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Longing for a room of my own

October 26, 2010

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. — Virginia Wolfe

Not very long ago during the Dark Ages before man invented the World Wide Web, I bought my first computer. I’d begun writing fiction and

 knew it would be much easier using a computer instead of a typewriter. I set up my computer in the spare room of my two-bedroom house, borrowed a folding table from my boyfriend to use as a desk, and stole a chair from my dining room. Voila! An office. My office.

After said boyfriend and I married, I moved into his larger house, and turned one of his spare bedrooms into my office. I had to share the space with some things he had stored there, but it was still my office. My husband can’t type and doesn’t spell very well, so he had little interest in the computer.

A few years later we moved out of state, and I again set up my office in a spare bedroom of our new house. Friends had given me a modem as a going-away gift and I signed up for AOL. Voila! Internet access. I was on the information superhighway.

Speeding toward a roadblock.

My husband took to the internet the way a duck takes to water. Suddenly, my computer became THE computer and my office became THE office and now I had to compete for computer time.

When I’m writing, driven by the pull of inspiration and obsession, I could easily spend hours at a stretch on the computer. Add to that time spent checking/sending email, surfing and blogging. But if my husband’s on the computer, I can’t be. If I’m on it, he can’t be, and I feel pressured as if he’s waiting in wings for his time.

We’re getting ready for another move, again out of state. We plan to build a house. We talked about getting another computer and building a real home office, not a converted bedroom masquerading as an office, but a real, designated office with build-in shelves and dual work stations. One that will allow both of us to use the space at the same time.

Sounded like a good plan at first. Except…I write erotic romance. Steamy, hot, singe-the-eyelashes-right-off-your-face-if-you-hold-the-book-too-close romance. And I can’t write if someone else—including my own husband—is in the room with me. I require complete privacy. (For the record…he reads what I write, but not until it’s completely finished).

There is no way I could write if he were sitting across the desk from me or even on the other side of the room. Plus, I need to write without interruptions. Knowing him as I do, if he were on the computer, every few minutes, he’d be saying, “Hey, come look at this.” Not to mention that so many of his emails seem to have music attached to them.

Not gonna work, no how, no way.

So we’ve discussed having one main office and a separate bedroom-converted-into-an-office for me to write in. I can foresee the beautiful designated office becoming his sole office and converted space becoming mine.

But I just want my office and my computer back.

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