3 Quotes in 3 Days: Day 1
I’ve accepted a challenge by jrose88 to write three blog posts with a quote over three days’ time — and to nominate three bloggers each day of the challenge.
My first quote is an excellent candidate for a second installment of “Totally unhelpful quotes by famous authors” (previous blog post). If you’re a writer, you may have run across it several hundred times on Twitter.
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” — Virginia Woolf.
Okay, first let’s talk about money.
I’m not arguing the fact that writing supplies and tools cost money, because they do.
I’m typing this on a laptop, for pity’s sake — which cost money. If I want to print something out, I need a printer, printer ink/toner, and printer paper. And internet access isn’t free, either.
That said, if Ms. Woolf is saying that a woman needs money of her own — money that belongs to no one but her — I would say she was wrong. I’ve only recently taken on a part-time job to supplement my husband’s income, and, as a rule, when I buy things for writing — whether it’s printer paper (which the kids usually use for drawing paper), books on writing and self-publishing, or writing tools like my favorite pens and notepads — the money probably comes from my husband’s paychecks, since mine are much smaller.
But maybe she just meant money in general — and a room of her own.
In which case, I’ll move on to the second thing.
Because, for me, having a room of my own would be a luxury, not a necessity. I’ve learned to live — and to write — without it. I’m writing this now from a corner of the living room, next to a desktop computer, which our five-year-old is using to watch Dragon Tales.
The old sewing table which is my desk is just big enough to accommodate my laptop, my mouse-pad and my elbows, since I’m using an old ottoman for a seat.
I get that writers are told all the time that if they plan to spend a lot of time writing, they should invest in a comfortable, adjustable, ergonomic chair and it’s best to work in an environment with as few distractions as possible.
But that, again, is a luxury around here. If I want to write, I have to tune out the distractions (the ones that I can afford to tune out). And, no, I’m not going to turn off the phone ringer, because if my husband calls, I am going to answer it.
Anyone who wants to question my commitment to writing on the basis of my not having secured a room of my own — and an income of my own — is free to do so. And I’m free to ignore whoever does.
But I’m guessing most people reading this won’t measure my commitment by the size of my writing space and the amount of money I’m willing — or able — to invest in my writing.
I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice to have my own office — with a door and bookcases and a larger desk with a comfortable writing chair. Maybe someday I’ll have one. It might not be until the kids are grown, though. Our oldest is already determined to move out of the house as soon as he’s able (and while he still knows everything). So, four years from now, who knows? I might have that office. And it’ll have a bed! And a window!!
That’s where the desk will go. I’m picturing something with drawers. 😉