Friday, October 30, 2015

A Room of My Own


"If you want a room to write in, just get a room...If it doesn't leak, has a window, heat in the winter, then put in your desk, bookshelves, a soft chair, and start writing."

"We make these exquisite rooms of silence and then long to write in noisy, chaotic cafés...It is natural in our studios to have books lying open, at least one cup half filled with old black tea, papers spread out, piles of unanswered letters, a graham cracker box, shoes kicked under the desk, a watch with a broken second hand lying on the floor."

-"The Writing Studio," Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg, p.103

I'm reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg as part of my preparation for NaNoWriMo, and nothing relieved me like reading the words above. I've been trying to perfect "my room" for more than a year now, and it's still messy and full of boxes and papers and piles on the floor (read: books). I've been meaning to pull it together for November, but now I feel like, maybe, it's better if I don't. Maybe my writing will be more natural if it happens in my natural state of mess. That's where I am right now. And that's okay if that's where my room is too.

Having a room of my own, both literally and metaphorically speaking, has always been important to me. While Virginia Woolf is not my favorite for numerous reasons (not least that she basically created the myth that women writers of Shakespeare's time did not exist), I agree with her basic premise that women (and everyone) need rooms of their own. People need space to create, to think, to be.

And this is mine.

4 comments:

Rico del Rosario said...

Best wishes to your novel. I'm participating in NaNo, too. Bones is priceless! Taught me a lot. I am writing my novel now using writing practice.

Anonymous said...

I also have a room of my own. At least until January when I may lose it because because a daughter and grandson may need to come home. But until that happens if it does, I have the room, the muse catcher (dream catcher), the books, the desk, the window, the light, the music. Now I need the motivation. And perhaps the direction. I am writing journals, poetry and autobiographical vignettes. But I want to go beyond this. \

Space Station Mir said...

Writing Down the Bones is definitely one of the most inspirational works I've ever read--but I think it also helps to be in the right place for it, physically and mentally!

I think journaling is helpful and inspirational too, it's what we need to get down first sometimes, at least in my limited experience. And now I wish I had my old dream catcher, I wonder whatever happened to it...

Elaine Toft (BloggerToots) said...

My Natalie infatuation began years ago with "Long Quiet Highway". Permission to be real on the page was gained via her many works. I'm up in years and have asked this no kidding absolute favorite poem (by one of Natalie's youngster students) be read at my funeral:

Chicken
and the car won't go
spells Chicago.
Smells pretty good.