Category Archives: Virginia Woolf

A Room of One’s Own

photo2“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
Virginia Woolf

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer inadvertently sparked a national debate about work-at-home arrangements after her recent decision to end telecommuting at Yahoo.  Oddly, it’s not a debate I’m personally part of anymore, no longer being an employee or manager in the corporate world.  My home office is preferable now.  My work is flexible, family-friendly and devoid of time-wasters like donuts and office politics. Oh, it’s also exactly my style (see a corner of my office in the pic) and doesn’t have those weird fabric-covered cube walls.

Of course, some people aren’t cut out for the home office whether they’re self-employed or an employee.  But I don’t think Mayer’s move is the wave of the future.  It’s old fashioned.  I can be productive in a room of my own – no lanyard key card ID required.

I vant to be alone !

“The pursuit of reading is carried on by private people.”

So what would Virginia Woolf make of today’s public sport of reading? We wait anxiously to hear Oprah’s book choices, form reading clubs to discuss books as a group, make celebrities out of some authors, chat with unknown people about books online and read magazine columns to find out what books are on the bedsides of various public people. Of course, just about anything which promotes reading is fine with me. But I think Wolf was describing something rare these days – being alone with your thoughts. Pondering ideas dear to you, allowing time for reflection on the facts and fantasies you read, making sense of a book in your own way. Perhaps in this tell-all world, there are some things we can keep for ourselves

A Tiny Space of My Own

“All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point—a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved.”

A Room of One’s Own is a long essay by Virginia Woolf, first given as lectures then published in 1929. As you see left, I have a spot under the stairs. This is where I blog, write, pay the bills etc — from the creative to the mundane. It’s a little spot where I’m surrounded by my favorite things… yet it’s also central to the house and right in the children’s path. Chris Casson Madden wrote a book titled A Room of Her Own showing the spaces where women create and call their own. I think one’s environment has a great impact on creativity. Do you like to write at the coffee house, sitting by a river, quietly at your desk?

Fans of Woolf’s can read more about A Room and learn about Woolf-based events at this site.