Thursday, October 02, 2008


I spent some time in Publix grocery yesterday chilling in one of the four chairs lined in front of the pharmacy. While waiting for my medication to be filled, I couldn’t help but notice the hodgepodge of shoppers who shuffled past me with half-filled carts or toddlers in tow.

Almost every woman wore a T-shirt and sweats or an outfit they must have deemed suitable to use as grocery-wear. At this time of day, 1pm, I didn’t see any snappy suits or Sunday-morning dresses—mostly tired moms browsing the baby food aisles.

Now I’m not a great dresser (ask my dear daughter) but when I go to town, I try to put on something I wouldn’t wear to run the mile in. Granted, I know very few people here but I never know when I might bump into a member of my church or a former client and I don’t want them to discover my real identity—a slob.

You know where I’m going with this.

My same thoughts apply when I submit a manuscript to an editor. I don’t want to send in something I quickly pulled together from the back of my mind—something that needs a grammar check or a stronger opening.

When I submit a piece, I never know who will be reading it just like I never know who I might meet in public, so why not send my very best?

I get only one chance to make a good impression with an editor. I don’t want him seeing my high-waisted mommy jeans from the eighties or my MSC sweatshirt.

I want him to see the little black dress I wore on a cruise.

Or maybe the silver necklace my husband surprised me with for my daughter’s wedding.

First impressions are sometimes lasting.


Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

This is good, Terri, both the word for writing and wardrobe! Shame on us if we don't put in a little more effort to present ourselves well!

Rachel Eggum Cinader said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Eggum Cinader said...

Hi Terri,

Okay. I'll comb my hair and change into clean pj bottoms before I go to Wal-Mart this morning!
Love your blog!!
How come you're not on facebook?

Joanne said...

I've noticed that lately too, wardrobe issues. I think it says alot, socially. In writing too. I'll take the lbd any day!

Janna Qualman said...

I concur! Even the scriptures tell us to makes ourselves presentable... not in that wording, of course. If I can find the reference I'll stop by again.

Great post! I'm a people watcher, too, and it's so fascinating to get a glimpse into someone's life that way.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Oh no! Does this mean I have to throw out my beloved collection of scrubs???? (So cheap, so lovely, so comfy!) LOL. But for writing, it's a good idea to make the best first impression, or at least one that's memorable! :o)

AnooCre8ion said...

This is so important but so often overlooked.

I guess it comes down to setting some personal goals that no matter the area of our lives we will do our best.

More effort, more satisfaction.


Barbara J. Kirby Davis said...

Society is constantly in a state of evolution. I wonder what will be accepted in fifty years? Can you just imagine?

MichaƩle said...

The other moms at school chide me for showing up each morning freshly showered, make up on and decently dressed. It's just my thing. I like to look prepared for my day.

The writing kind of goes along with that, as does my medical transcription.

It feels good to put your best forward!!!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

As always you write a terrific blog! I look forward to them every day.

Melissa Marsh said...

I admit, there are times when I've just thrown on a t-shirt and shorts to go to Wal-mart (mostly because I LOATHE the whole experience of going to Wal-Mart) and not caring too much about how I look. But you're right - impressions are important, especially in our writing!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Yup - we editors can tell when a writer has taken the time to: read the guidelines, make a reasonable effort to 'edit' his/her work, to actually Care about the place they are submitting to and not just "slamming" a bunch of places "just to be published."

Although, we do forgive a lot - like typos and grammar mistakes and the like, for we know those things just happen--even to editors who are also writers! So, even dressy casual is okay sometimes *laugh*....

Cheryl said...

Plus, when you dress a little better, making a bit of an effort, you certainly feel better about yourself! When you feel better about yourself, you do your best all day. Just my two cents! Cher

Slendarella said...

I always notice moms in their jammies, dropping their kids off at school. Man, my mom always had on nice clothes and fresh lipstick. I try to do the same for my kid. I always notice that the moms that aren't dressed yet, look haggared and upset. Yuck! slendie

Kasie West said...

Wait, writers leave the house?? Hmmm, I should try that sometime, give my computer a little rest. I'll make sure I dress up for you when I do, Terri. LOL

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

If my getting published is based on my propensity for shorts and a t-shirt, I'm in trouble! I know...but at 42, I am also very comfortable in my skin. There's got to be a balance in there somewhere.