This month, some of our favorite spring styles are modeled by women in the entertainment industry who have a way with words. They’re screenwriters, scene setters, playwrights, and authors — and most importantly, they’re women with stories to tell, and style that’s beyond words.
Meet Chelsey Lora, TV Writer
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When I was little, I used to write letters to toy companies to get them to give me free toys. That’s when I first knew I could make a living off writing.
Tell us a little about your writing process.
As a writer, you don’t always get to choose the conditions in which you write. I learned this when I was a reporter, and still deal with it as a TV writer. Sometimes you get to write in your office or home, other times you have to group write with your colleagues crammed into the writers room, or even on the fly on set with the whole crew waiting on you. In my ideal situation, I’m home at my desk with no distractions, my Internet and phone turned off and no music. I used to listen to music and try to multitask while I write, but I grew up to realize you should only multitask when you have to, otherwise it’s just called “procrastinating.” I’m usually more productive later in the day when I’ve eased into my rhythm, making me more a night owl writer. Tea is a must.
How do you get over a bad case of writer’s block?
For me, I try not to spiral into self-punishment. Instead of staring at the computer screen or notepad, I go for a walk. Or chat with a friend or family member. I have a whole network of people upon whom I depend to discuss ideas. I like to hear from people with different opinions and experiences instead of just being stuck in my own head. But sometimes I don’t need to talk about it, I just need to clear my head. For that, I live my life. Being around and interacting with people makes you a better artist. I listen to music. I also use exercise, whether it be a light walk around the park or a boxing session. A walk might clear my head, but a more intense workout can really just free my mind completely from the troubles. That usually helps.
How has your writing style or voice evolved over time?
When I was a child, I – like a lot of people – tried to mimic her favorite writers. I actually believe that’s an important step in a writer’s evolution, as long as she moves out of it. For me, floundering early as a writer brought me to my personal style. My valiant failed attempts at disjointed mythological or epic worlds made me realize how integral grounded characters and heart were to my stories. Once I was operating from that place, I found my home in dark, heartfelt character-driven dramas. I also worked in sociology, the legal system, and journalism before I did TV, so that brings a grounded nature to my dramatic writing. I’m grateful that I had those periods in my development as a writer.
Describe your personal style:
I love berets, tights, sundresses, and cowboy boots. I wear a ModCloth pencil or bugle skirt almost every day. I also box and love motorcycles, so you’ll sometimes catch me in boxing sweatshirts and motorcycle boots (with aforementioned skirts). Big hoop earrings forever. I’m Chilean, so I love Spanish/boho jewelry.
How has your style evolved over time?
I used to be more punk (my mom named me after the Chelsea Hotel where Sid killed Nancy, and changed the spelling). Over time, I’ve evolved more into an earthy-funky style with warmer tones. I would describe my style now as mod-boho with some Spanish influence.
In what way is the clothing you like to wear a reflection of your personality?
Since I’m an artist, I enjoy expressing creativity through what I wear. I like to think of the range of my style as a reflection of the range of my imagination, as well as my life experiences. Growing in various places and traveling brought a ton of different fashion influences into my life. I still have my old black-and-white New York outfits, as well as my Florida sundresses and LA vintage finds. I also have really treasured pieces of my wardrobe from my travels, especially visiting my dad’s family in Chile.
People often say they want to feel ‘comfortable’ or ‘confident’ in their clothing. What do these words mean to you?
When I’m physically comfortable in an outfit and confident in the creative thought I put into it, I feel great. It prepares me for the day, especially a tough one. To feel comfortable and confident in my outfit is like wearing my own special armor.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gleaned throughout your career or schooling?
When I was in high school trying to decide what kind of writer I wanted to be, a journalist I met advised me not to major in anything like media or writing when I went to college. He argued that you have to learn about the world if you want to write about it. I am so glad I followed this advice. I took literature classes of course, but I majored in sociology and held a variety of non-writing jobs that expanded my worldview. I have no idea what the hell I would tell stories about if I didn’t have a life outside of writing.
What current personal or professional projects do you have in the works, and what’s next for you?
I’m currently wrapping up the second season of OWN’s Greenleaf, which is a wonderful family drama about a megachurch in Memphis. In my future, I foresee creating and running one of your favorite cable dramas. 😉
+Follow Chelsey on Instagram: @ChelseyLora