A Room of your Own

Virginia Woolf once wrote, “…a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction…”. I have loads of arguments why her statement still holds true for women today, but I’m not going to focus on that. What I want to focus on is “the room of her own” part. I’m going to make it more general:

A writer needs a room of her own.

In this case, her can just as easily be his.

As I mentioned on Friday, I’m currently reading Write. Publish. Repeat. When I read how many books they completed and published in one year, I wanted to cry. I told my husband about their amazing year. I bemoaned how meager my year had been by comparison. And then he said, “But you’re not doing this as a forty hour work week job like they are.”

His statement made me consider. I should be able to make it a forty hour a week job, or at least thirty. My children are all in school giving me six hours a day to write. But that’s never what happens. I sit down in my living room. Wait, I should’ve loaded up some laundry. Oh, I’m teaching music in an hour. Do I have a lesson plan? Do I have all my materials? Done teaching. Time to write. Shit. I have soppy clothes in the washing machine that need to be hung on the line. New load put in. Lunch eaten. Let’s write. Why am I so sleep? I’ll doze for just a minute. The kids will be home in an hour. And wa-la, I have 1000 words done. What happened?

So then I have to go out and write that night for three hours at a coffee house and I get 3000 words done. I should’ve just written all day at the coffee house.

Yes, I realize I lack self-discipline, over-commit etc. But the point is every writer needs a place they can go to ignore the rest of the world and churn out the words. My place is a coffee house. I like the atmosphere, the smell of coffee and the taste of espresso. If jazz music is playing, I’m golden. Everything about a coffee house gets me in the writing zone. Some people go to the library. Honestly the shelves of books distract me. Look at all those fairy tales I can read and research! Maybe you have a study in your house that you can seclude yourself away from your family in.

There’s a lot of talk about how you have to be consistent and write everyday, but almost equally important is where you write. You need a setting that will say to you, “I’m writing now and doing nothing else.”

Where is your favorite spot to write? Please share!

4 thoughts on “A Room of your Own

  1. maybe this is what is wrong with me. I made my writing place the kitchen which is the center of activity for me. I do almost all my work there. Cook, clean, do dishes, even take care of the rabbit. Maybe I need to go off somewhere and write or at the very least lock myself in my room and write. I do get distracted quite a bit while writing. Good thoughts to ponder, Melinda.

    • Glad I could help! Yeah, I think in the kitchen your mind is trained to think about so many things other than writing. I hope you find the right spot!

  2. The library on Saturday is my refuge for the biggest block of my time. The books are a distraction, but I do need to get up now and again. Scanning the new books or audio titles gives a good 5 min away fom my chair.

    During the week, I do most of my writing at the dining room table, or on the living room couch. I have a free room (for the most part) I could work in, it is our guest bedroom. But for a while we were having so many guests that I just got used to not working back there anymore. One thing I do though is turn off the TV at 9 PM. I am trying to be good at being productive from 9-11 pm three days a week.