A lower tiered employee with designs on a promotion may not have to copy that style, but in many cases dressing in less formal attire is an outward expression of inward motivation.
Athletes do the same thing. When trying to earn their spot on a roster, they'll train harder, buy new equipment, and work with mentors, all in an effort to impress the coach and show their dedication. A future on the team, and millions of dollars in contracts and endorsements, depends on it.
|Not an author.|
Now I'm not sure about you, but I have no idea what a writer looks like. So when I say to dress like a writer, I'm not implying you go out and imitate the fashion choices of Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. But you can dress in a way that makes you feel like a writer, whether it be jeans and a t-shirt or something a tad classier.
More to the point, envision yourself at your first book signing, or book reading, and dress like that. You might be surprised by the psychological benefits to being "in costume," as it were, for your profession of choice, even if you're all alone with a laptop and your thoughts.
It'll Take More Than Just Good Looks
This is more than just an outward expression, though. Like the athlete example mentioned above, this is about building an identity, developing your skills, and creating a support network.
If you are seriously considering writing as a career, treat it like any other career choice. Proactively make yourself into what it is you want to become. Don't let it just happen, but do it on purpose!
Build a résumé of skills and talents - Professionals call this a CV, or Curriculum Vitae. It's Latin for "course of life." Where have you been? What have you done? How does it apply to where you're going? Think of it like a résumé, only more personal. There are limitless free sources online demonstrating how to create a good CV. Keep it updated as you grow, because you'll need it when that publishing deal comes along.
|Not an author.|
Enter contests to gain notoriety & win awards - There's a bazillion writing, short story, and essay contests available in newspapers, trade journals, at community colleges, and online. Seek out the ones that match your WIP and enter. If you win, or get some form of special recognition, it's an impressive addition to your CV. Not only does it add to your credibility, but it shows you have confidence in your work. Hint: Agents and publishers like this. Many book deals come about as a result of contest awards, both directly and indirectly.
Network with others & develop references - Every good job applicant is ready to produce references upon request. These can be professional or personal, but they have to be people who can speak to your abilities, talents, ethics, and personality. Writing is no exception. A critique group will make you a stronger writer, hands down. Get in one, or start one! Join SCBWI and communicate with other members. Let people know who you are and what you do. It's true what they say about "birds of a feather." And on the topic of cliché statements, don't forget that it really is all about who you know. With so many publishers and agents not accepting unsolicited material, being referred or introduced via mutual acquaintances is now the norm.
|Is likely an author.|
© Susan Kuklin
Treat your goals like they're inevitable - One of my favorite quotes is from the classic video game Star Control II. In it, you play a space-faring captain seeking to save the galaxy from an alien threat. Along the way, you regularly encounter a merchant to trade with. His spaceship is named "Inevitably Successful In All Circumstances." I love this, and have made it my personal mantra for the last 18 years. No matter what you do, or who you meet, or how many times you're told otherwise, persist in your goals like they're going to happen. It's not a matter of "if." It's a matter of "when." This might require some patience, and shrugging off people who give bad advice (like the ones who tell you to quit). But confidence breeds success, and nothing establishes confidence like knowing something is going to happen. It's like Faith, but better!
In conclusion, you will never publish anything unless you engage the industry. To do that, you have to be, well, engaging! Just as money has no value until it is spent, your book has no value until someone wants to read it. Give them a reason to. Dress like a writer. Talk like a writer. Learn like a writer. Live like a writer. Be a writer... and, sooner or later, you will be!