Virginia Woolf Got It Right! A Woman Needs Money and a Room to Write!

Yes, credit is given to Virginia Woolf for this quote. It is obvious to those of us who write these words apply to anyone engaged in the craft of writing. We all need a room to write, one quiet and free of interruption.

Several times lately I’ve mentioned in posts about taking time away from home to write. Lots of writers use coffee shops, libraries, anywhere there’s access to power and maybe even wi-fi to get the peace and quiet they want/need for writing.

Willamette Writers' 50 Year Logo
Willamette Writers’ 50 Year Logo

I’m fortunate to be a member of Willamette Writers, the largest writer organization in the Pacific Northwest. This year celebrates 50 years of the organization’s support for both aspiring and professional writers. Headquartered in Portland, OR, Willamette Writers’ administrative offices are located in West Linn, OR.

The organization owns a property in West Linn which affords space not only for administration purposes but also provides a library and space for group meetings. Additionally, there are five writing rooms fully equipped for the writer to work at his/her craft in quiet and solitude.

Willamette Writers House
Willamette Writers House

Officially named Cynthia Whitcomb House, the property is more often called The Writing House. This is where I slip away to no interruptions, quiet, and peace to work on my memoir or other projects with a deadline.

It is unbelievable what you can accomplish in 16 hours. Yes, you can rent a room for 16 hours for a mere $10, and write, write, write.

My favorite room to date is The Bloomsbury Room, fashioned after the lives and times of authors associated with The Bloomsbury Group. Images of English writers and other prominent personalities of the time, some of whom were core members of The Bloomsbury Group, adorn the walls: Virginia Woolf, Giles Lytton Strachey, E.M. Forster, Leonard Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, and others. Bloomsbury is a comfortable and inspirational room pleasantly decorated.

Bloomsbury Room
Bloomsbury Room

Many times when I go here to write I am the only one on the main floor and even if someone else is in the house, it is quiet and we rarely run into one another.

One of the best features is the Writing House is a mere 10 minutes from my home. Unfortunately, I have to drive by a Starbuck’s on the way so you can imagine I make certain I have plenty of fuel to see me through the morning write.

I won’t deny that I have a lovely writing space at home. However, it comes equipped with interruptions whether from family members or the telephone, the temptation to stop working and do something else, or a neighbor knocking on the door.

At The Writing House, no interruptions, no temptations, no ringing phone, no neighbors. Perfect writing time, and at a great price!

Your Turn ~ Do you have a writing place to call your own? Or a place to which you can escape for quiet and solitude? Share with us how you get away to write or what skills or tricks  you use to give your space to craft your writing.

20 thoughts on “Virginia Woolf Got It Right! A Woman Needs Money and a Room to Write!

  1. Sherrey, that place sounds amazing. I suspect going there powers up intention. I do have a room for my writing. It’s also for laundry, sewing, and other crafts, but it’s mine. However, more often than not I do my writing curled up in chair with my laptop in my lap. I emphasize in my lap because having any keyboard at table height wrecks my shoulder.
    My biggest distraction is not people, phones or any of that stuff — it’s the Internet. It’s other apps on my computer, like email. I suppose I could purchase a computer with nothing on it but writing software, but then I’d be limited to that because I couldn’t sync to the cloud and pick up on another machine where I left off on the one I had been using. So, especially if that Power Room has the Internet, I’d gain little.
    Uhm here I sit, writing blog post comments rather than writing the post I set myself to. What does that tell you? Yes, I’m writing …

    1. Well, Sharon, I enjoyed this writing piece, and don’t want to hear that you did anything to wreck that shoulder. Have you used any of the Internet blocking apps that will block everything but what you need? I like to have the Internet available if I’m going to be researching something or need to look something up while writing. So I have an app that blocks social media sites, my email, etc. Now I need to get back to writing what I set out to write. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I may not be the only one waiting to hear what that app is … It’s worth a try!
        Back to thoughts of shoulders, I use a pull-out tray for my desktop keyboard and it’s barely above my lap. A few years ago I splurged and bought an office chair with arms so I have support while using my mouse down on that keyboard tray. I have not had shoulder and neck problems since conquering the ergonomics of keyboarding. If anyone out there is suffering, turn your awareness toward arm position while working.

