Q4U: What’s Your Sweatshirt Say?

Last week when I was camping with my family, I couldn’t help but notice how our attire advertised each of us perfectly. I was wearing a sweatshirt that said, “So many books, so little time.” My 12-year-old’s sweatshirt said, “I’d rather be riding” (she’s my budding equestrian). My 10-year-old’s sweatshirt said, “Gymnastics–it’s not a sport, it’s a way of life.” Truer words were never spoken. And Brian was wearing the jersey of the Colorado Springs Fire Department baseball team, aptly capturing both his career and his sports-nut persona.

It was unusual. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when we all were wearing shirts that so clearly encapsulated who we are as individuals. If I’d tried, I don’t think I could have planned it that well.

So it got me wondering: What would you put on your sweatshirt if you wanted people to know who you are?

Leave it in the comments. I look forward to learning more about you!

Have a terrific weekend…

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


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  5. Jungle Mom on August 8, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    >’Jungle Mom’, of course!

  6. Brigid on August 7, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    >I have a t-shirt that reads, “NASTY, BRUTISH, AND SHORT.” It’s a Thomas Hobbes quote about life, but I’m a 5’0″ Great Books student oft-referred to as the evil overlord, so…it kind of fits me too.I’d like a sweatshirt that reads “Jn. 16:33,” which is the verse that says, “Tribulations will come your way, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

  7. Karin on August 2, 2009 at 9:39 PM

    >Will work for pizza.

    Sad, but true πŸ™‚

  8. Joy on August 2, 2009 at 8:46 PM

    >I'm not sure this sums me up, but I love it.

    "All words that end with the letter 's' do not need an apostrophe."

  9. Kathryn Magendie on August 2, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    >I have one that reads "Hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt" I'm feeling that right now!

  10. Anonymous on August 2, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    >My t-shirt would have to say "Mama is a Princess" if only because that is what my husband has coached my three boys to say to me when they are feeling lovey.

  11. Vonnie on August 2, 2009 at 3:30 AM

    >This is a fun post!

    Mine would be:

    I can't hear you…
    I'm writing a book in my head.


    Grammar Grammy

  12. Anonymous on August 1, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    >Mine says "Property of a spoiled rotten Cavalier King Charles Spaniel" – in reality, I am owned by two of them. πŸ˜‰

  13. Leslie Oden on August 1, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    >"God's not mad at you."

    My husband & I are pastoring a growing community church in Enterprise, Alabama. (http://crossroadsenterprise.org) Our target is the unchurched, the de-churched, and people who just plain don't like church. So many people envision God as a celestial bully with a cosmic fly swatter, waiting for them to mess up. Our central message to those who are away from God is "God's not mad at you, but He loves you, and has great plans for your life."

    Fun post! Enjoyed reading the comments.

  14. Mark Adair on August 1, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    >Eagle and Child
    St. Giles, Oxford

  15. Amethyst Greye Alexander on August 1, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    >"You're a dork, my you're MY dork, so it's all okay."


  16. Christa Allan on August 1, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    >Is it June yet?

  17. Elisa on August 1, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    >My sister gave me a sweatshirt that says "Be careful or you'll wind up in my novel."

  18. Patty on August 1, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    >There's a sweatshirt I've been intending to buy since I married into the Slack family.

    "Genius by birth. Slacker by choice."

  19. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus on August 1, 2009 at 9:00 AM

    >On the front: "I'm the wretch the song talks about."

    On the back: "Saved by His Amazing Grace."

  20. ComfortWriter on August 1, 2009 at 2:37 AM

    >"The Three Amigos have my back!" (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)

    "To teach is to change the world"

  21. Roxane B. Salonen on July 31, 2009 at 11:28 PM

    >Hmmm, this is hard. I guess I'd go with my blog name, Peace Garden Mama. It tells where I'm from, what I aim for (peace), hints at my love for flowers, and my most prized role of mother. It does not, however, cover a few areas: child of God, wife, writer, coffee lover, singer. I'd have to think about something else to go on the back, I guess!

