Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Writing in the buff . . .

No, not me. I am sitting here fully dressed and have a photo to prove it. However, I read an article in one of the daily papers the other day about an up and coming young writer who prefers to write while completely naked. He finds that the absence of clothes clears his mind so that he can focus wholly on his characters.

Now apart from the fact that he lives in California and I live in the north west of England where the climate definitely isn’t conducive to running around in the buff, it would have the opposite effect on me. I would be so worried in case someone called or the window cleaners turned up that I would never be able to write a word! But it got me thinking about our daily rituals, about what makes us feel ready to start the day or face some new obstacle. One very famous actor always claimed that he couldn’t face an opening night if he wasn’t wearing his lucky underpants. He just knew that it would be a disaster if he didn’t have them on.

Whilst I don’t have lucky pants, I do have a ritual that helps me start each day and gets me settled so I can enjoy my work. I have to shower, dress and put on my lipstick. And as for my earrings – well, I definitely can’t write without popping them into my ears. Only when all that is done and everywhere is clean and tidy can I sit down and begin. I am certainly not someone who can write wearing my pyjamas. And I couldn’t manage to write lying in bed, but that’s just me, my quirks, and I expect a lot of you have a very different routine.

So how do you begin your day? Fully dressed or stark naked? Maybe it’s somewhere in between. Do tell. I promise to keep your secrets!




17 thoughts on “Writing in the buff . . .”

  1. In the buff? Not for me, either. Quite apart from the fact that I have teenagers living at home, I also have a husband who would think the nudity was an open invitation to create one of our own scenes!
    No. I like a clean and tidy desk, my Yankee Candle burning, a mug of tea and no shoes on, but definitely socks. See. Not even my feet get naked!

    1. Louisa, I like your style, especially if there are biscuits to accompany that mug of tea (tea without a biscuit/slice of cake is way too wet!) Glad I am not the only one who prefers to be well covered up.

  2. Hello Jennifer, waving from Australia where in the middle of summer it would be bliss to have no clothes – especially seeing as I live on a farm and have a very noisy cattle dog to tell me if someone is coming down the driveway. My husband would be thrilled. Sadly my ritual is Earl Grey tea for that hour of writing before work and fluffy coffee for other times. But loved your post and I do LOVE earrings. xxFi

    1. Hi, Fi! How handy to have a dog who will warn you of approaching visitors. Maybe you should try the naked approach and let us know how you get on!
      I only had my ears pierced about 4 years ago and absolutely love being able to wear all these gorgeous earrings. I have amassed an amazing amount of them in a very short time 🙂 Maybe I am an earing addict? Hmm, something to ponder on.

  3. Why does it NOT surprise me that this was an admission from a man, Sue? 🙂

    I often write in my pyjamas. I’ve been known to still be in them at 5 in the afternoon. I’m impressed you put on make up – I dont even brush my hair! But buck naked? Nuh uh. Not me….that’s just…. I can’t even…..

    1. Amy, maybe it is more a male thing. I don’t think the opposite sex have as many hang-ups about their bodies as we women do. Mind you some of them probably need to be a little more . . .ehem. . . circumspect!
      So you’re a pyjama girl for writing. I wish I could but I have this horribly fussy nature. Everything has to be just so or I can’t concentrate. I am trying to re-educate myself – and failing miserably!

  4. No naked here. I work in my clothes or PJs. It is more about where I work than what I wear. I do like to have things in their place and my day organized before I start putting words on the page.

    1. Susan, so we are kindred spirits in a lot of respects. I like to be organized too and definitely fully clothed. I wonder if I would feel differently if I lived somewhere hot? No, I really can’t see it happening :>

  5. In the buff? Not a chance in the world in Scotland! I don’t really have any rituals because I have to just grab the chance wherever I can.

    1. Hi Scarlet! No Scottish temperatures aren’t exactly conducive to being naked in or out of doors. It’s great that you can settle down to write wherever and whenever you can. I think the older I get the more finicky I become. Or that’s what I am telling myself. I was probably always like this if I am honest!

  6. Ha ha!!! Naked writing? Surely not?? My God, I’d scare the neighbours and the cats!

    I always get my exercise out of the way, shower, wear clothes (!) and make a coffee. I do all my work in my study because that way it feels like a job. I do my AAs and read-throughs in the lounge because somehow it makes a difference- not sure why.

    1. Louisa, your approach sounds wonderfully organised. I used to have a study but since I moved home, I now write sitting at my dining room table. It’s very handy for the kettle . . .

  7. Starkers? No way, though like some others I have a man who’d be more than happy and he’d call it research for my books!!! I like to get the trivial housekeeping chores out of the way and then nothing stops me until I’ve done the word count or editing goals I’ve set for the day. Some days I put on makeup, others I don’t. Doesn’t really matter either way as not many people drop by unexpectedly out here, but I do like to feel I’ve gone to work.

    1. Sue, sounds as though your other half is the perfect help for research purposes! As for make up, I put it on for me not in case anyone calls. I just don’t feel ready to face the day without my lipstick etc. One of my little rituals.

    1. Hi Fiona, good thinking to have someone to attend to visitors if you’re comfortable in your pyjamas. As I live on my own, it isn’t an option, although maybe I could train my dog to do the honours? It’s a thought but I still can’t see myself settling down if I’m not dressed.

  8. I can’t even imagine writing naked. I’d be too afraid the house would catch on fire or something, and I’d have to run out sans clothes (which is even worse than sans makeup). I write in my PJs from time to time, but invariably the doorbell will ring and I’ll have to dash around trying to find something to slip on.

    Besides, I often drink coffee while writing and somehow I would end up spilling boiling liquid on myself, if I ever tried to write in the buff…which I wouldn’t.

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