Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Story

I'm reading Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own for my book club. I'm sure I read it about twenty-five years ago because there is a lot of familiarity but I started it again today, after I'd done my tax return. I could not have timed my reading any worse.

My tax return was a dismal thing because I earn less than I spend (and aside from books and the mortgage, I don't spend much) - and doing my tax, it seemed I earned less than I had to pay the damn tax office. So I was feeling miserable - underpaid, under appreciated, etc etc.- and I hoped Ms Woolf's writing would pick me up.

The theme of Virginia Woolf's book is Women and Fiction, and one of the most well-known phrases from the book is,  "...a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction..."

Well, obviously I struggle with money as do so many other writers I know (many of them women), and then this week, the Wonkomance girls have a fabulous post about the places people write - see it here. And many of the women who have included a photo here, do not have a room of their own.

I read a section where Virginia Woolf says she imagines in a century, all she's saying may be different and women may be true equals and have rights the same as men. Eighty five years on, I think she'd be sorry at how we haven't achieved all that much, and are still having the same 'women need more' debates. Although, there have been so many changes for women since 1928, maybe I'm wrong and she'd see them and be pleased. I just got the feeling she thought a century would see a huge change or even a reversal in the treatment of women.

So, I'm off to go and finish the discourse on women and fiction. I hope it doesn't continue to drag me into the pits of despair where I wonder why I'm doing the things I love, when they earn me so little. Maybe I need to go back to serious work where I earned at least four times what I do now. Life is tough sometimes.

Spur me onwards Virginia Woolf! I want to keep writing fiction.


  1. She obviously worked! Judging from your 'The End' news... I don't think about this type of thing (you know that about me by now), but I think that sounds poignant, and kind of sad - about how far women have (yet haven't) come in 100 years.

    Lily M

    1. I stopped reading her, so I could get to 'The End'. I suddenly realised it was important to concieve the story last Grand Final and finish writing it this Grand Final. I was so close to finished it just had to be. Virginia Woolf and my tax was not going to stop me!! (It's only scribbled on paper and the last 5 chapters are unedited, but at least I got to a HEA, which was in doubt for a while in my mind.)

      I think too much about this stuff...but fortunately I'm easily distracted! So the blog is perfect - air my thoughts, run on to something else! I used to get bogged down in these things when I was younger. I think I've become more cynical, and lighter-thinking, for preservation of myself.

      Cate xox