“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”-Virginia Woolf
This famous declaration by the British author applies to all creative pursuits, I think. Since I work full-time and pursue writing in my off-hours, the money’s not an issue.* Time is; I handle that by getting up at 5 a.m. I assume there’s a better solution but a wealthy patron has yet to step forward.
That leaves the room. I’ve sought a dedicated space of my own for years, simply because writing requires listening to your inner monologue. I find this impossible to do in my family room, when ESPN’s on, the dog’s barking, and someone needs advice on an essay topic.
So I finally decided to take advantage of the only perk I’ve found to my nearly empty nest – liberated floor space. I appropriated one of my kid’s bedrooms and transformed it into my lady’s lair.
I picked the Schumacher wallpaper first and used it as my inspiration for color and mood. Once I decided where to put a desk, I had my electrician install two pendants above the space to give me plenty of task lighting. Clicking through Joss and Main one day, I fell in love with the clean lines of the mid-century modern desk in natural cherry which just happens to be my favorite wood finish. I try to keep the clutter to a minimum by hiding what I can in the closet and pinning inspirational articles and photos on the bulletin board. One of my favorite items in the room is the plastic tote I use for a garbage can; I carry it down to the basement for shredding about once a week.
On the other side of the room, I stationed a Crate and Barrel sleeper chair and a half, for the return visits from the chicken who’s flown the coop. My grandmother had a floor lamp like this one back in the day; it’s a perfect spacesaver, as is the ottoman that doubles as a coffee table and triples as a storage unit – also from C&B. I chose unlined woven shades. I love the way they filter the daylight and I think they provide enough privacy when the room’s used by guests – the neighbors have not told me otherwise.
And, the room has a door. I have yet to invoke “Do Not Disturb”, but it’s nice to know it’s an option.
* Woolf’s famous 500 £ would be approximately $40,000 in today’s dollars – Journal of Feminist Scholarship 3 (Fall 2012)