Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A room of my own - finally!

I may have shared before my love of libraries. Other people have dream kitchens, or bathrooms or gardens. Games rooms or home cinemas. I dream of a home library. Nothing fancy (okay, in my wildest dreams they are fancy, with galleries and those little steps on wheels) but I would be happy with a big square room with floor to ceiling shelves, maybe a cosy loveseat before a fire, a desk and many, many books filling those floor to ceiling shelves.

Instead I live in a small terraced house, open plan downstairs, two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and a small attic room. It's cosy, it's a family home, there are shelves, books in every single room, yep even the bathroom. What there isn't, is any private space.

It has become a bit of a cliché that a woman needs a Room of Her Own in order to be creative. Shared space is apparently as draining to a writer's productivity as a pram in the hallway (writers as diverse as JG Ballard and Maisey Yates would dispute the latter). I have got pretty good at writing with all kinds of noise and distraction going on. Episodes of I-Carly, children running in and out, next door's kids banging on the piano. Maybe not through the last one, I'm not superhuman.

Things came to a head on Sunday. The rain was biblical, we considered building an Ark. My husband had offered to take the daughter out to give me space to write but looking out at the sheets of rain it was clear that wasn't going to happen. At least I considered pretending I thought it was a good idea but I'm a writer not a monster, most of the time anyway. So, I could try to write with family life going on around me, or I could curl up in bed get some peace and quiet whilst destroying my back. Decisions, decisions.

Or... the attic. Too dark for a study, so stuffed with books, camping gear there was no room for  desk. But it would make a cute girl's room. To think was to do. Well, to think meant seven hours of taking things apart, taking about 200 books downstairs, another 200 up, putting beds back together, carrying armfuls of cuddly toys up the stairs. But, finally, the daughter has an attic bedroom and her old room is now a guest room, full of books, the camping gear stored under the bed and a desk. My desk. With a monitor and a keyboard I can plug my netbook into.

It's small, it's not fancy, there's a tent in the corner, the complete works of Agatha Christie and a double bed (useful if I need to close my eyes to think). But it's mine. It's a room of my own. And it's perfect.


Alison said...

Therefore it must me fab! Yay!

Xandra James said...

Woot! Wishing you much productive writing in your new room :)

(and I dream about libraries with rolling steps and firplaces too *sigh*)