When I was in college, the first time around, I took a women’s lit class. Cause that’s what you do as a young woman studying at a Liberal Arts school! For the most part I found my classmates, who were English majors not theater like me, wholly pretentious, elitist and out of touch with any sort of reality that I was familiar with. Yes, I realize the irony of me calling someone pretentious and elitist, but that should give you an idea of the attitudes of these girls! I would have completely hated the class, had it not been for the professor. She was amazing, and secretly I think she felt the same way about most of the class. Whenever they would go off pontificating about something completely ridiculous she would always look to me to wave the bullshit flag. Which I was more than happy to do, and whenever I would voice my opposition she was right there to back me up as the entire class would lash out at me. She made it safe to disagree, to step away from the majority and think on your own. Lorna was a great professor!
However, I will always remember her as the person who introduced me to Virginia Woolf, specifically A Room of One’s Own. I LOVE Woolf’s writing and sitting down with A Room of One’s Own I felt like she was speaking directly to me with every sentence she wrote. I don’t usually write in books, but this one I had to. It was a compulsion, a need. I had to engage, lay down my thoughts next to hers; make it a dialogue instead of a monologue. Underline the sentences that spoke to my soul and block out the passages that gave my heart reason to sing. All I wanted in this world was a room of my own and a desk to sit at for hours. I read it cover to cover in one sitting, and then I read it again. At the time I was studying to be an actress, so I don’t think I quite comprehended why it spoke to me so completely. Now that I’ve hung up my character shoes and lost myself to pen and paper it makes perfect sense.
I’ve been thinking about Woolf this week. Not because I’ve picked it up to reread, but because I finally cleaned off my desk. It sounds stupid, but trust me it was a daunting task! So this week I’ve been writing tucked away in my corner with my little lamp on, instead of kicked back on the couch with a computer on my lap and a puggle on each side. It is truly astounding the difference that this has made. That desk, that corner has only ever been used for writing, so sitting there has a purpose. The simple act of scooting the chair in triggers a mechanism in my brain to start thinking in prose. To become characters and allow their stories to unfold before me. It feels right, because it is right. No distractions, no excuses I’m there to write. I haven’t quite gotten to a room of my own, but for now I’ll settle for a corner of my own.