I originally wrote a very loose post about the need for a writing space some time last year. It’s boring so I won’t back track for you. Since then, I’ve managed to move house again (now relocated just over a year) and finally, I have a writing space again.
I’ve been making do with the couch, the other couch, the stairwell, the verandah and the occasional cafe in the meantime. But last week in a flurry of work the landlord decided to give us some home improvements in the form of a wall and two french doors, which was formerly a large and uninspiring garage door. The corner, in which the stereo lurked ungracefully with its leads leaking all over the place, has been emptied of all its contents and my writing desk has moved in. My darling husband (whose support is quiet yet constant and real) bought me a desk from the op shop the other day with a book shelf attached to it, which we promptly removed and placed next to the desk.
As is my preferred habit, I am facing the wall, with no view. If I want one I can either take five steps to the left and look out of our marvellous french doors at the forested hill, or simply stand up and look out through the tiny frame above my desk, which has a lovely etching of Apollo upon it, glorious torso contra-postured with a lyre in his left hand, and see the same view.
My swiss ball is keeping my bum and spine intact. The music is behind me now, in the corner by the fire place where all cords sit neatly behind the cupboard which houses it. I can bounce happily along to Beethoven or other wordless music and tap dance my fingers.
It’s not exactly a room of my own, being in the living room downstairs, but it is a desk of my own. I no longer need to contemplate the storage space above the pantry as a potential writing space, cramped on the spare mattress and wary of falling over the unrailed edge.
I guess though really it’s not the actual writing that needs a space – I’ve proven over years that I can do it anywhere, and it is one of the pros of the art –
it’s the daydreaming around it that needs dedicated space. Space to put up those funny quotes or random words or pictures, places to put scores or mud maps or dictionaries or all of my books about writing that don’t belong in the usual bookshelf where they squander time and space that they don’t when they are but a finger tip away from my scribing idea.
Perhaps though what it is most of all, is a place where I can contemplate a longer work; where ideas can ferment undisturbed, where a story can knit itself together over a longer word count, a longer duration, with more complexity.
A room of one’s own is perhaps the equivalent of a writer’s coming of age.