary. I can see how they work to move one into a professional frame of mind. I remember reading Tony Robins bought a hugely expensive suit long before he made much money so he dressed like the successful man he aimed to be.