  22. Janet Kay Jensen on July 31, 2009 at 9:42 PM

    >"Be nice to me or I'll put you in my next novel."

  23. H. Scott Hunt on July 31, 2009 at 9:18 PM

    >A friend of Stace and mine was preaching one Sunday and mentioned how much easier life would be if we took the "so what" approach to it. We've talked about having t-shirts made up emboldened with that statement.

  24. Robin Archibald on July 31, 2009 at 9:12 PM

    >Lianna, my husband wants to get me a Rumpole-inspired shirt just like yours. But I want it to say "She who reasons soundly and wisely will be obeyed if her husband has a lick of sense."

  25. Robin Archibald on July 31, 2009 at 8:03 PM

    >I found my shirt at Cracker Barrel. It was on sale AND seemed the perfect shirt for me because I’ve often referred to myself as a β€œspace cadet.” The sky blue shirt reads β€œI live in my own little world.” Over the words floats a lopsided, vacant-looking yellow smiley face.
    I was wearing it in Barnes & Noble when a young man dressed in a black muscle shirt, black cut off jeans, black army boots, various metal studs and zippers, and a Mohawk walked toward me. He stopped and said, β€œOh by the way. I wanted to say I really like your shirt. I want one just like it, only in black.”
    β€œAbsolutely.” I said, smiling vacantly.

  26. Jennifer @ Conversion Diary on July 31, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    >I've often wished I could get a sweatshirt that says "I WAS RAISED IN AN ATHEIST FAMILY AND AM NOW A CHRISTIAN. ASK ME WHY!" for evangelization purposes. But I guess that would be a little heavy-handed. πŸ™‚

    Great question!

  27. Jeanette Levellie on July 31, 2009 at 3:13 PM

    >"I'm the redhead Paul is hiding from…"


    "Just becuause I'm a redhead does not mean I have a bad temper. I DO NOT have a bad temper, do not, do not, do not!!!"

  28. Tara on July 31, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    >"No, seriously. I'm a writer." and "My inner critic is far worse than your review."

  29. Anonymous on July 31, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    >"May the forces of evil become lost on the way to your house." πŸ™‚

  30. Sara K on July 31, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    >Erm…let's see…

    Thee's a possible four. All of which I could probably fit on the same sweatshirt, if I tried :D. They are:

    I may not be perfect, but Jesus thinks I'm to die for.

    Joga Bonito. (which translates into "Play beautifully". Or something like that.)

    The band is only as good as you are.


    Live Life Loud. (Which, side note, is a song by Hawk Nelson. I like it ;). )

  31. Jeanne Ryan on July 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM

    >I'm actually going to have this made into a t-shirt and bumper sticker. Someone said it at the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA's dinner this month.

    "Para is my normal"

  32. Heart2Heart on July 31, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    >Mine would simply say, "Living life to it's fullest!"

    Love this post and never quite gave it much thought until you posted this.

    Now I will see people's shirts and sweatshirt sayings in a completely different light.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  33. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought on July 31, 2009 at 12:34 PM

    >I love questions like this.

    My shirt would be faded from so much wear, but the good kind of faded. It's the kind of shirt you wear to bed and then say, "What the heck," while you decide to wear it the whole following day (of course I have no experience doing this). πŸ˜€

    My shirt:
    A boat for my body
    A book for my brain
    A Bible for my Spirit
    & music for all the above.

    Have a great weekend!
    ~ Wendy

  34. Dara on July 31, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    >Probably the saying that's on my keychain:

    "I finally got it all together, but I forgot where I put it."

