A Room, Womb or Tomb of One’s Own

In her book, “A Room of One’s Own,” Virginia Woolf emphasizes how important it is for a writer to have the right place to do the work. This place is the womb where literary gestation, growth, labor, and birth occur. It is an important issue for non-productive writers to consider.

Having a good enough place to do your writing is important, even if it doesn’t guarantee that any writing will occur there. Indeed, many ideal locations lie fallow season after season as their inhabitants languish in the numerous psychological purgatories and hells reserved for those called to the writing life. The womb can become a tomb.

Issues to consider are,vulnerability to distractions and interruptions, accessibility, comfort and ergonomics of the work station, the degree of isolation you require, the need to work at multiple locations, exposure to the pulls of family and work, and managing the impact of phone, text and computer diversions.

I have had several people tell me that after making a change of locale they found a renewed energy and interest in regular writing. For the same reason that it sometimes works to just kick a malfunctioning soda machine, this geographical remedy occasionally works with writing blocks, though additional measures are generally required to effect a lasting change. The important thing is to notice how you feel and how well you work in your chosen setting, and then to improve it if you need to.



About David Rasch

Author, psychologist, speaker, teacher, consultant, workshop leader
This entry was posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Room, Womb or Tomb of One’s Own

  1. Carolyn Kennedy says:

    Your sense of humor really makes me laugh with unladylike gusto. I think I should be writing but I can’t make myself write. I think a locale by the ocean might help me, say like Ventura in SoCal.
    Or else I’m too old for that kind of high risk activity. I did buy an actual typewriter, a Coronet Super12, turquoise, to match my kitchen. Since I started writing on a typewriter in the previous century, I thought it would help. It’s nice to have it but no writing, except journal writing, has come out of it. We’ll see what happens next. Thank you for your wisdom.

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