One of my mother’s (many) wisdoms was: “Choose your vocation according to the outfit.” As silly as that sounds, I think she had a point. One of the (many) reasons I love writing is that I can go to work in my PJs.
Publishing, however: that’s another story. When my first novel was published, and before my first public reading, I went to the Clinique counter. I needed to know more about the mysterious art of make-up. Even now, part of my emotional prepping for a reading involves a number of appointments with the “beauty” professionals. It’s just part of the process, along with printing out the talk and practicing it in front of a mirror. Henry Fonda, I’ve read, threw up before every public event, so I don’t feel too bad about my own anxieties.
I’m still reading The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters—which I’m appreciating more and more (more on that later). I’m finding that novel writers and screenwriters share much of the same process, but for one thing: screenwriters, as a rule, do not give readings or go on tour. (They do have to go to meetings, however.) The promotion part of publishing is something I get anxious thinking about, but I invariably love doing it.
Meanwhile, there is a bit of thought to be given to the outfit. PJs simply won’t do.