    Because that is me completely–scatterbrained πŸ˜›

  35. Heather on July 31, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    >Such a cool story!
    I have two shirts that pretty much say what I am. One says, "I <3 writing" and the other says, "I <3 Meteorologists" (my boyfriend's a meteorologist).
    If I had to pick a sweatshirt, I'd get a big, oversized hoodie with picture of Snoopy on his doghouse with his typewriter on the front and "DO NOT DISTURB" on the back. :0)

  36. Eric on July 31, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    >Writing or Riding…Decisions, Decisions

    (I'm an avid motorcycle rider as well as a writer)

  37. Craven on July 31, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    >"Will write for food…or beer, or gum."

  38. Amber Argyle-Smith on July 31, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    >Hmm, two thoughts:

    I'd rather be writing.

    Or the name of my critique group:

    Writers Anonymous

  39. Brooke C on July 31, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    >I think I'd borrow yours. πŸ™‚

  40. Camille Cannon Eide on July 31, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    >Lea Ann – good one.

    Personal slogan if I were to put it on my shirt:


    Perhaps I'm thinking of a conversation starter. I'm always amazed by the irony of God and his wisdom which is often slightly different than ours. This is the recurring theme of my life, and oddly enough, in my writing.

  41. Enjoying the journey, Karla on July 31, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    >"Some people go to the office…I go to Starbucks"

    I love coffee and have young children so I do some of my best writing at Starbucks.

  42. JStantonChandler on July 31, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    >Two of my favorites:

    "Careful or you'll end up in my novel"


    "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good"

  43. HisFireFly on July 31, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    >I can think of so many.. but right now what I'd like to wear is "Totally HIS"

  44. Lea Ann McCombs on July 31, 2009 at 10:49 AM

    >"I'm not talking to myself. I'm rehearsing dialogue."

  45. BJ on July 31, 2009 at 10:49 AM

    >Born to write.

    With a picture of dog on it, maybe seated at a computer or holding a pen. Because any T-shirt that says anything about me has to have a dog on it, doggone it!

  46. Billy Coffey on July 31, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    >"Watch what you say, or you'll end up in my book."

    I know several people who should have heeded that advice.

  47. Liana Brooks on July 31, 2009 at 10:21 AM

    >I have an old one with the quote "she who must be obeyed" on it. That seems to sum it up nicely.

  48. Yvette Davis on July 31, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    >Mine would say, "What does this all mean?"

  49. Philangelus on July 31, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    >Mine would say:

    Jesus Loves Me
    Everyone else thinks I'm a jerk.

  50. Tea With Tiffany on July 31, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    >Creative Minds Look, Listen and Play All the Time, So Behave Yourself.

  51. Marybeth Poppins on July 31, 2009 at 9:56 AM


    I bought it over 5 yrs ago and the sleeves have holes and the thing barely fits me. But I refuse to throw it away!!!

  52. Martha Ramirez on July 31, 2009 at 9:45 AM

    >Hi Rachelle,

    Cute sweatshirt…I like! (Yours.)

    Mine would read: Be careful what you say, you may end up in my next book.


  53. Kim Kasch on July 31, 2009 at 9:41 AM


    But when you read it backwards – oh, sometimes I think, I must have a dark side.


  54. Kristen Torres-Toro @ Write in the Way on July 31, 2009 at 9:36 AM

    >Hi, Rachelle!

    These posts are so funny!!!

    I think mine would be: "Where am I?"

    That or Dr. Cox's favorite line from the tv show "Scrubs": "Fair enough".

  55. Anonymous on July 31, 2009 at 9:33 AM

    >"Eat, sleep, write"

  56. Horserider on July 31, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    >"I'd rather be riding." I need that sweatshirt…

  57. Reesha on July 31, 2009 at 9:10 AM

    >Mine would have a picture of a fermata, white on black and say
    "Hold me until further notice". This was my fiance's idea.

  58. Cecelia Dowdy on July 31, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    >Several years ago, my local Romance Writers Of America chapter, Washington Romance Writers, created t-shirts that said: I'd rather be writing.
    I wore that thing to death…until it got holes in it. I purchased 2 more and I don't believe they have them anymore. When I wore the shirt to a book festival in Washington D.C., several people approached me, wanting to know where I'd gotten my cool t-shirt! πŸ™‚

  59. Robbie Iobst on July 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

    >"God's Girl, John's Woman, Noah's Mom"


    "When I Write I Feel His Pleasure"

  60. Teri D. Smith on July 31, 2009 at 8:57 AM

    >It's usually too hot where I live to wear sweatshirts, but here's a fun one:

    I do the write thing.

