Let her speak her mind and leave out half that she now puts in … VW*
Then the penny dropped. I had been struggling with my writing. Not with the flow – the flow was, thank god, coming in thick and fast. But the pace of it and my surroundings clashed. Writing at the kitchen table seemed like a great idea – and suits my vision of work emerging from a cooking space – the witch with her cauldron, the alchemist, you get my drift. But really, all it meant was that you are in the thick of being distracted by the practicalities of life. The spare room wasn’t working either. I felt banished. What worked best was the cafes – chatter, coffee aromas, social white-noise. But … the romance of cafes wears thin … and you are on borrowed time before you start causing undue alarm and suspicion. Then came the museums, with silent spaces and large eery halls; the local libraries, which are surprisingly noisy and busy. At last, the penny dropped.
Give her a room of her own … and she will write a better book one of these days … VW*
Writing at one’s own hot desk at the SSOA is perfect – in the company of people who understand (or don’t look at you weirdly, which is the same thing, right?) when you start banging the desk in frustration looking for the right word, or because one of your characters has arced up and said/done something you don’t approve of (who gave him permission to do that?)! You are patted on the back and listened to sympathetically as you plead your author’s case against errant plots, themes that have become lost, similes that have gone awry. You are renting a desk, but have a whole environment, a witch’s cauldron, in which to concoct.
Copyright: Article by Maria Issaris. Photos by Maria Issaris.
* Quotes from Virginia Woolf’s essay, ‘A Room of One’s Own’