Posted by Lynne Griffin
Of one's own? With a view?
Virginia Woolf believed every woman should have a place to write her fiction, along with the personal liberty to create art. E. M. Forester built a novel juxtaposing characters between rooms and views. Those characters depicted trapped inside were considered uncreative and conservative, while those outside were forward thinking and open minded; his room with a view the perfect metaphor for the intersection where the best traditional ideals meet avant-garde inspiration.
Where writers think and create should be conducive to laying mind, body and soul open to storytelling. The decor and tools available, befitting the creative process, will be as unique as the story that emerges on paper. Who among us would knowingly welcome any additional obstacles to the already wearying creative process?
Up until Monday of this week, I have written my nonfiction in one place and my fiction in another. Writing parenting articles and books was my day job, the work taking shape in a typical office setting. Desk against the wall, nothing proved distracting; no phone call or printer buzzing would interfere with meeting page goals or word limits.
My fiction was written on my laptop. Making a distinction between time for writing work and my creative outlet, I'd park myself in one of three places in my home--a comfortable window seat with double hung glass and cushy pillows, or a chair given to me by my mother stationed overlooking my backyard, or a simple dining room chair parked facing the front yard. Any window would do, I simply needed one to open me up to all the possible directions my characters might choose to travel.
Last week after finishing a chapter in my work-in-progress, then talking to my web designer about how to incorporate my present book and my soon-to-be-published book into my new site, my editor emailed asking me to submit my dedication and acknowledgment pages for Life Without Summer. Suddenly it hit me--I write novels for a living. Yes, I realize it took me a while to fully grasp this.
To fully embrace my multifaceted writing identity, I recognized that I could incorporate my room with a view with my room of one's own.
So with my dear husband's help, my office has been transformed. Over the weekend, we cleaned and tidied, organized and reconfigured. My desk was dragged away from the wall and turned out to face the window. A new bookcase and a pair of matching lamps brighten my space and my outlook.
It's only been a few days since I staked my claim to this space in a new way, but every minute I've spent sitting in that chair has felt marvelous.
It's my very own room with a view. Do you like it?
If you know of any websites with more photos of author workspaces, please share links in the comment section. I love seeing where authors receive their inspiration to create great books.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Posted by Lynne Griffin