“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
Years ago, I read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. This nifty book is small yet power-packed. It is filtered with so much food for thought and a copy should by in every woman writer’s library!
She talks about the need for women to have their own space to create, write and explore what they are thinking and feeling. However, she was very realistic and realized that women writers need a way to sustain themselves so that they can write freely. Woolf said, “So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.”
Yet, no one can think clearly if they are worried about money and resources. I always remembered her advice and I have worked diligently to maintain a space to let those ideas flow on paper as they come. She added, “It is remarkable…what a change of temper a fixed income will bring about.”
I liked the fact that she talked about a room of one’s own. She did not talk about a mansion or the need for lavish possessions. She spoke of a place that was affordable so that when the muses start to flow, monetary worries would not impede the process.
Clarity of thought is key to good writing. Nathaniel Hawthorne called female writers ‘those scribbling women.’ Well, Virginia Woolf noted that those scribblers needed a haven to do what they do and they also need a full belly to put pen to paper. She wrote, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
I am quite certain that I have purchased this book more than once. It has been a staple in my personal library over the years. It is the type of book that may easily become tattered and torn from everyday use. The pages may be marked up and the binding may have to taped together.
Or, it may end up in the hands of a fellow writer who needs the information and words of encouragement. But, a replacement copy should be ordered as soon as possible, because it is a book that can be referenced over and over again.
This gem of a book still speaks to women today. Musicians and painters need studios, but women writers truly need a room of their own so the muses can have their way!
Lynn M. March 4, 2016