Sunday, February 2, 2014

What are you wearing?

When I was working full time and going to night school, I had a writing routine. After work and dinner, I would go into the computer room, put on my writing sweater, and get to work.

For me, putting on the sweater represented a change in my day, and signaled that it was time to write. That sweater worked like putting on a uniform for a job, or the blue clogs I wear to cut the grass in the summer. Wearing it helped prepare me mentally for the task at hand, signaling that it was time to change gears and get to work.

I have a video about my sweater because I taped myself talking about it for a class project. I remember putting on the sweater for my imaginary audience like I was some sort of Mr. Rogers. It’s not a cardigan, but a pullover that was a bit too big and featured gray, black, and white geometric squares woven into some sort of plaid. It may or may not have been wool, but I do remember that it was warm and a little scratchy so I always wore a shirt underneath. I loved that sweater. I bought it many years ago from the clearance rack at The Gap for about $8. I credit that sweater for helping me through graduate school.

I wrote three of my favorite stories while wearing that sweater: “The Poet,” “Masterpiece,” and “The Hitch.” I think I should try to find that sweater. Maybe it will help me get back in the habit of writing regularly.

What color is your writing sweater? Or do you have some other piece of clothing or good luck charm that gets you in the chair and writing?

Write soon, (wearing whatever works for you!)


  1. Mary--I have a brown overshirt/jacket that I wear most mornings and evenings---before and after work. I don't know if it's my "writing shirt" but during the fall and winter, when we keep our thermostat set a bit low, I always have it on to keep warm.

    I know that in "Writing Down the Bones" it's suggested writers put on a special hat...or a special pair of glasses, or whatever works to bring on the good mojo.

    Yes--dig up that sweater. And let us know what the results are once you put it on.

  2. I do my best writing in my pink velour robe. But a writing sweater sounds like a good reason to go shopping.

  3. I really don't unless you count reading glasses, which aren't reserved specifically for writing. Maybe I need to come up with some sort of writing totem. I sure need to do something to develop better writing habits!

    Critter Alley

  4. I need to look for that sweater!