A Finished Room of My Own

One year ago today, I started this blog.  I did so at the urging of Michele Kort, senior editor at Ms. Magazine.  I had the privilege of speaking with her on the phone because a family member of mine happens to be Michele’s good friend.  Michele spoke with me on two separate occasions, looked over some of my work, and promoted blogging as the way to go.  Boy, was she right, and not because I’ve been “discovered” or because I have writing contracts now.

She was right because, for me, blogging has been a great blessing in my life.  It has urged me to write, even when the subject is silly or unimportant to a large audience.  It has helped me to schedule my writing and to keep track of the books I read, the main purpose of this blog.  I find it useful to document my reading and to have these documents available to look back on and to help me remember the words I soon forget.  Blogging has also given me a community of people to share ideas with.  I enjoy the interactions I have with you on my blog, and I also love the opportunities I have to read what you write and to exchange views and opinions in a friendly forum.

Because today marks one year for me, I thought it would be appropriate to remind you of my very first post.  I’m sure many of you haven’t read it!

Do You Leap Out of Bed in the Morning?

I also thought it appropriate to revisit my third post, in which I told my then very small audience about a household project.  We were finishing the last part of our basement, and one of the rooms was to become my office, a room of my own, if you will.  From there, I outlined Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929).  Her work speaks to me, and now that I have a room of my own, in which I can write, study, blog, relax, and read, I wanted to show how that turned out.

Here’s the room that is my own.  (As you can see, it didn’t end up being shades of lavender, darn it!)

room 2

room

It also doesn’t completely belong to me.  I share it.  With my family.  And that’s okay.

It isn’t complete, in my opinion.  I’d like to see some shelving along the wall above the computers and desks where I can keep books and files and maybe some decorative knickknacks and pictures.  That wall seems blank, so it needs something.  Any suggestions?

This is one of my favorite parts.

room kindness

It is a cut out from a magazine that one of my students, Jill, gave to me last summer semester.  She saw it, full of pictures of amazing and kind women, and brought it to me.  I framed it and it sits beside my computer, where I can be reminded that some of the greatest moments in life are those in which we are kind.  And because of kindness, we can achieve much and pull others up with us.

I’m also a big fan of my curtains, which are a whimsical woodland pattern with bright colors.  My photography doesn’t do them justice (because it’s actually quite terrible).  So, I’ve included an image from the website where I bought them, Urban Outfitters.

room curtains

room curtains image

The picture below is my wall of publications, which I have framed.  I dreamed of being a published author as a child, and although this sort of writing does not represent what I someday thought I would do, it represents for me that I can write and that I can achieve success there, even if it isn’t fiction.  I also like the artwork on the covers.  They add texture, color and interest to the room.  I hope to continue to add to this wall.

room publications

I also covered this bulletin board myself.  It doesn’t look professional, but a few yards of orange chevron fabric and batting and a spool of green ribbon from the local craft store made this old board, which has seen many years of use, into something much more cute, funky, and updated.

room computer

Thanks for following my blog and thanks for a great year!  I plan to continue because of the great sense of community I get from you and because of the value I see in documenting my reading habits.

Reading takes me to different worlds.  Blogging takes me to different people.

And, this post would not be complete without a picture of what my room really looks like, when I haven’t cleaned it up for pictures!

room messy

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69 thoughts on “A Finished Room of My Own

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  1. I especially appreciate your messy room picture because my space looks similar, only mine is on my dining table, an unfortunate side effect of a studio apartment. 🙂 But the space is still mine and so is the work that mess represents. I enjoy your blog! Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Denise. It really wouldn’t be fair to only post the “pretty” pictures, because they aren’t reality. A room (or a dining table!) should be used, and the mess shows the usefulness of it!

    2. I agree! Thanks for keeping it real! 🙂 I love the “messy” room picture – to me, it just looks well used and loved. I’m glad you have your space!

  2. It is wonderful to see where you work on your blogs. It makes you more real. I also peeked at your picture on your front page. You look pretty, happy and young. I have a room we call the study, where I write, which is not nearly as neat as yours. I have piles of papers and post-it notes everywhere. It’s a nice homey room though, and I have a little heater for cold days like today. Brrr!

    1. I have a little space heater, too! My basement is so cold. Thank you for the compliments, and believe me, I am very real! Sometimes I wonder what I’m really portraying here, because I want to be authentic, but I guess it is impossible to ever really KNOW somebody fully, even in person. Your study sounds nice and cozy.

  3. Happy blogiversary, Emily! I had no idea we started blogging around the same time. I wish I had such a lovely place to write. I absolutely love the unusual framed art. Very cool!

  4. Congratulations on your one year anniversary, and on your room-of-your-own. It gives off calm and creative vibes, which would make it a perfect place to reflect and write. As for the blank wall, you could put up pictures of authors who inspire you, serving as an extension of your “kind women” pic. Here are some ideas: Obvious State’s shop on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ObviousState?ref=seller_info); Katherine Cordega’s author portraits on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/listing/71867510/author-portraits-set-of-3-letterpress), or a picture of a place or something else that symbolizes creative power.

    1. Oh my! I LOVE that idea! How great. I am going to look into this. I actually do have a framed postcard of Virginia Woolf in my living room, but it would be awesome to have bigger prints and more authors because that would mean more inspiration. Thanks, Naomi!

