A while ago I wrote a post about the idea of adopting a writing persona and how that might help one become inspired to write. And if not inspired, at least become a person who writes (as opposed to a person who works all day, or who cleans the house, or who cooks dinner, etc). We have costumes for all parts of our lives that help us slip into those roles, so why not the writing role?
When I am at work I definitely wear a costume; it’s usually all black, some portion of which is tailored. This costume is meant to put me in the role of Art Dealer and convey to others that their tens of thousands of dollars should be given to me in exchange for fine art. That is in opposition to the costume I wear when I am, say, cooking dinner after work. The other night that costume was made up of black velour sweat pants a-la Jennifer Lopez circa early 2000s, an oversized purple T-Shirt (complete with permanent coffee stain) that said Des Moines across the chest, topped off by a printed green and white apron with a flounce around the hem. The cooking costume is for my eyes only for obvious reasons, but it is a costume nonetheless that creates a cheerful if mismatched persona, whether real or perceived.
Occasionally, I will put on a pair of expensive shoes that I don’t wear often or a fancy party dress that hasn’t seen a party in years to wear around the house while watching television or sorting through the mail. But I have yet to costume myself while writing. The cooking costume has been known to double as a writing costume, but really I think something more creative and imaginative needs to be donned for such an important task.
This past October I was walking down the street when a dress in the window stopped me cold. I wanted it. I still want it. I took a picture of it that I came across today on my phone and thought, “That is my writing costume!” I think if I wore that dress while writing, I would be inspired enough to write not only 18th century tales of romance that include horse drawn barouches, but modern fables that would utilize iphones or Face Time to move the story along. In that dress I could become something or someone that was not the conservative art dealer, not the mismatched cook, and not even the adorned lover of a lovely man (although I think this dress would be perfect for some real-life bodice ripping). And when I needed to take a break from writing to gather my thoughts I could take a turn around the living room, underskirts swishing with each step, to arrive at the perfect idea for my next chapter.
Maybe I need to inquire as to the availability of the dress. Maybe it would shroud me with a writing persona that would propel me into a colorful and imaginative story. Maybe I am putting off the inevitable writing and work that needs to be done by writing about a dress that might help me write…