I was so in love with the ideas in A Room of One’s Own when we bought our first house ten years ago that I set up an office just for me. It had rich red walls, an armchair in the corner, a writing desk, a chair, a bookcase, a lamp, rich curtains, one framed print, and a huge expanse of carpet that got sunny in the afternoons. I loved to wiggle my bare toes in the luxury of sunny wool carpet. But I got almost no useful writing done in that beautiful room. A few years later, a crib replaced the bookcase and desk. We added a changing table, a front-facing bookcase, and a closet system. It became the nursery, the most beautiful red nursery I could imagine. But even then, no writing.
Then, after my second child was born, I found myself scribbling in the dark in the grocery store parking lot one night while my son finished a much needed nap. I wrote the rest of that novel in Moleskines. Some combination of brain rewiring and priority shifts had reawakened my old love of writing. I bought a laptop that was hard to break. (Solid state hard drives for the win!) My second novel was born. It became Can’t Buy Me Love, my debut. Since then, I’ve written several short curriculum guides and two more novels. Tea & Crumples is coming out this November. It’s the first of the Faith Tea Love series. I’m writing the next one, Tea & Stones, now. I have a collaborative project going with a couple of friends as well, and I’m pulling together another curriculum guide. All this writing, but no room of my own.
Has the laptop computer replaced the room of one’s own on the woman writer’s must-have list?
I can only think of a few women writers who have their own writing office, and they have long-established careers. Most emerging female authors I’ve met seem to manage in environments that require multi-tasking. How many of us write during children’s naps or at night while families sleep? How many of us cart our laptops to a cafe to write? How many of us count the kitchen table as a desk?
If you’re a woman who writes, I want to hear from you! Where do you write? Do you have a room of your own?