    1. It is a fantastic book! One of my good friends Josh of the blog World’s Strongest Librarian, who has a book of that title coming out this year, suggested it to me almost a decade ago and I loved it! Enjoy!

      1. Also if you publish them, you get them protect to any loses ( essays) will be permanent and so, also everyone can see them,

        you must consider this too..

  5. hello emily,

    my name is murat, I’m a turkish writer, your blog is very nice. Have you been writed a book or used only bloggging.. I’m also doing blogging and writing books: here my blog, if you share and look up my book, I’ll very glad

    Early ı used to setting up classic web sites, but when I come accros the blogging, like it seems better than classic web sites. Mmy blog is set up in the beginning of this year,i.e 01,01,13

    So, it is a new borned baby and I like and named that: “bloggingbaby” the time over and over..

    http://cheapestbooks.wordpress.com/

    good by..

    1. I write academic essays, since I am a student, and I try to publish non-fiction short pieces. No book for me, yet! When I do, it will likely be academic. Anyway, good luck on your blog and thanks for stopping by!

      1. and we also publish books online e-book and print format this blog foccused new writes such as academic studies or romance or science fiction, we can publish your studies reliable prices also in amazon.com, lulu.com ans smashwords.com and distributed your books online other many web pblisher sites, And I also prepare cover image and interior design for your books, if you want, contact me, our system completely works online and payment siystem too works also online with pay-pal and you take your revenues with your pay-pal account, completely basic and safely publishing system..

        murat

      2. if you think about publishing your books, I can help you.. emily.
        we have a good online publishing project..

        the Cheapest Books solve this problem for you, thanks very..
        ı’m glad you to meet you…

        ı will wait your response

  6. Happy year 1 of blogging, Emily! I’m so glad you share your ideas here, I definitely feel richer for it. I love all of the little touches in your office, and the fact that you shared a photo if it when it’s a mess! Here’s to another year of awesome content 🙂

  7. Happy anniversary–and I love those curtains! My vote is to put something temporary up on the walls so you can take it down when you get more publishing credits to hang up there. (And thanks for showing us the paper… my desk area looks like that too! I’d rather be writing/blogging than filing.)

  8. Congratulations on your blogoversary! I like the way the room turned out. I’m very glad that you’re part of the blogging community!

  9. Congrats on your blogging journey! I look forward to becoming more enriched by it this year. I am glad we got the opportunity to become friends. You are awesome! Also, your room looks lovely. I am delighted you have a place of your own. Keep blogging!

    1. Thanks, Chanelle! I am so glad to know you too. Good luck this semester. Oh, and if you want to read some of my publications, the ones that are available online are here on my blog under the Publications page at the top. 🙂 They are mostly boring…

  10. Emily, I love your room. I am sitting about three feet from our family computer as I type on my work laptop. And, I adore your Acts of Kindness page. Where can I get a copy of that? I am looking at a quote by Albert Collins that I carry with me which you might appreciate. “Don’t mistake kindness for weakness.” This speaks volumes to me. Thanks for sharing your world. BTG

    1. Thank you, BTG. I like that quote. Being kind definitely does not mean that one is weak. It’s the opposite. It looks like my kindness page came from Good Housekeeping and as far as I can tell, it was the July 2012 issue. That may or may not be accurate!

  11. It is kind of funny that my baby sister was on star fall because it was playing five little speckled frogs ha ha he he

  12. “Reading takes me to different worlds. Blogging takes me to different people.”

    I love this – you are so right.

    I found your blog a couple of months ago and this is my first time commenting. This post is so inspiring to me in so many ways, since my goal for the year is to be kinder, to read more, to write more, and to have a clean space of my own. I’d love to have my own “after” photos before the year is out!

    Congratulations on your year of blogging! I love your voice and have been enjoying your writing.

    Cecilia

    1. Cecilia, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words to me! What a great way to start my Sunday. I am glad to know that you have been reading, and thanks for commenting! Good luck with your writing goals this year and I hope you get a room of your own too.

  13. I loved your room and the way you expressed yourself.
    Oh and happy 1 year of blogging. 🙂 xx

    P.s I loved the cut out of mag you framed “Great moment in Kindness”. 🙂

  14. You strike a chord with me. I’m a new reader and follower of your blog and I just read your “Do you leap out of bed in the morning?” post. Granted, I’m not a writer (I’m a business owner) but the idea of “leaping out of bed in the morning” really resonates with me. Everybody has their own exciting “thing” that makes them want to get out of bed (hopefully), and mine is entrepreneurship. I’m glad that you seemed to have found your calling with blogging in the past year. Me? I’m a year too late, it seems. I was just wondering, do you have any tips for those of us who are just starting? I would love to know how you’ve been able to build such a large readership!

    1. I’m glad to have you here! For me, the trick to blogging is blogging about what you love. I would also say to create a regular posting schedule and stick to it. Once a week, twice a week, etc. And don’t get discouraged. I posted twice a week for five months before I started getting “attention” from other bloggers and Freshly Pressed. Also, the number of readers doesn’t really indicate actual views or comments. To me, those comments and the fun conversations I have with others is what really makes blogging worth it to me. Good luck!

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