Thursday, June 23, 2011

Notch Up Your Discipline in a Space of Your Own


Virginia Woolf said that every woman needs a room of her own. I modify that to this: Every writer needs a space of her own. I’m headed back to city living again soon so that space will more likely be a corner than a room, but I intend for it to be my own.

What do rooms and corners have to do with discipline? Well, we must all make it a top level tenet of our work ethic to provide that space for ourselves.

Declaring yourself a serious writer is essential to forcing yourself and the world to perceive you as such. A crucial step in that process of declaration and perception is recognizing you and your craft as deserving of consideration and accommodation.

The first of those accommodations requires that you stake your claim to a space of your own. Spacious or cozy, elegant or monastic, this is the place where you will write.

It is not the place where other people’s priorities take precedence over your own. It is the place where you put into action your serious commitment to your work, your determination to write.

The people in your life may need to be schooled in the importance of this work to you and to the satisfaction of your soul. Only you can establish this truth in their consciousness of who and what you are.

It may take a while and it will definitely require a campaign on your part to incorporate this awareness into their estimation of you, but it is worth the effort.

That campaign for recognition and acknowledgement begins with schooling yourself. You must recognize and acknowledge that your desire to write deserves to be served.

You perform that service by making space in your geography for your work – the geography of your physical place and geography of your personal psyche.

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