Not every writer finds it stimulating to work from a cafe or airport terminal. Granted, sometimes we are forced to work in those areas. However, for a lot of us, our days spent being creative are at home. And though this post is geared towards writers, there is a growing number of people working from home in the modern age. This is great! Autonomy sparks creativity and prompts us to find what works for us and what doesn’t, but we can develop some unhealthy habits that don’t promote productivity- namely, not getting dressed.
About ten years ago, one of my brothers lost his job. He ended up having to sell his house, his boat, and completely uproot from his life in another state to move back in with mom and dad at the age of 37. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but luckily he had a place to return home to.
Everyday he was on the computer applying for jobs or working on a resume. Granted, he was also filling some of his time with video games, but he was working towards goals everyday. Our oldest brother called often to check in on him and one day he called me. At first I thought that something was wrong. After all, I am little sis three times over. It’s rare that any of my brothers call me for advice or help.
My oldest brother said to me, “I just need to make sure he is doing okay. Being unemployed can really destroy your sense of self and moving back in with mom and dad can’t be easy. He was always independent. I need to know that he’s getting dressed everyday and shaving his face. That can make a world of difference in his mentality.”
I didn’t know it at the time, but my oldest brother had a very good point. He, too, had gone several months unemployed but of his own volition. He had a plan, our other sibling did not.
After all of these years, I haven’t forgotten that conversation. Often times when I take a day to work from home, whether for my actual day job or for my writing, I think about what he said to me. I don’t worry about shaving my face, but I do get dressed. I don’t do my hair or put on a full face of makeup. Yet I do put actual jeans on as opposed to staying in my sweatpants. I do brush my teeth, wash my face and put on deodorant. It’s the little things that we do everyday- the little things that we take for granted- that help us feel human and civilized.
Some of you may be thinking, “But the whole point on taking a day to work from home is so I wouldn’t have to put pants on!” From personal experience I can tell you that while that’s nice, it loses its charm. The longer I lounge around in sweats, the longer I’m in “relax” mode instead of “get writing done” mode.
Now, maybe you’re writing a story about a guy stuck in the jungle for a month and you really want to experience not showering, etc. That’s on you! I beg of you to shower before you come into contact with other living souls. However, when writing from home everyday, do yourself a favor. Do those little things you would do before heading into the office. Brush your teeth. Wash your face. And get dressed! After all, writing is a job. Treat it like one.
Regina Bethory is a fiction author. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s in Directing and Play Writing and from Newport News Shipbuilding’s Apprentice School as a Test Electrician. She enjoys spending her time learning new things, seeking new experiences and de-cluttering. When she is not writing, she can often be found in comic book stores, sushi restaurants, and small town cafes.