I blame Virginia Woolf.
Ever since I read A Room of One’s Own in Women’s Literature I’ve been convinced that every successful writer needs “money and a room of her own”. A separate space to let my creative juices gush. A safe place to let my guard down, to ease into my own skin. Stomping ground that isn’t shared with twenty other soy latte drinking yuppies in Starbucks. You know, a room of one’s own.
Though there are plenty of spaces where I feel inspired to do my work, I’ve never had a room of my own – a studio, an office, a study, a whatever.
Before we were married, the spare room in what would be our little apartment was quickly set aside as Ben’s study. You have only to poke your head through the door to notice an homage to all things theology, baseball, and Ohio State sports. It’s all him. Truth be told, I don’t really mind. My husband is hard at work finishing his degree, serving as an elder in our church, and holding down a full-time job. He totally needs a room of his own. I’m happy to give it.
But what about my room? Where will I be alone with my thoughts? Where will I be able to plaster my metaphoric hand-prints along the walls? I’ve been feeling a bit, well, jealous.
Marriage is about many things. In a word, it’s about oneness. Two becoming one. One sacrificing for the good of the two.
In sacrificing my desire for a room of my own, I’ve gotten something so much better: a room of our own.
We recently rearranged the study to make space for a rather comfy recliner and more desk space for us both to work. The study no longer seems boxed in and closed off, as if there were only room for Ben and, I, the occasional intruder. I can’t deny the study still looks like a man cave, but I’ve felt more comfortable here in the past several weeks. Something about Ben inviting me in, about him giving up his need for privacy to be sensitive to my needs for a writing space. It’s not about giving and taking with us, it’s about giving.
You won’t find anything else more inspiring than generosity.
I’ve not found a greater advocate of my writing than Ben. He’s my number one fan and I’m his cheerleader. Though one day I would love a writer-ly room of my own, for now the steady pace of writing alongside my husband and his gentle encouragement to “go ahead and write” is all the creative space I need.
Do you consider yourself to be a creative person? If so, do you have a special place to do your work or is a frame of mind all you need? I’d love to hear your thoughts!