For over a decade I’ve used a laptop and written where-ever when-ever but in our new home we designated the “extra” room for me; yet while the kitchen came together fast, my writing room was last on the list. There were files and papers, books and electronics, odd pieces of furniture and far more non-essentials piling up before I had the time to sort through them all. This was a first for me, having a window with a view, a solid door to close, and a vaulted ceiling high enough to let my dreams float before landing on the page: a room of my own.
Virginia Woolf espoused, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction” ( A Room of One’s Own). Thankfully, in 2014 a woman may indeed have money of her own, and as it turns out, I will have such a room in which I intend to write fiction. We set up bookcases, several comfy chairs around a low, round table and several lamps to illuminate the pages. I inherited my father’s desk, and that has proven a trusty surface when I need to spread out several drafts. After a few trial arrangements we decided to place the desk on the far side of the room facing the window to view the great afternoon light that pours in without my asking. Our sweet kitty, Miss Maya, donned the room her favorite nap spot, and I’m taking that as a good sign.
Moving from a large place to a smaller one demands material sacrifice, and for us that meant letting go of books. I boxed up dozens of biographies, histories, books on travel and food and raising children, as well as novels battered or pristine. Saved were our classics. Our shelf of Woolf and Dickens. Our Victorian poetry and modernist plays. The books one needs to pull down and reread, to remember who you were, who you are, maybe even who you want to be. Those old spines were safely brought along.
As dark January afternoons occupy my hours, this room is becoming less strange and more a comfortable place for me to explore. I hope to take all the glorious beauty from my outside view and from the chosen objects inside my new space and write something utterly delicious. Wish me well!
“Therefore I would ask you to write all kinds of books, hesitating at no subject however trivial or however vast. By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream.”
― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own