Saturday, March 17, 2012

Confession of a Freelance Writer

A cold, blustery wind blew from the west, sneaking its way through the crevices in my hundred year old farmhouse. Earlier that day I’d bustled the children off to school and hubby off to work. A rare day with no call from the school to substitute and no place to go until that evening, I was home alone. With just the dog and a steaming cup of coffee to keep me company and keep me warm, I snuggled on the couch with my laptop and wrote. And wrote some more.

The blowing wind and the hum of my computer masked the crunch of tires on gravel. Suddenly the hair on the dog’s back went up and then came a thundering knock on the back door. My heart hammered with panic and I shushed the dog, remaining completely still. He’ll go away if he thinks no one is home. There was no way I was answering that door. I was still in my pajamas…and it was 2 o’clock. In. The. Afternoon.
There’s a dirty little confession for you. Sometimes when I’m home alone and the day looms gray and drab and my calendar is blessedly empty, I get involved in my writing and just don’t bother to change into something more professional. It appears I’m not the only one.

At the same time that clothing companies are catering to teenagers and adults who like to wear their jammies every day, all day long, some opponents are raising an outcry. Some rail against the public wearing of pajamas calling it everything from slovenly (saying if you’re dressed for bed you won’t be at your best) to a health hazard (because people usually don’t shower before they put on nightclothes and bacterial infections could lead to death—seriously, this is what someone argued!). They wonder what will become of our nation if we permit people to wear their pj's in public. Will underwear be acceptable next? Maybe we’ll become so lazy as to not wear clothing at all? I think not. (And for the record, when my kids were little and we had “Pajama Day”, they always took a bath that night and changed into clean jammers. Take that, Commissioner Williams!)

Michael Williams (see health hazard reference above), a Louisiana parish commissioner ,even went so far as to negate the wearing of nightclothes in public by proposing a law. (At this writing it has been put to bed for the time-being.) How would you like that job added to your list of duties if you were a Louisiana police officer? Upholding the peace, responding to emergencies, risking your life, and barring the wearing of bedclothes.

I won’t be sporting my sleepwear to the grocery, the bank, or my child’s sporting event. But to say that people who don’t change out of their nightshirts into neckties are lazy or unproductive? To this I say, “Hogwash!” If I can get an entire day’s worth of work or writing done, not dirty more laundry, and stay comfy in my flannels that’s a win-win-win. The only thing I can’t do is answer the door to the UPS guy.

Nikki Studebaker Barcus


  1. Our delivery guy usually waits until I'm also sporting a mud mask.
    Wagging Tales

  2. You mean writers don't observe the latest fashions when they work? Romance writers aren't dressed up in luxurious evening gowns as they get on the computers? Adventure novelists don't put on their fedora? Sci-fi writers leave their vulcan ears off when composing their space tales?


  3. If you can write in your PJs, more power to you. For myself, I need to get dressed in the same business casual I used to wear to work in Chicago. If I don't act like I'm going to work, I won't. Well, I may go down the hall to my office, but I won't be as productive.

  4. Our dog is always home so she signs for the UPS guy :-)

    I have taken to writing on the laptop in our "mom-van" while waiting for the kids. As I am fumbling with the screen while in the driver's seat I have honked off total strangers. I just pretend I don't see them trying to figure out who I am and why I honked the horn!

  5. Nikki, I'm right there with you. Why waste precious writing time primping? Write on, I say! Write on!

  6. Yay, Nikki! Waistbands stunt our creativity.