For quite a while now it has been acceptable, even if not incredibly fashionable, for women to go out in public in their pajama pants. Okay, maybe, acceptable isn't the word I'm looking for there, but it is fairly common, the whole going out in public pajama pants. I don't go a week without seeing a few women in their PJs at the grocery store. I'm sure that schools having frequent PJ days doesn't help this pajama pant trend. At any rate, it's something I've just had to get used to, because... well, it's not illegal or anything (except in the place I grew up. Almost. At least, they're trying to make it illegal there).
I suppose I had grown used to the whole thing. At least, I had until just recently. As I mentioned, I went to this Magic tournament not that long ago and, at the tournament, there were a couple of guys there in pajama pants. I was kind of blown away, because I hadn't ever seen guys out in public in pajama pants before. One of the guys had on black Hello Kitty PJ pants that all of the girls kept remarking on. Yeah, I'm sure it was some kind of statement beyond "I was too lazy to put on real pants." I blew that whole thing off, though, as it was a midnight event at a place where, I'm sure, these guys hang out all the time. And they were young guys, early twenties at the oldest. Maybe it was to be expected?
But the next day I had to make a trip to the grocery store (the Saturday before the super bowl (NIGHTMARE!)), and at the grocery store were TWO grown men in pajama pants! GROWN MEN! One of them was at least a decade older than me. What the heck? When did this pajama pants thing extend to men, too? Did I miss that memo? It's possible. I mean, I don't actually check my "guy" in-box all that often (it's usually full of stupidity and spam, anyway, so what's the point, right?), but you'd think there would be some kind of special heading on the note that men are now, also, going to be wearing pajama pants in public.
I don't approve.
And, no, I can't tell you why it's an issue for me now that guys are doing, but it is. Actually, I suppose it's always been an issue for me, but I'd gotten used to it. Used to women doing it, I mean. Seeing men do it, too, was... jarring. And all I could think was, "If you can't bother to put on real clothes, please just stay home." It's not about your comfort; it's about the effort you're willing to go to to be presentable, and, if you can't make the effort, any effort, just don't go out in public.
Now, let me say this: I don't expect you to wear a suit. Or a dress. Or whatever. I don't expect that you will be dressed in your best possible attire every single day. Not all people can afford suits, anyway (I haven't owned one since I was about 10), so this isn't about how much your clothes cost or anything like that. I wear jeans. If you want me to dress up, I wear my better jeans, but they're still jeans. But jeans are made to be worn in public; pajama pants are not.
Publishing your book without editing it is like going out in public in pajama pants. It says, "I didn't feel like going to the effort to get dressed." Or, um, I didn't feel like going to the effort to make my book presentable for the public.
And, look, I'm not saying you need to go out and buy a "book suit" (spending tons of money on hiring an editor (which I talked about here)), but I do think you ought to dress as if you're going out in public. With your book, that means make the effort. Act like you're sending your book out in public, because, guess what, you are. Which is why I don't let my kids go out in their pajama pants. If they're going out in public, I make them dress like they are, and, believe me, my daughter has tried frequently enough that she no longer asks. "But, Dad, it's just the grocery store." "Yes, which is out in public, so, if you want to go, get dressed."
Really, it's not much to ask, I don't think. If you can't be bothered to put on clothes, please stay home.
This post has been brought to you in part by Indie Life.