The Agonies of Appearance

An admission, to start - I never got the hang of fashion (I can sense you nodding, stop it), which wouldn't normally be a problem, but sometimes a writer has to try to look the part.

It may come as a surprise to hear that I think carefully about how I dress when I'm doing an event, be it a talk, or teaching, or whatever.

And I've come to this conclusion - it's not easy for an author, getting the appearance thing right.

Here's my latest attempt; from my course in novel writing last weekend in Torquay -

torquay simon.jpg

This is the theory behind the facade, for what it's worth -

You've got to show you're serious about the event, hence a degree of smartness. But this is an arty industry, so a degree of Bohemian creative distinctive individualistic dashingness is required.

Which is quite a tricky balance.

My solution tends to be a decent pair of jeans, with a shirt (no tie, naturally - we leave that to the bankers, politicians etc.), that has a bit of colour and flair to it.

It may seem a simple combination, but it took plenty of time to work out, I can assure you. And even now, after a fair few years of doing events, I'm sure I can sometimes sense people looking at me and thinking "Whatever is he wearing...?"

And they may have a point.

Anyhow, that was the thrust of this blog; however much the outfit we authors adopt may look thrown together at the last minute, there is a rationale behind it.

Please, never think being a writer is an easy job. As if the darned words themselves weren't hard enough, there's plenty more to think about, too.