The Writing Room

Yesterday I happened upon this video, wherein writer Laurie Halse Anderson chronicles the building of her writing cottage. Wow, it’s beautiful. And she quotes Viriginia Woolf, who said:

“…a woman must have…a room of her own to write fiction.”

Note that I don’t think it’s only women who need a dedicated writing space. I think all writers deserve that spot where they can go and feel that they are in “writing mode”. It needn’t be a room, if space constraints don’t allow it–but it should be a place where you can get away from distractions and know that it’s time to write. (If you Google “writing room” and choose images you’ll find some lovely inspirational rooms to look at.)

I’m lucky enough to have had a “writing room” since we moved into our house fifteen years ago…it was a different room at first than it is now, but I’ve always had the space. I’m grateful for that.

But as I look around it now, I’m not sure that I’m being the best caretaker of that space. It’s pretty cluttered and messy and probably dirtier in the nooks and crannies than I would like to think about. So I’ve decided to overhaul it, clean it up and make some changes that I’ve wanted to make for a while.

Now, this decision makes me nervous, because I know my brain. I have a lot of writing and writing-related projects on the go, and my brain often chooses these times to cunningly push me into some big project that isn’t writing, because it doesn’t want to work that hard. So rest assured, I am not going to drop everything and start my office overhaul. I’m going to use it as a reward motivator instead. For every hour spent on writing, I will spend half an hour on the office. It will take longer to get it done, but I think it’s the only smart way to do it.

So now I’m going to go and take some pictures of it in its current pathetic state. These “before” pictures will not be revealed until I have the “after” pictures to go with them. By that time, you’ll all have forgotten about this project, I’m sure. But don’t worry, I’ll remind you.