Seriously? Yes. Aprons.
Recently I read an article about these seemingly mundane clothing items. Within three sentences the author managed to mesmerize me by pointing out that no other article of clothing has ever served so many purposes in the history of mankind. The apron has been used to protect clothing, wipe the tears of a frightened child, frantically swipe dust from furniture when unannounced company knocks, and hold both useless objects or priceless treasures in its pockets.
The article catapulted me back to the days when Aunt Dovie and Mom donned waist aprons and filled their pockets with clothespins before hanging out linens. That article, however, did more than stir up memories of fabric flapping in the wind. It reminded me that we, as writers, wear aprons.
They may be invisible, but they are present, and they are imperative.
We slip snippets of ideas into their deep pockets. On days when the words won’t come, and we need comfort, we wrap those apron strings tight to remind us that everything will be alright. We rub our hands down the front when excited about a new idea, and most importantly—we keep our aprons handy when it’s time to dust off a manuscript, cinch in our apron strings, and begin work on a difficult piece.
An author’s apron. Mine has a smudge of chocolate on the front. A few tears (happy and sad) are cradled in the cloth of my apron. Ideas hatched in the middle of the night are tucked into bottomless pockets as are words…exquisite and specific words that make my story sizzle with intrigue, or whisk my reader to a place they never expected to visit that day.
Give some thought to what your writing apron looks like. Customize it. You may have more than one, and it may, or may not, be invisible. I own several that are functional…and real. I purchased a fancy little number from a vintage shop several years ago, It’s lacy, girlie, and completely FUN!
One of my favorite aprons is a groovy little tie-dyed beauty that snuggles up next to a nylon apron covered with silk-screened pictures of books. Yet another has little monsters balancing books on their heads. All hang by a flower clip in my office at school. I nab them for book chats and activities in my middle school library.
My writing apron is real, but can only be caressed, crumpled, and seen by me. Not another soul can view its beauty. I’m honored to own this piece of apparel because it holds my ideas and shelters them until the exact moment I need to pluck them from the correct pocket.
The next time you prepare to write, tie on your author’s apron, sit down, and empty those pockets of their treasures. It’s okay if you giggle. That’s the effect our profession has on us when we fully grasp an idea. It means we understand that just as physical aprons have a purpose, so do our writers’ aprons.
To find out more about me, my life, and my debut cozy mystery, check out my website. I’ll welcome you with open arms…and a spiffy apron. www.debbiearcher.com
About the Author:
Debbie writes fiction for both adults and middle grade audiences. Her work is often sprinkled with humor. She holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science and a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education. She lives in a nestled-up part of Arkansas with her incredibly patient husband and a band of rescue animals.
Her professional afflictions include ALA, International Reading Association, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, ACFW, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America.
Among her favorite authors are Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo, Melody Carlson, Christine Lynxwiler, Tara Johnson, Talya Tate Boerner, Karen Kingsbury, Sheila Turnage, Jan Karon, and of course Dr. Seuss.
Her compass verse is Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”