We had a hard winter, especially in its latter half. We got flu, dealt with more snowstorms than we could count, tried to entertain two very bored little boys. Despite my best intentions – I’d started Lent wanting to watch what I ate, finish my novella, and figure out whether I could freelance full-time – I pigged out, quit fiction, and struggled to stay afloat with my freelance assignments.
Turnabout came in March with a halfway decent tax refund and my discovery of the TLC show “What Not to Wear.” I have never cared about fashion, but the combination of women (often mothers) like me and the witty repartee of hosts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly hooked me. As I watched them tell these women that they deserved to look good because they deserved to feel good, I realized that I, too, needed a makeover.
Gah! Did I just write that?? Seriously?? Yes, I did. And yet I couldn’t figure out how to obtain one. I wasn’t about to try to get on the show (having no time to do so, and not sure all three of my boys could survive several days without me). In desperation, feeling frumpy and style-less in my sweats, I turned to the Internet. I researched skin tone and body types, learning what colors and styles would look good on me and why. (The latter bit of information is reinforced on WNTW: maximize the womanly assets!) Armed with this information, I hit the stores. Newport News has always been a favorite of mine, and I found some new spring-summer things at JC Penney and even on eBay.
I got my new clothes last week, and I must say: Damn, I look good. Even without the makeup piece (I’m hoping for a free makeover from RaisingMaine.com, but am considering going to a Macy’s counter), I’m really excited by the amount of color in my wardrobe and the ways I’ve learned to add life to old favorites. And there’s been another benefit: I’m back writing.
See, looking good does indeed have me feeling good. I feel like I’m developing my own style, which I’ve never really had before (having relied on others to buy clothes for me, which were often hit or miss in terms of flattery, and largely dependent on sales). And that amazing boost of confidence has made me believe more in myself as a writer. That I am capable of finding color and fit and style, and that I can translate it into words on the page.
Even though I made a potentially confidence-busting decision this past week – to shelve the novel I’d been marketing to agents, and start over with a different project – indulging my inner girly girl has overshadowed whatever crisis I may have felt, and I’m moving forward with the horror novella I started in February. It’s a different genre with a different theme, and I think it might actually go somewhere.
We’ll see. Meanwhile, the weather is warming up, and I’ve got girly clothes to wear.