Since I’m retired, I find myself writing while wearing my very unglamorous jammies more and more often. At first that made me feel sort of odd because I was used to dressing up for my job as newspaper publisher…and I didn’t want to slip too much and go the Grunge Route.
But then I heard that Stephen King and many of the biggies often write in their pajamas and I began to take a certain professional delight in it…except when the gardener, my Avon lady, or a neighbor drops in unexpectedly. 🙂
Since misery loves company, I decided to ask some other artists what they wear while creating.
Enjoy – Betty Dravis http://www.bettydravis.com
Mark LaFlamme, author and award-winning crime reporter
(Lewiston Journal in Maine)
It’s unfortunate, really. Some of my best story ideas come to me while I’m in the shower. I don’t know how to explain this. Is it the heat? The thrill of rushing water? The joy of nakedness?
No idea. But because I’m always getting inspired in there, I’m always rushing to the keyboard half-dressed. A towel wrapped hastily around the torso (only women can make towels stay there). A pair of sweats pulled on backwards, maybe a robe, possibly a garbage bag.
For better or for worse, I do a lot of my best writing while half naked. The only time this becomes a problem is when I’m so moved by a particularly brilliant piece of writing, I rush outside to tell the world about it. 🙂
Mark – http://www.marklaflamme.com/
Loretta Wheeler, writes under the name of L. Reveaux
Well, let’s see, the fabulous Mz. Dravis has asked me what I’m wearing. That made me blink. 🙂 Never expected that of her. Needless to say, there’s a LOL intended after that remark!
Today, I’m wearing a type of lounge pajamas. They’re actually presentable … something that I can wear and take a stroll out onto the deck in, and not worry about the neighbor’s if they happen to peer over the wall.
That’s an improvement from my other PJ days. On those days I have on my most comfortable PJs, the one’s that yell SEE! SHE’S NOT DRESSED YET! And they wouldn’t be complete without my big fuzzy slippers, if it’s winter.
Once in awhile I’m dressed, but I have to confess, if I know it’s going to be a writing day, I stay in my PJ’s. I’ve written this way for so long, I don’t think my Muse would recognize me without them. That’s as good an excuse as any to stay in them, don’t ya think? 🙂
Loretta – http://www.lorettawheeler.com/
Tony Tarantino, actor, director, screenwriter, composer
My answer may be very dull and boring to your readers but here goes.
Whether I’m writing a screenplay a music score or just practicing my guitar, comfort is the most important thing to me. This also goes for my workouts, whether it be walking or pushing iron.
I always in each of these situations wear sweats…100% cotton sweats. I love the feel of cotton against my skin. I have about twelve pairs of them. At home you would find me in them about ninety percent of the time. I wear one size larger then I am because I like them loose to give me more freedom of movement, plus they keep me warm.
Up here at the altitude I’m at it’s much colder then down in LA.
Ciao – Tony – http://www.tonytarantino.com/
Daniel L. Carter, author/actor/musician
This is an intriguing question Betty. Since I’m a writer, actor and musician I shall give you three answers.
When writing I am a casual guy. I like sweat pants, loose t-shirt, soft socks (no shoes or sneakers) and my headset for listening to my instrumental music to help get me in the right frame of mind for writing which also blocks out distractions.
For learning my lines as an actor it always helps to be in character. So whatever the character would be wearing is what I would try to simulate if possible. For instance, I played Herod the King, so a toga, sandals, golden staff and a metal crown my wife made… Still have that crown. 🙂
For writing or playing music I am usually casual, as well, but for some reason I need to be more dressy. Pants (no jeans), business casual shirt and shoes this time. Weird I know, but there you have it.
Blessings, Dan – http://www.theunwantedtrilogy.com
Susan Kennington, actress, screenwriter, director
Here’s my contribution. What a fun idea.
My best thoughts come to me when I am around water, and also late at night. Running by the massive power and energy of the ocean brings incredible insight and new ideas to my mind, which I quickly write down when I’m back in my car and later transcribe on my computer.
Music also does the same thing. It inspires me in every location, but, it comes to me most often when I am around moving water. (Often in the shower, but you can save that info just for us.) 🙂
I’m usually in comfortable workout clothes -shorts, a tank top and running shoes, and at night, a silky nightie and a fluffy soft robe.
Thanks for including me, Betty. Can’t wait to read about everyone else!
Love Always – Susan – facebook.com/susan.kennington
Wendy Dingwall, author, president/publisher
Canterbury House Publishing
I’ve been known to write in my P.J.’s, especially when I wake up in the middle of the night, or mornings when I’d rather write than put on my work clothes. Mostly, I wear jeans with either t-shirts, or turtle necks and a sweater, because it gets cold here in the North Carolina Mountains.
