Freelancers are subject to many stereotypes. For example, most non-freelancing people feel that we have all the time in the world or that we spend a lot of time at Starbucks.
Ok, well, maybe that second one is true.
My favorite stereotype is the one about pajamas. I’m sure you see it all the time too. Ads that are focused towards folks who work at home inevitably mention jammies. Our friends and neighbors direct envy in our direction because they think we don’t have to get out of our plaid flannels every day. I don’t know how this slovenly image of unshowered, be-jammied writers got started, but I absolutely don’t work in my pajamas each day.
I get that this whole “work in your pajamas” thing is supposed to portray some comfortable lifestyle, but to me it conveys unwashed and lazy. I mean, if you saw one of your neighbors in her pajamas day in and day out, you wouldn’t think “brilliant writer,” you’d be calling out “take a bath, lazybones” from across the fence.
Being in my pajamas is very comfortable but I don’t want to be that comfortable when I’m workng. For me to get in the proper frame of mind I have to be cleaned, clothed and ready to face the day. Pajamas = lounging in front of the TV while brushing the chip crumbs from your chest. Dressed = right frame of mind for work.
All joking aside, working at home does allow us a certain amount of comfort. For example, we can work in sweats or jeans rather than the requisite business casual. I like to separate work from relaxation, though. When you’re home all day, it can be difficult to get into that business frame of mind. It’s not easy for that to happen if I’m wearing a Snuggy and fuzzy bunny slippers.
I want to be taken seriously as a writer and blogger. That’s not going to happen if I don’t take my own business seriously. Getting changed everyday makes me feel like a professional, and that’s half the battle.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make a Starbucks run.