  61. lynnrush on July 31, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    >Fun topic!

    Okay, so, I'm not sure what phrase I'd pick to put on a shirt, but I have to say, I have one sweatshirt I LOVE LOVE LOVE to wear. It says, "Sioux Center Warriors" on it.

    Why do I love it? Because it's where my hubby went to high school.

    Yeah, we got it during a visit…and I just feel real cozy when I wear it…close to the one who is most important to me.

  62. Stephanie Faris on July 31, 2009 at 8:52 AM

    >I always say my slogan is "Ignorance is bliss, that's why I'm always so happy." That applies to many things in life. I just jump into things, ignoring all the negativity all around me, and somehow in the end that gets me through!

  63. SM Blooding on July 31, 2009 at 8:34 AM

    >But then again, I like suelder's too! *giggle* "Be careful or you'll end up in my novel". I love it!

    Or ClothDragon! OMG! That one is good…but it would leave a lot of people going, *dumb look* "Huh?"

  64. CKHB on July 31, 2009 at 8:31 AM

    >I always wanted the t-shirt that said "Eschew Obfuscation." Because I'm both a language nerd and a smarta$$.

  65. SM Blooding on July 31, 2009 at 8:31 AM

    >I wish I could find one with the lyrics to "They're coming to take me away. Haha! They're coming to take me away, hehe, haha! To the happy home! Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away. Haha!"

    It's a little long…ish…but it fits. *sags in droopiness* It sooooo fits!

  66. Sharon A. Lavy on July 31, 2009 at 8:27 AM

    >I just remembered something I read years ago. An author took the picture of her book and had a T-shirt made with the cover and I think also a tote. After wearing it a few weeks she went into a bookstore that did not have her book, but the girl at the check out was glad to order it because she recognized it.

    Makes me think this writer did a lot of window shopping in that T-shirt to make someone think they had seen the actual book.

  67. ClothDragon on July 31, 2009 at 8:26 AM

    >"Leave me alone, I'm trying to figure out how to realistically escape from a secure facility with only a zombie queen, a healer, and a child who reads minds."

  68. Myra on July 31, 2009 at 8:20 AM

    >"I AM having a nice day. Don't screw it up."

    (that's what my coffee mug says right now!)

  69. Lisa Jordan on July 31, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    >I got rid of my sweatshirts, but one of my favorite T-shirts says, "Old writers never die. They just end up in a comma." My kind of humor. πŸ™‚

  70. Paul Michael Murphy on July 31, 2009 at 7:55 AM

    >"If You Need Me, I'll Be in the Basement Hiding From Redheads."

  71. Mark H. on July 31, 2009 at 7:43 AM

    >"Size L. Made in Taiwan. Do not wash with bright colors."

    Wait, something doesn't feel right.

  72. Chatty Kelly on July 31, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    >"Jesus loves you, but I'm his favorite."

    It's not the truth, but I find that sweatshirt to be so hysterical. I also joke that the gospel writer John ("the disciple Jesus loved") would own it.


    "Over-caffeinated and under-compensated"

  73. Pegg on July 31, 2009 at 7:20 AM

    >I like this one:

    "American by birth, country by the Grace of God."

    That's me!

  74. Timothy Fish on July 31, 2009 at 7:18 AM

    >Mine would say, "The next time you see this sweatshirt, Mom will be wearing it."

    I think I've owned two sweatshirts in my life and Mom ended up with both of them. I don't care for sweatshirts because the sleeves come to about my elbows.

  75. Richard Mabry on July 31, 2009 at 7:08 AM

    >Like suelder, I have one that says, "Careful or you'll end up in my novel." My other favorite reads, "This is what the world's greatest golfer looks like." (So, sue me for false advertising–I still like it).

