Working Pajamas


I think the first time I heard the perk mentioned was when a writer friend did a week-long workshop with my junior high language arts students. She said, “One of the best things about being a writer is that you can work in your pajamas.” I’ve heard that same perk lauded many times since. 

Sometimes staying in bedclothes seems to just happen. Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award Winner, Phoebe Wahl says in the current SCBWI Bulletin, “There are many days where I don’t get dressed . . . if I’m still in my pajamas at the end of the day, it’s a sign I was too caught up in my work to even notice.

I went to a Highlights workshop that lasted about five days one fall. I never saw one of the attendees for meals, readings, or any activities that she did not have on a pair of flannel pajamas. The weather was cool, and she had them in several different colored plaids, so I assume she was both clean and comfortable. She always had something written to read at group times so I guess the PJs must have worked for her.

Recently, I decided to listen to my writer friends’ voices and ignore Mama’s voice in my head (“You aren’t dressed yet?”) and try a whole day in my favorite soft red robe – a step ahead of pajamas but as close as I could handle. I had visions of someone coming to the door and asking if I was ill, but I never got dressed the whole day. Though no inquisitive neighbors came to the door, I didn’t get as much of my work done as my colleagues had claimed


Not that I dress up. My winter working clothes are sweats, replaced in summer with a t-shirt and shorts and always with socks so my feet are happy, which means I’m ignoring Mama’s voice in my head again. (“Wearing socks without shoes makes them wear out sooner.”) I make myself comfortable but there’s something about donning real clothes that feels like a demarcation of time to go to work. 

To work in pajamas or not in pajamas? I’ll leave my writer friends – and you if you can get by with it – to choose. The whole issue makes me think of one of Mama’s frequent sayings that I do heed often, “Everybody to his own taste said the old man as he kissed the cow.”