a room of one's own

academy of ballet studio

"It was like the time between the lights when colours undergo their intensification and purples and golds burn in the window-panes like the beat of an excitable heart..."

Such true words from Virginia Woolf. How does she do it? I want to keep these words close to my heart, a reminder of why I love this time of day so very much, that special time when the afternoon light is so lovely it illuminates everything, like the way the curtains float ever so gently in our ballet studio, the shadows and silhouettes made by bodies slowly moving to music, that sigh you feel in the air from a day just ending and the evening that is about to begin.

I am currently reading A Room of One's Own and let me tell you, it is a goldmine of truths. What I really love about her writing is that it gives me room to pause and think. She tends to write long run-on sentences and observations that may not be related to what she had originally wanted to talk about, but I don't really mind because it's almost as if she is inviting me to join in her thought process.

In this book, Woolf talks about women and writing and argues that women need some income and a room of their own in order to create. I soon found myself thinking about rooms and spaces, those spaces that we seek and create for ourselves so we can pursue our own truths, be it in writing, photography, painting, etc. What kind of spaces, both physical and emotional, do we seek? And how do we keep it in a way that we remain true to our authentic selves?

I tend to surround myself with books and people who have similar passions as I do. I also try to go outside as much as I can, walk around or sit and just look at people, take pictures and if I'm lucky, pull out my little notebook and start writing things down. But for the most part, it doesn't always happen this way. When I have too much time in my hands, I tend to self-indulge and it takes me forever to leave the house. Or I try to do so many things all at once without actually getting anything done.

And then there are the virtual spaces. I think we all know how easy it is to get lost in the internet for hours. At the same time, it is also a source of inspiration and I've met so many like-minded individuals and friends through blogging. So how do we balance this out without making it just another means to procrastinate? And for those of us who have blogs, how do we make it a space that allows us to grow in our creative lives and share this to others who read it?

These are some of the thoughts running through my head after reading two chapters of A Room of One's Own. Its been awhile since I've read a book that really inspires me to reflect on my own life and I'm so glad that I picked this one up. Has any of you read it? If so, what did you like about this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. oh this book sounds wonderful- I'm totally going to read it now. Thanks for sharing and I love how you think!

  2. I love 'A Room of One's Own', for me, it's a symbol of individuality and independence, and the right to claim solitude as a woman. But it's so many other things too. Such a great post!

  3. I haven't read this (the only Virginia Woolf book I've read is Mrs Dalloway and I really enjoyed it) but I can relate to so much of what you've written here. I think it's important to have a space where you feel comfortable and creative, whether that is a room in your own house, or a table in a cafe, or the local library. Whatever, wherever, works.

    I've also found surrounding myself with people who have similar interests has inspired me, and I mean both in person and the internet. I could read blogs all day and believe it or not, I've found so many interesting people on Twitter. I don't care what anyone says, I think Twitter is amazing!

  4. AnonymousJuly 13, 2011

    Virginia Woolf never disappoints me. Her writing is so intense and beautiful, I love it. I haven't read this one, but I'm sure it must be amazing.

    Camila Faria

  5. what a beautiful post. i think i will add this read to my list.

  6. thank you for sharing your thoughts odessa, i LOVE your posts my friend!:)
    got to go to the library tomorrow and borrow that book, you made me want to read it immediately...

    i LOVED the "new" jane eyre so much that i must by my own copy of the dvd when it comes out! i LOVED everything about it, it was a masterpiece...the music, the way of filming, the costumes...YES, EVERYTHING!
    have you seen the film bright star? i like it so much : )

    the last couole of days have been sunny and warm here, it is wonderful! have been weeding in my overgrown rosebeds today...and eating lots of strawberries..yum : )

    hope you are having a lovely summer too,

  7. I read the book years ago when I was in college and remember really loving it. I'll have to reread it again, you have inspired me to pick it up again. Love your photo, it really personifies the words she wrote.

  8. tammy, thank you. its a great book.

    hila, yes, definitely. esp the "right to claim solitude as a woman". i can only imagine how hard it must be then during her time.

    annelise, i've yet to try twitter, i'm afraid i'd be so addicted and won't get anything done then. also, mrs. dalloway is one of my favorites.

    camila, yes. i agree, her writing is intensely beautiful.

  9. christina, thank you!

    vibeke, oh i'm so happy you loved jane eyre! and your summer sounds idyll. i've been sick for the past couple of days, so no frolicking under the sun for me.

    mauigirl, thanks for dropping by! i miss you, my friend.

  10. Hello there, I just discovered your blog through Hila's and I like what I am seeing and reading. As a big Woolf- fan I love how younger generations keep finding her work and sharing their love of it with the world. A room of one's own is indeed a beautiful book. There are very few writers who manage to combine wonderful content with exquisite style. Woolf was a master at this. My personal favourite of hers is The Waves (I did my PhD research on her use of language in it). I can highly recommend it - even though many people find it tedious :-)

    x E.