Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Room of My Own

I've been feeling a bit introverted lately. I love having people over, and I love visiting other people, and I love my children, but the last week or so a little voice inside me has been piping up, saying, "Isn't there somewhere to go and close the door and be alone?" I was having my coffee with Mom this morning, and she said, "Sorry, but I'm still tired. I'm going back to bed."

I told her that was fine. I wouldn't mind at all if she left me alone and went back to sleep.

"I know you do mind, but thanks for saying it, anyway," was her reply, and she went back to bed.

And I had a golden half hour all to myself, before my kids woke up.

I don't find my kids stressful, mostly. I like their being around. I like shopping with them, especially when we hit garage sales, Goodwill, or other cheap places. I like playing games with them, talking to them, laughing, telling them stories...

But I also need alone time. And I haven't had that much lately. We're just about to go camping for a few days, and while I love camping and can't wait to see some friends of ours from Canada, I'm also wondering when I will next be able to get a few hours to myself. Not so that I can go to my playwrights meeting. Not so that I can meet a friend for coffee.

So that I can meet absolutely no one, say not a word to anybody, but just chill, all by myself, do whatever I would like to do, exist for a few hours in absolute, golden silence.

I have often envied people who had an office or study all of their own. People say things like, "I can come in here, shut the door, and just focus on my project without interruption." We created a workspace like this in our house in South Carolina so that I could work on my dissertation... but it didn't help. All it meant is that I had to leave it constantly to take care of my daughter, who was an infant at the time (she turned 2 three days after I graduated with my Ph.D). Instead, I set up my writing space in the living room, where I could leave it quickly and return quickly, writing ten furious pages while she napped in the carrier at my feet, printing only when she was awake (our printer was VERY noisy), and still keeping tabs on everything while I worked.

But now my kids can play on their own without my constant supervision. They play fantastically well with each other, but they still often choose to play directly near where I am writing. I love that they want to be near me (and I know that will likely change soon, as they grow older and more teenager-like), but there are times I'd like to have them one place, and me somewhere else, to hear the golden silence, to re-energize and truly focus on my pet projects.

Do you have a place on your own? Do you need one? What's your ideal creative situation?


  1. I don't know. I've literally never had a place of my own. Not sure what I'd do with it.

  2. I don't, but sure wish I did... my solution is to write when everyone is in bed, that’s the only way I can focus on my work, but I pay for it later. Thankfully my family lets me sleep in the day after a long night of writing.

  3. I had a writing studio for 6 months and it was bliss. But it was over the other side of town and in the end the traffic and car troubles defeated me. I finished the first draft of my book and for a while basked in the luxury of a room of my own. This year my family has had to be my focus as I have two girls in their last years of high school and I have had to put my writing plans a little on the back burner but I console myself with the knowledge that in a few years they will be gone and the house will be way too quiet. But for now I really love to be around them and their chaos and drama, even though it can be a little frustrating at times. :)

  4. I have an office at the uni which I SHOULD use but don't.

    I SO look forward to times when hubby has places to go and things to do without me!!