“A Room of One’s Own” – Making Space for Your Writing
Let’s take a peek at the cogs inside the machine and talk about why I write and how I write on Behind the Scenes Sunday! Today I’d like to talk a little bit about the idea of having “a room of one’s own” — a dedicated space to write that is yours and yours alone.
A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay by groundbreaking writer Virginia Woolf, first published in September 1929. In it, she asserts that, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”. This concept, this idea that writers should have a dedicated space to do their important work, has been a pervasive and at times controversial one. For many, it seems like a fantasy. A room of my own? A whole room? I live in a studio apartment that I can barely afford, my whole living space is one room, how the hell am I supposed to ever achieve this mythical “room of one’s own”?
I felt that way for a long time. But that didn’t mean the idea was any less appealing. I would spend time daydreaming about going into a space and closing a door and sitting down for hours to write. A space that was mine, that was almost sacred, an altar on which I could compose.
Then, one day, I had a revelation. A “room of one’s own” doesn’t have to be a whole room. It doesn’t have to be a gargantuan cherry wood desk in a loft attic. All you need for a room of your own is, yes, a “door” of some kind (this could be a privacy curtain, a screen, or a real door), a writing surface, and the understanding in your mind that this is where the magic happens. That when you enter this space, the rest of the world can wait for a little while. That what happens in here is important. That your work is important.
Above is my “room of one’s own”. It’s a corner of my bedroom. The desk can fold up and be put away if necessary. But that space is mine. When I’m there, at the desk, it’s like… a weight is lifted from me. I’m free to be entirely myself, which is when you do your best writing.
What do you think? Is there room in your life for a “room of one’s own”? If not, why not? Do you already have a “room of your own”? Share a picture of it in the comments!