        1. Arm positioning is so important. When our firm moved back in the early 2000s, secretaries were included in the planning and we asked for one thing–ergonomic desktops. A third of the desk–a section pointed to a corner– was moveable up and down. This made it easy for us to stand and type, move our keyboards where they needed to be, etc. It was a God send!
          The app I use is called Pomodairo, after the Pomodoro technique. If I remember correctly, it is an Adobe app and here’s LifeHacker’s take on it:

  2. How lovely! once in a while a friend has offered space, but generally i try the library. Unfortunately libraries are not always places for peace and quiet, now much else goes on there. Finding quiet space is a challenge!

    1. Hi Paula! Yes, finding peace and quiet is a challenge sometimes no matter where you are. Our library can often be buzzing with activity and not as quiet as I remember childhood libraries.

  3. Here in Charlotteville we have Writer’s House and it’s the same idea. They also offer an amazing number of classes just for the writer and have events open to the public. So far I haven’t needed to use a writing rooms, as I have a studio over my garage which is in a separate building where no one bothers me..

    1. Joan, I’m going to say it right here where everybody can see it…I’m green with envy over your studio above the garage! Although I shouldn’t complain, Husband Bob has drawn up plans for an enclosed gazebo-like structure for our backyard which will be my “writing studio” some day. Our Writers House also offers workshops, classes, and space for critique groups. Quite a benefit having such a place.

  4. I think there is a writing community nearby in Saratoga, NY but I haven’t checked it out yet. I have writing space at home which overlooks the woods but , as you say, it is filled with interruptions. I’d love my own writing cottage! The Writing House in Portland sounds and looks fabulous. The photos are very inviting. Finding that quiet space seems like the ultimate challenge. So glad it has worked for you!

    1. Oh, Kathy, this has been a God-send at this stage of the writing, editing, and revising. Not only the memoir but one contest entry (5,000 words), another of 10,000, and just received back an essay submitted for an anthology notifying me I’ve made it to the second round. The first contest entry went out Monday, the 10,000 worder is due May 30th, and the essay by May 15th. I’ve booked several days at the House!

  5. I can tell you enjoyed writing this piece, Sherrey. Yes, I do have a space among books in my library facing the garden, but “it comes equipped with interruptions” and temptations like you said. Cliff often invites me to go with a cafe with internet with him, but it wouldn’t feel right to me. The Bloomsbury Room would though. And so would Kathy’s idea of a writing cottage!

    1. Marian, and you too, Kathy, read my comment to Joan Rough about what Bob is planning to build for me. I can hardly wait!
      Marian, I had so much fun with this one. I think it’s because I had finished one project on Monday and sent it off. I felt freed! Bob wouldn’t invite me to an internet cafe–not relaxing to him and he’d have no use for it. So I’ve devised my escape route to peace and quiet!!!

  6. Love this, Sherrey! I do most of my writing from home and am fortunate to have the evenings to myself. Still the temptation to spend time on social media sites, telephone calls, etc. can be distracting. You are blessed to have such a lovely place to go!

    1. Glad you enjoyed reading about my recent find, Joan! So affordable. Otherwise I doubt I’d treat myself so often. For some reason, while I’m there the temptations don’t bother me. Perhaps it’s because I have a defined purpose for being there.

  7. Wow Sherrey, I’m so envious of your special writing space, interruption free, so close to home, and a bonus Starbucks on the way! Good for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. What a wonderful option to have a room of one’s own on a temporary basis, that would increase the motivation to make it productive time too and 16 hours, that’s like a half marathon of writing!
    I don’t have a room of my own (I don’t even have a bedroom of my own – I gave that up recently so my children could do so during their teenage years), so I use the dining table, but really the best place is to have my notebook with me and because I travel for work, between giving lessons and doing aromatherapy massage, I often have a little time between appointments and I’m then free of distractions and responsibilities and can write.
    A room of our own is an aspiration, but not something to put off writing until it happens ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Absolutely no putting off writing! Not for any reason! It seems you make good use of your time traveling, and as moms, we tend to make sure our children are our top priority. I remember a story about a friend’s mom that included the message that if there wasn’t enough dessert to go around, this mom would simply say, “I don’t need dessert tonight.” And yes, the option of that temporary little corner of the writing world is a great benefit. I appreciate having the opportunity to focus on nothing else but writing.

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