Creativity Writing
Charlotte Rains Dixon  

I’m Not Writing, I’m Putting on Make-up

We interrupt finishing the novel to bring you this slightly weird post.

If weird posts offend you, stop reading now.

Yesterday morning as I was getting ready for the day I had thoughts that were directly related to the putting on of make-up.

Now, this may sound like a bit of a stretch to you (hence, the weirdness).  It was to me as I thought it.  But at this point in my life, especially this point, it would be easy to say that I endeavor to link everything in my life to writing.  Actually, this happens naturally, but sometimes the thought process is, well, weird.  And I'm leery of sharing it because  I've read posts seeking to link writing to odd bits of life that come off just sounding labored.

But if you are a writer, such is life.  It seeps into your bones, your living quarters, even the putting on of make-up.

So here goes.

I've been wearing make-up and thus having to put it on, every day of my life for an alarming number of years, back to high school days.  Yes, I know its vain and silly, like pretending my hair is naturally platinum blonde, but I do it anyway.  I do it on weekends, I do it when I know I'm not going anywhere, because, you know, you can never be certain who might turn up on your doorstep unexpectedly and it is important to look good and be wearing full make-up at all times just in case.

This morning, as usual, I put on my make-up.  But I was in a hurry to get to the novel revisions, so I told myself, just slap it on, baby, you can fix it later.

(Am I the only one who talks to myself in the second person?)

So slap it on I did, in order to get to my writing.  And last night when it was time to go out, I
looked in the mirror and thought, hmmm…not great, but not horrible. 
A little more mascara here, a bit of blush there and you'll be looking
better.  And then, how about some lipstick?  Suddenly things are
looking pretty good, presentable even.

I sometimes forget to slap words on the page.  Just get 'em out
there.  Write something, anything.  It does not have to be perfect and
nor will it.  But the act of getting something out of yourself and onto
the page then gives you something to play with.  It gives you a sense
of satisfaction, and it gives you courage to write more.  And when you go back to it, you may think, hmmm…not so bad.  Not great, but I can make it better.

Why, you may ask, was I bothering to put on make-up before getting to work on my novel?

That is the crux of the matter.  Because there's this weird thing that happens.  If I don't get it on first thing in the morning, it never looks right.  There's something about getting make-up on first thing that allows it to meld and soften on my skin.  If I try to put it on later, it always looks garish and harsh.  It is as if the make-up becomes part of me.

So, too, with writing.  If I get to it first thing in the morning, whether I'm writing in my journal, doing a blog post or looking at the pesky novel revisions, my day is set.  The work becomes part of me.  It sets the tone for the day.  I've put writing first because it is the most important thing in my life and somehow that intention colors my whole day.

So there you have it.  Writing and make-up.  Who knew?

0 thoughts on “I’m Not Writing, I’m Putting on Make-up

  1. Charlotte Dixon

    Thanks, Gabby, glad it was helpful and not too weird. I’m very excited that you got your memo station. It looked so cool in the photograph, I am glad it turned out to be good in person, too!

  2. Gabby

    I liked the make-up analogy – it works and it’s not even that weird (to me). It’s something I’ll keep in mind when I’m doing my own writing — it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get it on.

    I also wanted to let you know that I received my Fidato Memo Station from your All Modern contest. Again, many thanks and it looks wonderful on my desk!

  3. Charlotte Dixon

    It is amazing how wonderful it is to free yourself just to get something, anything, on the page. Then when you go back to it you actually have something to work with, as opposed to agonizing over the blank screen.

  4. Amanda

    Thanks for this great post. I’m currently procrastinating on an assignment. I think I’ll go slap something on paper now.

  5. Heather Justesen

    Interesting analogy, and I agree. When I have time to sit and write or edit for a bit in the morning before I have to get out of bed and face real life my day feels better. Maybe just because I got that little bit of work done, so no matter how crazy the rest of the day goes, something got done.

  6. Charlotte Dixon

    It has gotten so that I hate days when I have appointments first thing, it throws me off all day. That is one great benefit of being a free-lance writing–being able to schedule things when it suits me best.

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