I don’t read a lot of blogs. There are many things in this world I want to read, and I do not have time to read them all. The only solution is to try to maintain a level of quality. (I don’t think everyone should work to maintain the level I do, simply because it might mean no one reads my blog anymore.) There are a few things I look for when I start reading a blog before I determine if I am coming back.
The writer needs to have personality. I want more than a picture or a how to. I want to see clever quips, creativity, and mistakes. I’m not reading a blog because the writer is perfect, I read because they are delightfully human.
The writer needs to be passionate. I want to know why they do what they do. I want them sharing because it is important to them, not simply because they will get paid by a business for talking about their stuff. They should believe in what they say.
The writer needs to have a respect for language. No one is perfect. Sometimes a sentence just sounds better when it is grammatically incorrect. However, it only takes a minute to proofread for obvious spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. Take the minute. And never claim to have swag, or call your pictures selfies. Just don’t.
I don’t think these simple rules are too much to ask from bloggers. I’ll read on many different topics, as long as I like the writer. I read other writers. I read crafters. I even read a few style blogs. I don’t have to do everything they do to enjoy what they say.
Lately I have considered skipping the style section of my reading. I know that must surprise you. I am certain that as you read this, you are picturing me sitting at a neat and tidy desk, wearing a stylish and expensive suit. Not a hair is out of place, and my make up is naturally perfect. I know I project the image of an intelligent professional. (Okay, fine, I can hear your laughter.) The truth is, I am currently wearing my pajamas.
Let’s be honest. I stay at home. When my children are at school, I am cleaning, exercising, or sitting in front of my computer. After my children return home, I am helping with homework, cooking dinner, and getting kids ready for bed. I have no reason to dress up. I could wear a suit to do my writing, but the only person around is my dog. Lucy doesn’t care what I wear as long as she gets to sit in my lap occasionally, and her belly rubs are on time. There is no point in wearing a cute dress to scrub a toilet. So I wear sweats. A lot. More than I should.
It’s easy to feel lazy when you are wearing sweats. When the day is spent dressed for a nap, it’s hard to force yourself to work. Dressing for comfort makes it tempting to spend the day doing whatever comforts you, including but not limited to, reading all day, watching full seasons on Netflix, or consuming full batches of brownies.
Instead I have developed a few simple strategies to dress my sweats so that I am comfortable, but I do not feel like a bum.
I know, this should be obvious. Even if you are planning to stay home all day typing at your computer, get clean. You will instantly feel more alive.
If you can’t or are choosing not to shower instantly, do some sort of workout. Nothing makes sweats look useful more than actually breaking a sweat. Use those yoga pants as they were intended. Use your trainers to actually train. Exercise will get your blood moving, give you a chance to think, clear your mind, and make your sweats look intentional. You are no longer dressed like a bum, you are a busy person who found time for their health.
3. Make an effort.
Do your hair, put on make up (you know, if you normally would), add some perfume. Make yourself look like you could go out, as soon as you get dressed. If you feel a little more ready to face other humans, you won’t feel as badly sitting in a dark room hoping you don’t have to see them.
Throw on a scarf, wear earrings. Maybe wear the jacket that matches your pants. Cover your unwashed hair with a cute hat. Add a small touch that makes you feel like you tried, even if you actually got dressed in the dark.
5. Wear a nicer top.
I might be wearing the sweats with the bleach stains and the hole in an awkward place, but when I wear a nicer sweater I feel a little more put together. If your pants are scraggy, your top should be all the nicer to make up for it. Nothing says grown up and serious like a cardigan. It doesn’t seem to work as well to wear a ratty, holey shirt with slacks, but you do you. If that is your style, go with it.
Of course, as I am choosing to wear sweats at home, maybe I don’t care what anyone thinks when they stop by unannounced. But dressing up isn’t about what others think when they come by. Making myself look a little nicer is a way to show myself I am important. If you feel good about yourself in one way, it can spread into other areas of your life. If I feel good as I sit, I will focus more on my writing, and have a better chance of writing something of quality.
Hmmm. Maybe I should change from these pajamas, and try this post again.