A room of one’s own: what if your “room” could be portable?

What happens when you get the urge to create?

  • Do you retreat to a music studio to write a song?
  • Do you go to your specially designated study to write?
  • Do you paint your latest masterpiece in a light-filled studio?
  • Do you shut the door when you enter your room?

Why do secret hideaway places draw us like magnets?

I wanted a room of my own when I first discovered Louisa May Alcott as a kid. There was an illustration of Louisa in her special room where it was quiet and she could think. When she had finished writing her latest poem or story, she could indulge in her other favorite passion, running, by racing out the door to her room that led outside.

drawing by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard
drawing by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard

Getting away from the noise

Louisa’s family was noisy; quiet and privacy were hard to come by. Journals were a community affair with the parents writing notes in the margins. Louisa’s father Bronson often encouraged the children to read from their journals during the evening meal. Louisa was criticized by her father for writing too much about herself.

No wonder then that Louisa spent much of her life seeking out rooms of her own.

Finding a separate space

I used to think that a separate space away from everyone was necessary in order to create. A busy household with younger children makes finding quiet time difficult. It’s even more difficult when your home is too small to afford a separate space.

This was when I began to learn that any space could be a room of my own.
The physical space was not the key; it was the rituals you established that created that space.

512 louisa writing in the appletree
illustration by Flora Smith, from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard

With that kind of mindset, a room of one’s own can be portable.

You might think it’s a waste of time to explore tools and work routines.

It is time well-invested. In the end, it saves time.

Why?

It took me hours, days, weeks, even months to figure out what worked for me. I searched diligently for those t00ls, those routines that would catapult me away from the world into my creative “zone” in an instant.

Now I snap into my “zone” with no effort at all, wherever I happen to be, so long as I have my tools (which for me are the Nook and my iPhone – see previous post) and routines.

My room is portable.

I can set up anywhere, anytime, in quiet spaces and noisy ones too. The rituals and tools I use act as a trip wire, sending me into my head for a delicious time of writing.

ADDENDUM: I just found this post about other writers and their own “rooms” – check it out at www.penheaven.co.uk/blog/getting-down-to-writing/

What tools do you use to create? What are your rituals that help you to create?
Where is your room?

Click to Tweet & Share: A room of one’s own: what if your “room” could be portable? http://wp.me/p2D9hg-CU

Follow this blog by email and never miss a post!
At the top of the right hand column  just click on “Follow” under Follow this Blog via Email. You will receive an email every time Susan writes a new post.
Follow Susan on Facebook and Twitter
Listen to Susan’s music Read Susan’s blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

A room of one’s own: what if your “room” could be portable?

What happens when you get the urge to create?

  • Do you retreat to a music studio to write a song?
  • Do you go to your specially designated study to write?
  • Do you paint your latest masterpiece in a light-filled studio?
  • Do you shut the door when you enter your room?

Why do secret hideaway places draw us like magnets?

I wanted a room of my own when I first discovered Louisa May Alcott as a kid. There was an illustration of Louisa in her special room where it was quiet and she could think. When she had finished writing her latest poem or story, she could indulge in her other favorite passion, running, by racing out the door to her room that led outside.

drawing by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard
drawing by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard

Getting away from the noise

Louisa’s family was noisy; quiet and privacy were hard to come by. Journals were a community affair with the parents writing notes in the margins. Louisa’s father Bronson often encouraged the children to read from their journals during the evening meal. Louisa was criticized by her father for writing too much about herself.

No wonder then that Louisa spent much of her life seeking out rooms of her own.

Finding a separate space

I used to think that a separate space away from everyone was necessary in order to create. A busy household with younger children makes finding quiet time difficult. It’s even more difficult when your home is too small to afford a separate space.

This was when I began to learn that any space could be a room of my own.
The physical space was not the key; it was the rituals you established that created that space.

512 louisa writing in the appletree
illustration by Flora Smith, from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard

With that kind of mindset, a room of one’s own can be portable.

You might think it’s a waste of time to explore tools and work routines.

It is time well-invested. In the end, it saves time.

Why?

It took me hours, days, weeks, even months to figure out what worked for me. I searched diligently for those t00ls, those routines that would catapult me away from the world into my creative “zone” in an instant.

Now I snap into my “zone” with no effort at all, wherever I happen to be, so long as I have my tools (which for me are the Nook and my iPhone – see previous post) and routines.

My room is portable.

I can set up anywhere, anytime, in quiet spaces and noisy ones too. The rituals and tools I use act as a trip wire, sending me into my head for a delicious time of writing.

ADDENDUM: I just found this post about other writers and their own “rooms” – check it out at www.penheaven.co.uk/blog/getting-down-to-writing/

What tools do you use to create? What are your rituals that help you to create?
Where is your room?

Click to Tweet & Share: A room of one’s own: what if your “room” could be portable? http://wp.me/p2D9hg-CU

Follow this blog by email and never miss a post!
At the top of the right hand column  just click on “Follow” under Follow this Blog via Email. You will receive an email every time Susan writes a new post.
Follow Susan on Facebook and Twitter
Listen to Susan’s music Read Susan’s blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

How I run away from home … for lunch! The secret gardens of Wellesley College

Sometimes you just want to run away from home. It’s not that home’s so bad. In fact, home is great! But the warm autumn weather beckons, tinged with a crisp breeze, and it carries you away to beautiful places.

In my quest to get to the local CVS during lunch to pick up a pound of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, the pristine day led me to nearby Wellesley College and one of my favorite places, behind the Botany Building where my mom used to work, in the secret gardens.

wellesley college secret garden1

I made a mental note that I must bring a notebook with me the next time I come here and plant myself in one of these little outdoor rooms and scribble away.

My favorite author and writing muse, Louisa May Alcott, wrote of her longing for a room of her own. Finally nearing her teens, her parents gave her one with a door leading out to the garden where she could “run away from home” whenever she liked.

Louisa May Alcott in her own room, illustration by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard
Louisa May Alcott in her own room, illustration by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard

Louisa also loved writing in apple trees, crunching on crisp, juicy apples:

"I write best up in the apple tree"; illustration by Flora Smith.
“I write best up in the apple tree”; illustration by Flora Smith.

So I thought of Louisa in her apple tree when I saw this pine:

wellesley college secret garden8

I loved this little “room” created by fir bushes, complete with a little door:

wellesley college secret garden4

The view outside the room was equally lovely:

wellesley college secret garden7

A grape arbor with flat stones for a bench:

wellesley college secret gardens of the heart2

A stone bench dedicated to a loved one as a place to remember loved ones:

wellesley college secret gardens of the heart3

All this just a short walk from my office. Does “home” get any better than this?

Made me think of a song by Judy Collins:

And if I hadn’t taken that detour to the college, I wouldn’t have noticed that a new Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins store has opened in Wellesley Square. I was able to get my pound of coffee for less money, and use the savings to get my favorite iced mocha with cream and sugar. 🙂

I can’t wait for the next time when I can “run away from home.” And I’ll be sure and take a notebook next time.

Do you have any secret gardens near your office or home?

Where do you like to steal away for the loveliness of quiet and solitude?

Click to Tweet & Share: How I run away from home … for lunch! The secret gardens of Wellesley College http://wp.me/p2D9hg-vc

Would you like to learn along with Susan how to live your life
in single flow?
Send an email to susanwbailey@gmail.com
to subscribe, and never miss a post!
Follow Susan on Facebook and Twitter
Listen to Susan’s music Read Susan’s blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion