Does a woman writer, in modern times, still need a room of her own, plus enough money to provide her with food, housing, and other necessities? It’s been almost 100 years since Virginia Woolf published her classic book about women and fiction, A Room of One’s Own. Having read it last week, I was astonished by how applicable her thoughts and ideas are today.

I can’t imagine having been able to finish the books I have written without (1) a home office with a closable door, plus (2) a job with a steady income. I am grateful, as a woman, to be living in a time when society is not condemning me for having such luxuries.

If you, like me—regardless of your gender or other attributes—are a writer who has the good fortune to possess a room of your own and whatever today’s equivalent of five hundred pounds is, what are you to do next? Here’s what Virginia has to say:

“I find myself saying briefly and prosaically that it is much more important to be oneself than anything else. Do not dream of influencing other people. . . . Think of things in themselves.”

That looks like wisdom if I have ever seen it. Is anything more important, when you are well provided for and within your own room, than the ability to be yourself?

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