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A Room of One's Own - .

a room of one's own

Over the past few months I have been feeling restless and rootless at work. I couldn't understand what the matter was - I love my job but I just couldn't settle to write or plan. Perhaps you recognise the feeling.

Then I realised it dated from a few months ago when we moved to hot desking, sitting wherever the work is and getting on with it.

That is efficient for day to day making and dispatching, for crunching through spreadsheets and answering email, but it turned out to not be good for anything creative, anything that needed a clear head.

In 1929 Virginia Woolf published "A Room of One's Own" which argued that without a dedicated room, creation is impossible. It made me think.

We are out of space in the workshop and I don't have a room in my home to convert into an office so first I tried working at the kitchen table.

I ate a lot of biscuits, I became easily distracted by unloaded dishwasher and unwashed dishes. I remembered why I had moved the business out of the house in the first place.

Then I thought that maybe what I needed wasn't a room, but a space - almost a sacred space - that was purely dedicated to creation. There isn't anyone else in the house during the day so, as long as I cleared things away, I could pick the best spot and make it my own.

I chose a corner of the sunroom - a rather neglected room that is mainly dogs and welly boots - and made my creation corner from a round table and a bedside chair. So far it is working.


My top tips for making space to create when you don't have a room.

1. Turn your back on household mess. If you can't see it, it can't bug you. I sit at a round table facing the garden.

2. Work out the minimum stuff you need in order to create - for me that is a notebook, a diary and a laptop, pens and a camera.

3. Dedicate the space. Make it like an altar, include a couple of things that make your heart sing. I have a bunch of sweet peas and a beeswax tea light by me as I type this. I particularly like tea lights as they smell wonderful and burn in about 4 hours which is a good writing session. Choose the prettiest water glass, the nicest jug.

4. Spend time setting out the space in the morning and clearing it up at the end of the day - think about where all your things can go when you finish - a box or a basket, a briefcase or bag. If it is set up when you start you are less likely to walk off leaving chaos. I have a simple rectangular cane basket that tucks under the table and sweep everything bar lap top, flowers and candle into it at night.

5.Put out drinks and snacks at the beginning of the session - if I don't do this I spend 50% of my time rootling around the fridge. I also find that if I have a big bottle of chilled water and a glass on the table by me I romp through my daily water.

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Tags: life summer

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