Because Virginia Woolf Said So

Halfway through clean up

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

Years ago when we moved from the city to this bigger house in the suburbs, I appropriated one room for myself. It was to be an office space, although I had no idea what I needed an office for because I didn’t have a paying job. Over the nearly ten years we’ve been at this address, my office has moved locations three times. It has been situated for the last six or so years down the hall from our bedroom in the smallest room in the house. It’s located over the garage. It’s freezing in the winter (like “use a space heater or wear mittens” freezing) and ungodly hot in the summer. But, it has a cute little window seat that I made a cushion for, a full-size closet I can cram all sorts of stuff in, and eastern exposure sunlight, which makes it bright and cheerful in the morning.

The first thing I did when I moved my crafting supplies into that space was to have hubby install a keyed doorknob. I planned to keep the boys from pouring permanent ink onto the floor, super gluing themselves to something, or ending up in the emergency room after messing with one of my sharp, paper-cutting implements. There was something so awesome about having a space I could lock up and keep private too. It was my own little oasis. That was the plan, anyway. Instead, what happened is that my private room became a catch-all for the kids’ school artwork, printed photos, birthday and holiday gifts that needed to be stored and then wrapped, and packing/shipping supplies. During the holidays, the room gets trashed by my whirling dervish behavior. Between the holiday cards, the gift wrapping, the treats for neighbors and teachers, and the scrapbooks I give as gifts, I find I can no longer even walk in there by December 25th.

So, I lock the door and ignore it…for about four months. Sometime in April, I cautiously peer in there to remind myself what I’m up against. Then, I quickly close the door and lock it again. Sometime in May I remember I am soon going to need a hiding place when school lets out for summer, and I begin the dreaded clean up process I’ve been avoiding. Today, though, as I began the cleanliness assault on my space, I was honestly excited about it because I’m not just cleaning up my crafting mess. I’m setting up my writing space too. I’m giving myself a room of my own, just like Virginia Woolf told me to, so I can write this work of fiction that is bubbling in my brain.

My office always had two desks. One was to be for crafting and the other was to house my laptop. I’ve never actually used the space that way, though, because the writing desk has been perpetually littered with, well…for lack of a better word…crap. Not anymore. Today I am turning over a new leaf. My writing desk will be for writing. I’m setting up files for my research and notes. I’m putting up my favorite inspirational quotes. I’ve dusted off my hardcover dictionary and thesaurus. I’ve hung my college diplomas to remind myself that I’m plenty capable of this. I’m ready to kick some creative ass. I’ve got a little money. I’ve got a room of my own. I’ve got some inspiration. What else could I possibly need?

I’m thinking wine fridge. I bet there has been some research done that shows that wine helps the creative process. And, chocolate too. It might be a good idea to toss a little chocolate in my wine fridge. I’m certain those two things will improve my creativity. I think I’m finally going to get a handle on the perfect office for me. And, I’d bet cash money that Virginia would approve.

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