Tag Archives: Virginia Woolf

Disregard Ups and Downs and Get On With Writing

I am feeling very fortunate that I have the rest of the week to write. Whatever I want. With no one lurking in the shadows with a particular agenda, criticism, or secret need for my words. They will be entirely mine to do with them as I please! Hooray! It sounds bucolic but it will be a lot of work as you can well see I’ve not been writing much as of late. Having a day job really puts a crimp in one’s writing but that is the age-old conundrum of any writer. I have a friend who is writing a novel and subsists on packaged noodles and a part-time job that doesn’t nearly pay enough to live even close to the poverty line. But he is a dedicated writer and finish his novel he will. I can’t say the same for myself. But while my son still lives with me, I’m obligated to put a good shelter over our heads and write when and where I can.

Recently, I picked up the journals of Virginia Woolf for inspiration and was once again struck by the similarity in her challenges as I myself have in 2013 as a woman trying to carve out a writing life. One quote struck me in particular, as it nailed what I think writers often feel–that sense of total isolation that is all the more acute if the writer isn’t published far and wide. Or, at all.

 “Unpraised, I find it hard to start writing in the morning; but the dejection lasts only 30 minutes, and once I start I forget all about it. One should aim, seriously, at disregarding ups and downs; a compliment here, a silence there;…the central fact remains stable, which is the fact of my own pleasure in the art.”

As a writer, you inevitably ask yourself, what is the point? Often several times a week, or, if it is a particularly bad writing day, every few seconds. But then you are drawn into your stories and characters and realize that feeling is like no other and that the ‘pleasure in the art’ is the entire point.

So, in other words, best to just get on with it.

To that end, I am more than halfway through, at long last, a volume of poetry I will be giving directly to readers (yes, that’s you!). I have no patience anymore to run around begging publishers to read me, read me, read me so taking Amanda Palmer’s model, I’ll simply give it away and see if I get donations. What do you think of that idea? I think it is rather 2014 and I think Virginia would support it entirely. The title of the collection is called ‘Love Poems. Kind of’. Because I can’t honestly–truthfully–offer a collection of love poems and not include the denouement of those love stories. Also, I think it is a little humorous to offer this for February as a kind of tongue-in-cheek nod to all those over-the-top romantic gestures dramatized in media that are solely aimed at selling products. So, hopefully dear reader you will download it and have a good read with some heart-shaped chocolates by yours side and a wry smile or two as well.

In the meantime, I’m putting my writing boots on and escaping to forage deep in the landscape of my imagination until I have to face reality on Jan. 6th. To all of you who’ve read my words, shared your thoughts, and patiently put up with my random blogging schedule and content, I thank you and wish you– from my heart to yours–a lovely, blessed new year.

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We Still Need A Room Of Our Own Virginia

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

-Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Last night as I walked in the door, kicked off my old boots, and collapsed onto the couch at 8 pm still clutching a large black bag to my chest with rain-soaked hair and coat my son looked at me like I was a creature from the mist. Lately, my days are calculated by what deadline is looming, ticking off the number of hours to accomplish said project, with not a single social outing on the calendar until the end of November. In the midst of my sprinting towards the finish line of these projects since last February (when I started my business full-time), an interesting shift has happened in the interior spaces of my mind and well, I suppose my heart too.

I’ve stopped thinking of men entirely and it is quite wonderful. I realize, when I had more time, I day dreamed a lot about them. They took up huge residence in my brain. If I likened it to a house, they would have had the living room, dining room, upstairs bedroom (for sure the biggest one) and of course some man-cave space in the basement. I shared my house with ghosts of men who weren’t actually living there, a sort of spooky real-estate deal that left the culture of my life devoid of my own true self.

Yesterday I decided step more fully into my own life, and owned it as it had always wanted to be owned.

The fact is, for years I have been running around in crappy Zeller’s boots, always cringing when I put them on, feeling bad about my life as I wore them, ashamed of my single-mother status (read: poor), and thinking, next year, next year, I’ll get a really good quality pair of boots. As I walked to the Skytrain station after a long day of a Transmedia conference, I passed by a gorgeous shop called Modern Vintage (couldn’t find a site for them but they sell on Shopbop). I saw a little hand drawn sign that said ‘hand-made’ hanging on the door. Yes. Let’s get hand-made instead of Zellers.

I wandered the shop. Everything was incredibly expensive but…beautifully, lovingly made. I found a pair of boots and tried them on. They fit perfectly and felt like expensive, hand-made shoes should feel: delicious, sexy, special.

A voice in my head whispered: Be who you want to be now.

Silence. I looked at them in the mirror and remembered where I was last year, and thought about where I was now.

I realized in that moment that I was being who I wanted to be: an entrepreneur creating art, writing, making money, living in an urban setting. What was missing? A boyfriend? Yes, I suppose. but suddenly it wasn’t on my list anymore of being who I wanted to be. It was time to buy the boots. They were who I was now.

I’m eternally grateful to my last relationship because if I hadn’t had that experience, I think I would still have other people living in my psychological house. Don’t get me wrong, my head still turns when I smell certain cologne’s pass by me, but my desire is on building my own house, with a room where I can write, and decide what happens inside that space and perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t happen in that space.

The door is closed at the moment to relationships, but I know the right person for me would find a creative way in. For now, I’ll be walking a little more confidently (and comfortably) in these beauties.

Triple stitched, custom detailed, embossed sole, soft as cashmere. I’ll wear them forever.

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Filed under Non-fiction, Transmedia