  76. Krista Phillips on July 31, 2009 at 7:00 AM

    >I was stupid and googled "Tshirt slogan's for writers" and found some funny stuff.

    My favorite so far?

    I (brake for) go broke at bookstores. (brake for is crossed out)

    Yep, that about sums me up! I SO have to buy that!

  77. Jessica on July 31, 2009 at 6:36 AM

    >I'm not really witty, so I'm not thinking up a good slogan, but I'd think it would have something to do with books. πŸ™‚

  78. Sharon A. Lavy on July 31, 2009 at 6:30 AM

    >I love to read other peoples shirts. Some are funny, some are thought provoking. Some are . . .

  79. Buffy Andrews on July 31, 2009 at 6:28 AM

    >Lover of life
    Editor alrt (with a ^ inserting e)
    Journalists: A rare breed
    I live to write

  80. Gwen Stewart--Singer-Scribe on July 31, 2009 at 6:19 AM

    >I love this post, Rachelle. Three shirts I've actually owned:

    I just bought a cool pink shirt. I love that it's both Christian and fashionably fabulous. It has 1 Corinthians 1:18: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

    Also, I have one that says "Will Write for Chocolate". It's a lovely gift but untrue. I will write even with no promise of chocolate. I will also eat chocolate independent of writing. False advertising there.

    I love this one, and so do my music students:

    "Don't just stand there: SING!"

  81. Angie Ledbetter on July 31, 2009 at 6:05 AM

    >*LOL on suelder's Blacksmith & Janna's WIP*

    Mine would say, "If I Get the Following, We'll All Be Happy: Books, Naps, Coffee, Keyboard. (Not necessarily in that order.)"

    Good thing I have lots of room on my t-shirt. πŸ™‚

  82. suelder on July 31, 2009 at 5:51 AM

    >I have two that I love:

    Be careful, or you'll end up in my novel.
    Wordsmith: kind of like a blacksmith but without all the fire and tools and stuff.

    Although wearing the first seems to invite the strangest conversations from unpubblished wannabee's.

  83. Janna Qualman on July 31, 2009 at 5:50 AM

    >That's a great story! But, more importantly, I think it's great you each have something you care for so deeply.

    Mine: Work In Progress. It covers lots of bases, you know?

  84. BnB Paulson on July 31, 2009 at 4:17 AM

    >Mine would say, It is what it is… isn't it?

    I believe in choosing our own path and no excuses. Hope everyone is doing well this summer!

  85. Wendy on July 31, 2009 at 2:10 AM

    >The sweatshirt I'm currently wearing was an accidental purchase. It was on sale in my local dept store for five dollars and I bought it without reading it, big mistake. It's dark navy with "Pimp at work" in large yellow letters. So it's my wear around the house, but never in public, sweatshirt.

    If I had one that summed up me, it'd be "Just give me five more minutes, okay?"

  86. Fay on July 31, 2009 at 2:06 AM

    >I think 'As innocent as your neighbour's cat' would sum me up pretty well.

  87. T. Anne on July 31, 2009 at 1:52 AM

    >Mine is pink and reads, Poipu Surf Kauai.

    I just got back from Kauai and loved every minute. Didn't surf this year but have in the past.

  88. Anne L.B. on July 31, 2009 at 1:51 AM


  89. Leigh Lyons on July 31, 2009 at 1:34 AM

    >I have a sweatshirt that says "bibliophile Society" with a "BS" on the sleeve. My writing group and I made them.

  90. csmith on July 31, 2009 at 1:33 AM

    >"Happy Accidents"

    Rather enigmatic, I know, but I was recently told that my life was a series of happy accidents. On further prying into what the person meant (I was rather nonplussed) it turned out that it meant that I seize opportunity and make my own luck. I could live with that on my sweatshirt.

    (Of course, it may require careful positioning. Maybe black on black or blue on blue so it hardly shows. Else my family may have a fit and think that I am procreating)

    Fascinating post!