I also write while traveling, so I might be dressed for conferences, book fairs, even dinner out. Since I have a day job and my writing time is limited, I could be found wearing just about anything as I steal the time to write anywhere I can.
Wendy – facebook.com/wendy.dingwall
Susan Alcott Jardine, author, artist, screenwriter
When Betty Dravis posed the question, my thoughts rushed to “The Red Carpet.” But, I soon came back to earth and out of my fantasy. Obviously, I wouldn’t be wearing Prada while working on a writing project. Too bad.
The question also piqued my memory, flooding my mind with visual images of time, place and action. During the 70’s, while in the WGA “Open Door Writing Program,” my writing partner Marc Havoc and I were collaborating on a screenplay. We would get out and scour parts of L.A., tracing where the lead characters would interact. For these forays, I usually was wearing jeans and tees.
We would often end up at the old Farmers’ Market on Third and Fairfax, with yellow pads in hand, making notes and people watching. Since the title of the screenplay was “Lullabyeland,” one day we ended up going to Forest Lawn Cemetery to see the real “Lullabyeland” where the children were buried. The opening and closing of the story takes place there. For “Lullabyeland” we were honored to receive the WGA Foundation Award, and I remember wearing a pink pantsuit for the daytime festivities.
Again, during the same time frame, Marc and I were also working on a play based on fictional question, what if Tennessee Williams and Carson McCullers had actually lived together while working on a play and novel? For this project, we booked time at the Actors Studio West and literally wrote and blocked out the scenes on their stage. Sometimes, I wore the obligatory jeans and tees and other times, a long hippie rehearsal skirt. The two main characters, shared a small room above a Southern bordello during the 1930’s. And, all of their characters came to life and interacted with them. We were able to see a workshop presentation of “Another Waltz For Miss Teaporten,” with studio actors playing Buddy’s and Morgan’s characters in the play and novel within the play.
Another memory comes to mind. When working on a poetry collection, I was stuck on a poem entitled, “1,000 Days.” I just couldn’t get a hook on it and the idea churned around in my head for several months. Then, one morning while getting ready for work, the entire piece just poured out. I jumped out of the shower and literally took dictation on a yellow legal pad, as “1,000 Days wrote itself. I was wearing a bath towel.
I’ve written while wearing a bathing suit at my apartment pool on Beachwood Drive in Hollywood. The pool was in the back of the complex and surrounded by a block wall. I loved to write on a yellow pad and was working on the beginning of a screenplay” Do You Know Marcus Hanley.” The still afternoon was pierced by the sound of young boys, about ten or twelve years old, having a heated debate in the building courtyard next door. I couldn’t see them because of the block wall, but found their repartee so serious and passionate. Ah-ha! This gave me the idea for the opening, and the three anonymous neighbor boys became the basis for the young boys in the screenplay who act as a Greek Chorus throughout the piece.
During the years, I’ve written in many places, from coffee shops to doctors’ office waiting rooms, on my kitchen table, in a hall closet (turned writer’s room) and never once was I wearing Prada. 🙂
Susan Alcott Jardine – http://www.GreenDoorEditions.com
Kasia Sienkowska, fashion designer, Amazon top reviewer
Ironically enough, before I worked in fashion design I wore a lot of heels. These days you will mostly catch me in Puma’s (sneakers) and flip-flops in the summer or ballet slippers mostly paired with jeans. Comfort is key when I’m doing fittings, fabric shopping and setting up art prints for factories to follow; there is no time for silly dresses although I wish I could dress up like Coco Chanel for work. My work is busy and hectic, it’ not playing with fabrics all day long, there is a lot of math and intricate details that I have to be on top of, so comfort is more important than a super chic outfit that I will be tugging on all day, distracting me.
I love tanks and tee-shirts and loose-fitting layered tops in the spring for that wind to breeze through my and give me a lift on my way to work. I love bundling up in soft and cozy sweaters in the winter and fall; I always have a cropped shrug hanging on my chair for when the AC decides to turn into arctic wind. And I love casual, but with a clean and fresh feeling. It represents me the most accurately at the moment.
At home it’s a whole different story. Most of the time I’m in pajamas and I have a huge collection of silly colors and patterns; no jeans or socks when I’m reading on the couch!
Thanks, Betty, for including me. I am dying to read what the others say.
Kasia Sienkowska: http://www.facebook.com/betty.dravis#!/profile.php?id=731142277&sk=wall