Caro is one of my few heroes, so I can’t help toying with the (admittedly facile) notion that I can be like Caro if I start wearing a coat and tie every day.
It might even work. Not because the coat matters. Not because the tie matters. Ritual matters. Any clothing could serve as my daily reminder that there are sentences to write, that there are imaginary people to make real, that there is work to be done.
This brings us to Tin House blog’s “Super Sad True Habits of Highly Effective Writers: Part Two” and the writing wear of essayist Chloe Caldwell:
There’s a mirror above my desk, so sometimes I put on a trucker hat and/or bright lipstick, so I can imagine I’m someone else. It makes me braver.
Therefore, be it resolved that I will sit down to write each day wearing a coat and a tie and a trucker hat and bright lipstick.
* Back when I was a newspaper reporter, KUOW invited me to come on the radio and talk about transit policy. Until I heard my voice played back, I had literally no idea how often I say “you know.” I say it a lot. So I wince for Caro when the NPR transcript shows him using “you know” four times in 76 words, but I also take secret pleasure — OK not secret if I’m blogging about it — that the master and I lean on the same verbal cane.