I've noticed something about myself lately. I'm weird. I'm also pretty sure that won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me (or reads me, or hears of me, or just spots me from across the road).
I've been off from teaching at my prac school this week because I am infectious with the dreaded H1N1. The first part of my week was wasted on recovering from a bad reaction to Tamiflu. Once I was functional again (well as functional as I'm ever gonna be), I finished up making costumes for the school play. Then I continued my mission to disinfect everything and everyone in my home. Now I have some time to sit down and write.
I've been looking forward to this time for days, I planned my day and placed it proudly in my 'to do' list. So, after ticking off all the other chores (some school tasks, planning, uni, etc), I took a nice hot bath and got into my 'writing' outfit. What? you don't have a writing outfit?
Sure, when I am in my trackies I can scribble a few pages of vague ideas, and when I am dressed for work I can usually outline and plan chapters well. But a nice pair of casual jeans or cords and a linen shirt is my 'look' that I have always associated with writing, and it helps (see I'm doing it now). By undertaking this ritual, I get myself to a place where I feel like a writer, this increases my confidence in my own ability (yes, of course I'm a writer - for goodness sakes look at my outfit!).
If you are feeling slack and just not 'into' the words at the moment, try it. Use your imagination section of your noodle and picture in your mind what you think a writer might look like. Maybe you need fake glasses? A pipe? A cardigan? A pink Barbara Cartland suit? A Jane Austin dress (especially suitable if you're writing a period comedy romance, and you're a guy)? Maybe slip into something sexy to write a steamy scene.
'The clothes maketh the man', an old proverb with various assumed origins, speaks a truth. It's not that you are what you wear, but that you can decide to become the image you cloak yourself in, even if it is just for a little while.