Monday, April 07, 2008

To be alone

Those of you reading this who are writers will probably be amazed at what I have to say. In some ways I am amazed I got this far without one. What don't I have?

A door.

A door to my study. A door that I can shut so I can lose myself with my characters.

Nope. We are very open-plan over here. And it has finally got to me. I can't do it. How can I be expected to? It's not J's fault.... I should have done this a long time ago. I should have stated a long time ago that I Just Want To Be Alone. Alone to immerse myself in my stories. Alone so that I can hear my characters tell me what happens next. Alone in my fictional world.

So. There. I've said it. And I am doing something about it. Hopefully very soon, I will have that Room Of My Own With Door. Not too far from our home. Close enough to walk to, but far enough so that I can shut myself away. Not all the time. Not all day, every day. But I am working. Writing is my work, and I need the right place to do it and the time, too. I have reached the point where I want to be treated as if I have a 9-5 job, same as everyone else. (Ok, 10.30-5, more likely).

No-one could be expected to guess this, of course. It's up to me to state my position and make sure my needs are met. A writer friend recently wrote that she is in "novel purdah", and I thought, How heavenly. I don't want to abandon all friendships, all socializing. But since my time in the quiet of Tuscany, I know what works best. So I ask - don't expect me to answer a phone, emails, the doorbell, during the day. I'm at work. Writer is Working. Ahhh, that sounds good. The sound of a door closing and a world opening up.


Vanessa G said...

How lovely to do this, and how lovely that you know what will work.

I can shut the door, but am still at the beck and call of my head... Workhouse, emails, (ping... oh, lets answer it now) telephone... might be my Dad... must answer..

Thats why getting away to Ireland is so good!

Hope the reorganisation goes well!

Tania Hershman/The Short Review said...

Ah yes, there are more than just physical doors. Shutting doors in your head is also important. Taking a break from the Workhouse was closing one of those doors, and it is actually a relief, although I also miss it terribly. I don't imagine I will be able to recreate Anam-Cara-like conditions! But I'll at least close a few doors.

Women Rule Writer said...

Hi T
When my kids were off school for Easter, I realised how much more productive work I can get done when they are at school. It's v hard to concentrate when they pop in and out of my study - ignoring the 'Do Not Disturb Sign' - asking for food and entertainment. I always could write through the bells and whistles, but it seems I can't anymore.
So I fully support your Room with a Door. Silence/privacy is conducive to work, for sure.

Nik's Blog said...

Oh yes, empathy being felt by this writer!


Tania Hershman/The Short Review said...

WRW - at least you had a Do Not Disturb sign! But it must be hard for kids, knowing that their mother is there but isn't at the same time. Yes, I thought I didn't need the quiet, I thought writing in cafes would do it for me, but I end up eating too much and surfing the WiFi!

NIk - thank you! May you get to close your door more often :)

ireneintheworld said...

good on you tania, tough love is a wonderful and fullfilling event! x