Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Room for Writing

Just after the first of the year two years ago, I had learned of a writing grant available through the A Room of Her Own Foundation.  The premise of the grant is from Virginia Woolf's thought that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write.”  Although I didn't believe that necessarily true, as I always find a way to write regardless of my circumstances, the $50,000 two year grant was great incentive to provide much that could contribute to the resources I desired for  writing.  This included the creation of a room of my own and the freedom that accompanies the financial provision for me during that period.

So, with only a few weeks before the deadline I set forth on the monumental task of a writing the grant.  I had never written a grant before, mind you, and this included many detailed sections with essays, samples of my work, and other required documents.   I would now recommend that one take not less than six months to try to acheive writing this grant.   This was a great lesson in "striving" for me as I spent many hours, almost sleepless nights, until I had almost completed the task.  Yet, when I knew I was not going to be able to make the deadline I had to relinquish my goal.  It was painful, but I prayed my way through it and finally found peace in the decision.  I really hadn't the room for this in my life at the time anyway. 

The entire process was an amazing experience which I am glad to have gone through.  I gained more experience in writing succinctly and more importantly it taught me an important lesson about striving.  I now realize that I must be diligent and hard working if I want to meet my writing goals someday, but I do not believe that requires me to make an emergency out of it.  It is better to keep pace than burn out.

One of the essays was about what my writing means to me.  That is an essay I think would be a good exercise for every writer.  When I reflected on that essay just a few weeks ago it made me so grateful that now I can, two years later, see what the Lord has been doing in my life to help me reach those goals.  He has been taking me step by step and it is so much better when He is in charge instead of me.  I've begun to journal this year the things that are happening in my writing life.  Yes, I know, we are only in the first week, but I have already sent in a submission, critiqued a book, and have been asked to join a new critque group.  I hope this time next year to be able to look back at my writing journey over the year and see what he did to fill up the journal, rather than what I did to fill up my calendar.

And just over the past few months, I now, also, have a room of my own - my writing and web design studio.   It's filled with lots of butterflies, books, and things to inspire me! It's a great place to write, but not having my own space never stopped me from writing.  God's resources make the best "room" for writing.

 Tell me how you find "room" for writing.


  1. I am so excited for you and really impressed how much you have done alreay. Your words motivate me to get going on this year's goals. And having your own space for writing does help. It made me feel like a professional at what I do. Blessings to you! I can't wait to read about your journey this year.

  2. I don't yet have a room of my own to write, I have a corner of the living room. Since I'm home alone most days, it's worked out fine so far. But I daydream, and have arranged that room of my own a dozen times in my mind.

    Looking forward to see what God writes in your journal this year!

  3. "My thoughts are like shooting stars, going off in all directions."

    I just read your welcome post. I LOVE that line. It is amazing how much it helps to write those thoughts down....

    Nice to meet you.

  4. Wish I could come over and draw inspiration from your room, Carla. It's just beautiful. And I especially love those bookshelves, something I lack. I'm like Lori and usually write in a corner of my living room though I have a small office sans laundry room. I've dreamed of a writing space for years, complete with a little woodstove and big windows and wall to wall bookshelves, but one of my sons will have to move out before that happens:)
    You inspire me!

  5. Wow, that's an incredible grant! And congrats on a room of your own to write! My writing room couples with my bedroom. I'd love to one day have a "writing room". That would make me very happy!

  6. At my house that we own in Georgia I had a Quilting Den. It was where I could create as well as a wall filled with bookshelves. Since we moved to this rental in Tennessee, there is a room that all that "stuff" is in, but it's not quite the same. Yet in a way it is still magical when AppleBlossom gives me the time to create.

    Thank you for joining in on the Christian Historical Fiction Challenge et al. *grin*

  7. What a gorgeous room! I love the picture of "The Reader." I need to get one of those myself.

    Isn't it amazing how much more peaceful our life is when we relinquish control to the Lord? I just wish I'd remember to do it every single day!

  8. You all are so dear! I must let you know that I almost had a writing room once...and then my son moved back home. When he left, the other one moved back. I called them the boomerang boys, out and in, and in and out. But that's what happens when your kids are young adults. It's too precious having them home again to complain, though eventually I might - say, when they're still home and 35 or so. My "boys" are 21 and almost 23 so you see that it took a lot of years to finally get a space of my own. And I hold it with an open hand. My husband has his a space now, too,(though it is also a storage room and if he gets bumped out if our son comes home again, he just might be moving in here with me. I hope he doesn't mind the girly stuff.

    Bookshelves: When I finally had the money for them I was suprised by a 50% off sale at Staples and was able to pick them up for only $30 a piece. I'd much rather have the built ins again that my husband made me for Christmas at our old home. God is such a good provider though, I needed them so badly.

  9. Welcome to some of our new visitors!!
    I hope you'll all be blessed with a special spot to write someday. One of my favorite places is still in God's big room outdoors!

    My ADHD Me - yes, I thought you might relate to that comment. Anyone else out there an ADDHer?

    Melissa. I found that picture of The Reader at a yard sale for 50 cents! I have to get it framed yet, waiting for a good sale. I was watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman one day and she has one in the new home Sully built. Silly me, I was so excited to see it!

  10. Congrats on your accomplishments already! Loved seeing the pictures; thanks for sharing.

    My writing room is my son's old bedroom. He moved into his own place 3 years ago. I share it with our other computer (for husband and daughter) and my sewing machine. So nice to have a place to write and store everything that goes with it.

    You've made me think; I may just have to tackle an essay about what writing means to me. It may help define some writing goals.
    Thanks and Blessings!

  11. Hi Carla -

    Great writing space. I noticed the picture of the woman reading the book. I have the same one!

    Where do you find grants? Wow, it would be great to get one of those and not have to worry about mundane things like eating. :)


  12. Karen, I writing about why you write is a good thing to do. It helps define your purpose and is very validating.

    Susan, yes, isn't that a great picture! Melissa has the picture, too. I wonder how many other writers and readers have one?

    I randomly came across AROHO, but you might want to check out http://www.fundsforwriters.com/.
    My part-time job has to work for now.

  13. Ah, I remember when you were all wrapped up in that grant...

    How awesome that we can see how God is faithful to do more than we could ever dream, even when we "fail".

    Cool beans about your writing space: The problem with me writing in the kitchen is that the fridge keeps calling me. "Hey," it whispers. "Forget your characters, forget your plot. Come over here and let me show you something REALLY interesting."

    Sadly, I seem to fall for it every time.

  14. Carla, you simply amaze me by all that you manage to do. Do you ever sleep? I love your writing room. I'm afraid I rove around with my laptop. I have a small room that I'm transforming into a writing nook but it's far from done. I'll take inspiration from yours.

  15. Groovy, that fridge is just going to learn to obey!

    Thank you. I have an over active and creative mind. I can't take any credit for it really. It's just how I'm wired. So it kind of seems like I do a lot, but not usually. I'm more of a project person. I'm actually a very layed back person who sleeps a lot. My health slows me down, perhaps that's a good thing.

    I hope you are all blessed with a nice writing nook of your own or can enjoy the vastness of the big room outdoors!

  16. Carla, your space is beautiful! Having my own work area was something I was adamant about as we began remodeling our house, and I do have one now. There are things I'd change about it, but for the most part it's perfect.

    Best to you in 2010!


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