A Room of My Own

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I can’t stop thinking about writing. I write in my head all the time. In fact, I write my best blog posts while I’m driving my car or waiting in carpool line at the twins’ elementary school.

And that’s too bad because nothing gets copied to paper.

There was a time when I woke up at 5 a.m. every day and devoted myself to the daily practice of morning pages, as Anne Lamott recommends in Bird By Bird.

Eerily, that time was three years ago. Before I got pregnant unexpectedly with our third child, before I knew I was pregnant…and then became too tired to maintain that rigorous schedule.

I want to get back to an early morning writing practice. But since I started kicking some of my meds to the curb, sleep doesn’t come easily, which translates to being very tired in the mornings and having a tough time dragging myself out of bed.

Perhaps if I began rousing myself earlier, I’d solve my insomnia problems? Then I’d get some real writing done AND I’d sleep better. It’ll be a win-win!

My mind keeps wandering to Virginia Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own. I wish I had a little nook to write in, a space that was just mine. There wouldn’t be any stray Cheerios or Fisher-Price toys underfoot, no Dora the Explorer in the background; it would be sparsely decorated so as not to distract me. I envision a big, cozy chair and a fun little stool for my feet. A coaster with a cup of hot tea perched on it.

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Sometimes I look around our house and I feel selfish for wanting my own space. Of course I love my husband and our three children, but I just want a little nook.

I wonder how it would change my productivity and my writing?

For now, I think I’ll start setting my alarm clock for 5 a.m., at least a few mornings a week.

What about you? Where do you write? What is your fool-proof writing recipe? How do you keep yourself focused? What helps you draw out your muse? Any tips?

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  • http://auerfreelance.com/ Kerstin Auer

    I got my own room almost a year ago and it’s done wonders for my productivity and writing – not selfish, but sanity saving! Go for it :)

  • http://www.fromtracie.com/ From Tracie

    I wish so much that I had that room of my own.

    The last couple of months have been hard, and I stopped setting my 5am alarm completely. But I am committed to getting back on track this week. I need that alone time (even if it isn’t happening in a room of my own) each day. And I need the stability that having scheduled time for me provides.

    You can do it!! Even if you only did it a few days a week, I think you will see a big difference.

  • http://unintentionallybrilliant.blogspot.com Roxanne Piskel

    It’s not selfish at all to have a place to yourself. I wish I could get the motivation to get up and write in the morning, but I am a night owl by nature. I stay up way too late and have a hard time waking up in the morning.

  • http://sellabitmum.blogspot.com/ sellabitmum

    I would love my own space. But here I sit with kids making a mess around me and a husband asking where his damn socks are. Maybe I just need my own house… xo

  • http://aladyinfrance.com/ Lady Jennie

    I have a room of my own, but it’s not yet mine. It’s too cold and not well regulated. But in the spring it’s going to be great. But since it’s outside, it won’t be my 5:00am writing space. I remember when you were up at 5am way back when because I saw the tweets and I was already up, of course! :-)

  • tonyawertman

    I covet a room of my own too, but like you for now, quiet space of any kind will just have to be stolen whenever possible.

  • Michelle

    Oooh, I love this post. I too write in my head all day long and desperately need a nook. It’s so hard when our little ones are little. Everyone fell asleep early tonight and I’m alone downstairs with just the glow of my computer…..peace:)

  • http://writingwishing.com/ Alison

    I have a nook, and I love it. It’s in the corner of our living room, and I can keep an eye on the kids in their play area in the opposite corner. It’s not entirely free of Cheerios or trucks and buses, but it’s far better than sitting on the couch, trying to balance my laptop on the arm. :)

    I hope you wrangle a nook soon!

  • Pam List

    I atteneded a workshop by Crescent Dragonwagon and she does her morning practice in three minutes. It does wonders for produtivity.

  • Lydia

    For me, it’s a distraction in my head until I release it onto the paper. As for where I write, it’s usually where ever is the quietest and comfortable place. The paper and pen, even the notes aap on my phone are all portable. Writing feels like a curse sometimes because the urges can be so strong to write and our resistance to it creates this frictional war. Sometimes, I drop everything and tell my family, the house is fine. I’m not cooking today. I’m writing instead… I also have different stories too; the one on my phone is a personal blog sort of about my experience with housekeepers. One book, also has been typed into the computer is on married life experiences and then there’s the really personal one on family. The emotional depth and pain icausese to switch between them. ✏️

  • Julie Gardner

    At the top of our stairs, next to my bedroom, there is a small desk and a chair. A laptop, calendar and writing pad, a cup of pens and pencils. Pages of notes (outlines, drafts, revisions) are piled on one side but the surface of the desk is still neat because I do not function well in chaos. No one else in the family touches this little square of space. It’s not a room. It’s a spot where the linen cabinets stop and the bedroom door hasn’t yet started.

    But it is mine.

  • http://brennasblog.com/ Brenna Darazs

    As we completely rip apart and redo our little office (faux wood floors finally laid!), I plan to stake a corner of it to be all mine. A chair, table, etc. Off limits to all but me. Not selfish at all, love.

  • http://www.mommy-miracles.com Laura

    Confession: Your writing nook would definitely have crushed cheerios, no matter how hard you try to prevent it.

    I have my own “office”. It is often the messiest room in the house, because it is the room that no one else needs to be in – just me. And you know how well we moms prioritize ourselves… sigh.

    I need to start waking up earlier to write too.

  • http://www.facing40.com/ Poppy

    I fantasize about renting office space away from my home. Too many damn distractions even when the kids are at school. I used to get up early too and really haven’t written a thing I’ve been proud of since I stopped. Hmmm, coincidence?

  • http://www.jenniferpwilliams.com/ Jennifer P. Williams

    I did that, fixed myself a space. I never went in it. I found that I like being around the family more than I like my own space. (But I can totally understand why that is so important to a lot of people.)

  • Arnebya

    I don’t have a spot. I’m trying to have specific hours, though, to be on the sofa or at the table or on the computer. That time, unfortunately, seems like it needs to be early morning rather than late night. There are places around the city that offer a quiet place to write for a fee (like cubicles or offices). But while I want quiet I also want comfort. And that means my robe. What I’ve learned about myself is I have to just do. I have to just write because the more I say I want this or need this or I’ll start writing again when…it’s all bullshit. I am good at the bullshit.

  • http://lovelivegrow.com/ Issa Waters

    I have my bedroom, and in that space I have carved out an “office” area using a three sided desk. It’s luxurious. I love being in my little cubicle. I know cubicles are supposed to be bad things, but I really love small enclosed spaces. It makes me feel like everything is taken care of, and now I am free to be. This is where all of my writing takes place. I can do lots of things on my phone throughout the day, but I need to get in the zone to write and that starts at my desk.

  • http://www.about100percent.com/ Andrea

    I have my own nook, but it is open to the rest of the house. So if I’m here, everyone knows where to find me. And they do – there are no clear boundaries. It’s tough. I dream of a hotel room for a long weekend. But I’ll settle for my 5 am wake-ups before everyone starts to stir.

  • http://www.musingmomma.com/ Ellie {Musing Momma}

    I love reading everyone’s responses! I write at the kitchen table or in our home office. I can totally relate to writing posts while driving – I do that ALL the time, then when I finally sit down it is gone or not as good as what I “wrote” in my head. I’ve tried using voice memo on my phone, but it just doesn’t feel natural to me to narrate posts out loud. I know I won’t get up any earlier than necessary in the mornings, so I usually write the two afternoons I am home with my preschooler, while he naps, or after the kids are in bed.