A Woolf In My Room

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I read this article today and had to sigh.  It is a never ending farcical endeavour trying to write when the kids are about, even before I consider all the glass ceiling/weaker sex debate that Virginia Woolf brings up (which, contrary to the article I linked, has come a long way). 

And leaving out the housework and laundry…

I am positive there is unmapped potential in me that I am too distracted and tired to even begin to send out into the world; it’s a blooming good thing I love the punks I live with, and have begun to get serious about organising and simplifying our home to give my future self much more freedom 😉

My nine words came from Randomlists :

selection from Randomlists



Swift   Head   Kaput   Acoustic   Announce   Habitual   Melodic   Paper   Uppity


I sit here:

Swift pen straining to extract,

From a head that’s kaput,

All of the creative ideas

That came to me

Over the dishes.



Young male voices


Testing acoustic limits

In a steamy, tiled room.

woman on a typewriter

(YouTube has taught them

To announce and project

Every thought in their head

So that those at the back may hear…)


One would think

That I could shut out

This habitual (oft-melodic)

Interruption through daily practice;

But it seeps into my mother-brain,

Keeps me reacting

As if their squawks mean danger – 

An invisible force,

Pulling me from my paper

Almost as violently

As the uppity, soggy child

Who later bursts through my door…


Hubby does the honours when it comes to the boys’ daily showers.  I oscillate between trying to write in that short  time and just getting small ‘straightening’ tasks done in the house while keeping half an eye on motivational YouTube videos.

It doesn’t really matter what room I’m in, the children will come and find me to tell me something ‘urgent’.  Pairing socks is easier to get back to than a poem, after a long discussion about what kind of snake a purple squiggle on their artwork is (and whether or not the characters they’ve drawn are in immediate danger), it must be said.

I love that they want to involve me in their creativity and lives, and I often get small things gifted to me at this time, so it can be really sweet; but if I have been unable to write at any other point of the day, or one of the kids has been off ill (as was the case today) and I have had no quiet space with my thoughts due to cuddling and playing time, I find it really hard to still be in demand when someone else is there for them.

I write best before 9pm, and ideally between 10am and 2pm.  This will be easier after the summer when Youngest starts school, of course, but I also need that outlet now.  After reading to the boys and getting them to agree to go to bed (!) it is really too late for my brain to generate anything like a “lightning crack of genius”.

My life is a blessed and comfortable one, and I of course realise how precious all this time I get to spend with my kids is, but I feel – after almost eight years – my restlessness falls in line with Woolf’s observations about rooms and ruminations quite a bit these days 😉


[Second pic is from here]

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