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!