I was once asked this during a school visit. It made me laugh. But I told the girl, yes, I do! I probably shouldn’t admit this to you guys because it sounds a little strange, but I have a writing uniform. On writing days I put on my uniform first thing in the morning – it’s like a statement of intent. OK, I guess I’ll have to describe it now, won’t I? Because like me, I know you’re curious about other people, a trait that unites most writers. My uniform is the opposite of glamorous. The main criteria - comfort, followed closely by warmth. We live in a Georgian house with leaky windows and I write mainly upstairs in my bedroom at a tiny wooden desk that I used to do my homework at as a child. I’ve written all my books at this desk; I guess it’s my good luck desk at this stage.
Last week I treated myself to a new writer’s uniform, but it’s basically exactly the same kit: light weight fleece hoody (yes, I have been known to put the hood up when I’m writing in the winter and my ears get cold) over a long sleeved T-shirt. My new fleece is dark pink – a very cheery colour. And then I have various black or navy tracksuit bottoms and yoga trousers – I vary these depending on the weather. Told you it wasn’t very glam! And no, I’m not posting a photo – that would be a step too far.
I also have to take off my watch before writing – it bothers my wrist. And any rings or bracelets. And I throw a rug over my legs – even in the middle of the summer I get cold sitting there for hours at my desk, and again, it’s comforting.
Every writer has their own ‘thing’ that gets them to the page. For some it’s coffee, for others it’s music. I know several of my friends have their own version of a writer’s uniform but I won’t out them! A few years ago I bought a good office chair and it was a great investment. It’s solid and heavy and makes me feel supported. And that’s pretty much it – uniform, Sony laptop, notebook, dictionary, pens, desk, chair – that’s all I need.
Have you found your own writerly comforts yet? I hope so. And do share if you also have a writing uniform!
Yours in writing,