Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Room of One's Own

written in slumber
Photo by matryosha via Flickr
If I haven't mentioned it before, I absolutely adore Virginia Woolf.

I took a class in college focused on her work and some of the other luminaries of the Bloomsbury Group. Since then I have read A Room Of One's Own several times and her collection of essays, Moments of Being a few times too. Her novels are classic, of course, but I've been drawn to her non-fiction because of her ability to articulate ideas that are timelessly true.

I'm referring of course to one of her most famous ideas: the thought that in order for a writer to be successful, male or female, they must first have a room of their very own in which to write. It's a simple idea, really. In order to write well, a person must have shelter and freedom from distractions.

Everyday I realize more and more how true this notion is.

Currently I'm in a situation where, thankfully, I have a roof over my head, but I am definitely not free from distraction. When I was living in the woods over the summer, I was alone and able to write as much as I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. Now I live with other people and I'm finding it more and more difficult to produce the same quantity of writing each week.

This is not to say that I'm ignoring my writing all together, but it certainly has been difficult to accomplish certain writing goals. I'm mired in the middle of my first draft of a novel right now, and the daily  distractions that go along with living with other people are making that process more difficult than ever before.

I can't help but think of Woolf whenever I am pulled away from my writing, or led to distraction when I feel like I should be working. This isn't an excuse by any means. 

If you're going to be a writer, you have to write, distractions and all.  

It's simply true that the writing process is much more fluid if one can claim ownership to a room of one's own away from the distractions of daily life.

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