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Posts tagged ‘Jonathan Franzen’

Scientific experiments indicate a “writer’s uniform” could make you more effective

So much about writing is a mind game.

Successful writers have routines that alert the subconscious to bring forth the muse. It may be a specific Montblanc pen, Moleskine notebook, extra-hot cafe latte… or a certain piece of clothing.

Plenty of professions have uniforms that, in the mind of the wearers, may set a mood or tone with them and the people around them. Think: doctors and nurses and their patients.

It just may be that you go into writing mode more deeply if you have a “writing uniform.”

Maybe it’s a special jacket, a certain scarf you always wear, or a particular t-shirt that has meaning. (Some writers have been known to wear cozy pajamas and bunny slippers, while others wore nothing at all). But I digress.

For entertaining and informative insight about a concept called “enclothed cognition,” watch this 2-minute video, which as it turns out is also a great example of an effective book trailer for You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourselfby David McRaney.

You’ll learn how a particular uniform or piece of clothing can have symbolic meaning and how the psychological experience of wearing it could positively impact your writing practice.

What would your writing uniform be?

In a related post about routines, read How award-winning author Jonathan Franzen writes.

For more information about David McRaney, visit his blog.

How award-winning author Jonathan Franzen writes

Have you noticed lately that the world has gotten louder? I often feel overwhelmed by music and noise almost everywhere I go, from supermarkets and hair salons, to coffee shops and restaurants. And it’s not just audible noise. Information overload in general from so many sources cuts away at my focus. I confess that I have a love-hate relationship with technology.

So when I saw an interview with writer Jonathan Franzen, author of “The Corrections” (fiction winner of the 2001 National Book Award) and Freedom, I identified with his perspective about writing. He says his goal when he approaches a project is to produce a book that can stand up to the noisy culture – a book that will grab readers from all the distractions that bombard them.

To do that work, Franzen isolates himself. That means no Internet or phone at his office. Read more