Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Room of One's Own...

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. "
Virginia Woolf

I'm not sure that's true today. I'm not sure if it was ever true. Mrs Gaskell, I understand, wrote on the corner of the dining room table - something I've done myself on many occasions. My first "office" was a very moveable space that shifted in response to the needs of the family.

That all changed when we built a writing cottage the bottom of the garden in Wales. But I shared that, too, with the best beloved and his cameras and his computers.

In our new home in Wiltshire, the top floor has two lovely rooms. One for him and one for me. Mine is beginning to shape up into a proper writing space. I now have a big table for my computer, a small table for the dictionary I can't lift. The cupboard I brought with me, that holds my stationery. And now it has bookshelves.

The best beloved excelled himself yesterday, with drill and saw and screwdriver and I now have 48' of space on which to place all those copies of my books that had been living in boxes for weeks. All my research and reference books.

There's space for the iPod thingie that the BB gave me (and the iPod when we find it!) And my Ritas are no longer being used as doorstops but are sitting front and centre, looking very shiny after a polish.

The bottom shelf is for ringbinders. The boring ones, full of tax records, receipts, business stuff. And the exciting ones filled with possibilities. Photographs, newspaper and magazines articles, stories that are waiting for me to have time to give them their day. Files stuffed with ideas.  (I'd take pictures, but the camera is two flights down!)

A room of one's own may not be essential, but it is a delight.


PrincessFiona01 said...

NIce to see things are taking shape for you Liz.

Rosalie Ash said...

Liz, I feel inspired to spring clean the study and re-organise all my clutter, reading about your wonderful new writing room!

Liz Fielding said...

Thanks, Princess Fiona!

Liz Fielding said...

Hello, Rosalie - how lovely of you to drop in. I have to say that having just done the shelves next door in the bb's room, I now have two more boxes to empty. One full of books. And I'm out of shelf space! Not so tidy now!

Anonymous said...

A room of your own isn't essential, but it helps. I also write in the attic and it's lovely being high up in the house and away from the noise below :-)

Glad to hear your room is taking shape and that you are feeling at home after so many years in your previous house.

Vince said...

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. "
Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf was right if the woman wanted to write the kind of fiction Virginia Woolf wrote (when she wrote it).

To wit: highly subjective, feminist, totally literary, small press, esoteric, hard to appreciate and understand – all the while seemingly being hostile (at least sublimely) to half the human race.

I can’t help it: every time I hear the words, ‘Virginia Woolf’, I get a mental picture of Elizabeth Taylor in the movie “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” screaming at poor Richard Burton. Then I think of the woman who ended up with a room of her own, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”. This is the most powerful first person story I’ve ever read.


P.S. Some years ago, when her debut novel appeared, Natasha Oakely said she had no place to write! She had a board she put over a drawer in the kitchen and wrote with kids constantly distracting her. I wrote that if my wife could write that well, I’d build her a studio in the back yard and babysit for two hours a day so she could write.

Liz Fielding said...

We're getting there, Christine, but maybe we should be pacing ourselves a little!

Liz Fielding said...

Virginia Woolf is scary, Vince, no mistake.

How wonderful to have you talk about Natasha, who is the loveliest person and a hugely talented writer. The first time I met her, I sat next to her at a Mills and Boon author lunch and she said that her ambition was to be me! She hasn't written anything for a while due to family stuff, but I'll pass on your comment. I'm sure it'll put a smile on her face.

Rachael Thomas said...

So glad you are settling in and creating your own writing space.

Talli Roland said...

It's definitely a delight! I don't need a dedicated room, but I need my own space - wherever it may be!

Janet said...

I hope Natasha is going to be writing again soon. I keep checking her website/blog but no news so far.