Loss and Grief Application:
Visual Journal Lounge
Ways To Nourish Writers' Spirit
A Room of Your Own
Virginia Woolf concluded that 'A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.' Yet in her famed book, 'A Room of One's Own' she notes that you can 'lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of the mind'
There is no greater truth than this. Whatever effect discouragement and criticism have had on your writing you can always escape to the sanctuary deep within. You can escape within the walls of a handmade notebook.
Last year (2000) when my husband was diagnosed with bowel cancer a good friend made me a notebook to retreat to when I needed to be with my muse. She created a room for me, a delicate quiet space, where I could meditate and write at my will. She created a portable room that I could carry with me and take along when Darryl was undergoing chemotherapy.
To make a room of your own simply purchase an inexpensive bound notebook - no lecture pads please. Gather a pile of glossy images and randomly select images that please you. Invariably when my classes make covers for their books images recur - quiet garden spaces, soothing and tranquil scenes, arbors and gateways, monastery style halls. There is no prescription - no set way.
Carefully paste these images over the book, making sure to completely cover it. Use words and phrases that you find that remind you that this is a safe place, free from criticism and discouragement. Cover your notebook with clear contact and insert a pocket in the back for any images that you find.
Make sure you use this room each day and write freely, knowing that you are in a safe writing zone, that you can be yourself without fear of criticism. Carry this notebook with you in your bag, wherever you go, so that if the world seems stressful or you have to wait patiently for an appointment, you can escape into a calm space.