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A Room of One's Own

I've heard many male authors say that they write like a job. Nine-to-five. Or, eight hours a day. I find that amazing--that they can do such a thing. It isn't that I don't want to, I'd love to. But I have a job as a professor, I'm the mother two two children, and childcare costs are very high. I would love to write all day. But most days--I can't.

But since high school when I read Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, I knew I needed just that. I still don't have it--not in my home. But I do have a room of my own at Green Gulch Retreat. And I try to go there twice a year to write for eight hours a day, or more. The retreat isn't long--three days. So, this year I'm heading to a residency on an artist's grant. I'll be at Vermont Studio Center for two weeks. And there I'll have my own apartment, and my own studio. A real room of my own--just for writing.

But despite my Woolf-esque dream of long ago, I never thought of myself as the Artist's Residency kind-of person. Why? Because I write YA and there's all this societal chatter about how YA is for girls and therefore not serious art. Please. Writing clear stories for a young audience is one of the hardest things a writer can attempt. Once I realized that I was the only one holding myself back, I applied.

If you haven't ever applied to a writing residency, I highly recommend trying. Many are completely free except for transportation, and several have partial artist's grants. You can find an extensive list of residencies on Poets & Writers.

And then, there you go: a room of your own to write not like a man--but like the one and only Virginia Woolf. Enjoy!

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