My own room – day and time

My own room – day and time

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-Good day! I shouted, locking the front door and running to the kitchen, where I waved to the boys out the window as they ran to the school bus. From this point on, I stay home alone for about eight hours. The work day can begin, and the first thing I do is start a load of laundry. Then I go to the office, where I fill the hours with drawings and texts. This house is our private room.

What do I need to be able to make a living drawing and writing? I need a place where I can be creative and productive, and I need someone to pay me for it. This is how I make money for my wallet, Virginia Woolf wrote in her long essay Private room for an individual From 1929.

“Anyone who has notes in his wallet and can produce more can say: I need not hate any man, he can do nothing for me. I need not flatter any man either, he has nothing to offer me.” (My business volume.)

And here I sit, free from the historical imbalance of power.

It wasn't always so spacious and free, and not here at home either. You won't go back that far before it was crowded here. A very large number of family members were confined between these walls, and one of them was always taking the stairs. In the 1970s, while they were building the house they now live in on the adjacent lot, Uncle Norvald, Aunt Solveig and their child moved to the second floor. My bedroom was their living room. In one photo, they are celebrating my cousin Trine's first birthday. The whole family is present in the living room located on the side of what is today known as my husband's bed.

It was around this time that my mother moved away from home. Eventually she too got her own room in the basement tire shop in Norheimsund. Not long ago, she shared a photo of herself on Facebook, in which she stands in front of a wall with molds, tire cutters, and a heat pump, under the title My seat. Now 72 years old, she exudes great joy in the workshop she has run for more than 30 years.

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My mother went to the last grade at Vitgar School of Home Economics, then became a nurse's assistant and earned a diploma in glass and framing when I was young.

She was never rich in tires, but she had her own car and a radio and Settlement bookand thus its own framework in which it unfolds.

Her mother, Clara, came from the small island of Lonoy here in Austiful. Her first job was as a herring girl, which meant she was salting herring and packing it into barrels. Then it was in serviceSeven children were fed and cared for.

She then married, and kept the farm with cows, pigs, chickens and four children while her husband was on a boat for up to several years.

“It's one thing to write. It's another thing to make money from it.”

It was Pesto who taught me that no matter how little money you have, always put some in the bank.

She never got an education. She never had the chance.

But it's funny how my family talks about it when we get together.

Besto can be a designer! She cut off the bottoms of long coats and sewed matching hats from fabric.

Pesto could be an inventor! Using a vacuum cleaner and an electric potato peeler, I made a device for cleaning gooseberries.

When I write something that people think is funny, maybe a little on the edge, they say: I got that from Clara. Like when I imitate others.

Pesto could be a comedian!

The only thing that could have been was someone pinning and butchering people's clothes at the Vixen Awards and other red runners. She saw what was appropriate and what wasn't, but most of it could be secured with a narrow belt around the waist.

When I think of my mother, Woolf looks to the women writers who led the way. Like Aphra Behn (1640-1689) – I wonder if she is related to the Ari? – One of the first women writers to earn her own money.

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Because writing is one thing. Making money from it is another thing. Woolf says it this way: “Money gives value to what is useless when it is not paid for.”

With Aphra Behn as an example, girls who write can say at home: You don't need my support, I can make money by writing.

Pioneering women have shown the way, and Woolf has shown that it's important to get paid for what you do.

I myself had a wonderful experience when I interviewed Hilde Sandvik in 2019. In a conversation about finances and creativity in particular, she said that she believes you should get paid for good ideas. I lived these words on the page, but the strange thing is that they did not find a place in the interview I wrote.

Woolf believes that without their predecessors, Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, or George Eliot, they would not have been able to write. “Because artistic masterpieces are not an individual and isolated birth; they are the result of many years of joint thinking, the thinking of an entire people, so that the experience of the masses lies behind the single voice.” (My business volume.)

Jane Austen (1775-1817), did not have an easy time writing! She wrote without her own desk, in the daily crowded room, and was exposed to all kinds of disturbances. If someone came, she would cover her coffin. Austen did not want guests and others to see what she was doing, and the books were not published under her name either. They just wrote “Written by a Woman” on them. LIKENS: The Brontë sisters had male aliases, and the famous George Eliot, yes, her real name was Mary Ann Evans.

I actually felt myself in Jane Austen when I was with my parents at my childhood home over winter break and thought I'd write a little. It was a challenge.

The house is full of sounds and moments of turmoil. Over time, the hearing of those living in the house became worse. They were no longer talking to each other, but shouting at each other.

In the blink of an eye, I saw myself in the kitchen with a notebook. The dynamic in the kitchen is such that the last person to enter has the right to speak. It is possible that it is the father who recently saw an interesting program on TV that he wants to talk about. Or the mother signaling not to disturb but loudly. When she's not hunting, she's commenting on what she looks like in the window. There is always a family of birds to accompany her.

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– Where is Clara, by the way? I ask, and the mother says she is above.

Not Pesto, who died in 2011, but the cat named after Pesto. It was a wild cat that my brother caught in Östivöll in 2008, and was tamed by its mother in Norheimsund, where it lived in a pigeon for the first few months.

Clara has survived several dogs, and she gets along well with them. The photo of the cat and dog in beautiful harmony was something the mother could be proud of.

Clara had 15 free years, but her life was turned upside down this fall. The new dog in the house, Lara, can't see a cat without wanting to take it on a fetch mission herself.

Overnight, Clara lost all her rights, and all winter she lived in exile on the second floor. She had to get used to cat food, something she hadn't eaten since 2008, and all meals were delivered to her in the upstairs bedroom.

Clara's situation shows that you never know when your freedom will be taken away from you.

Visiting your childhood home is like traveling through time. One thing I learned from Virginia Woolf is that the past is not an easy place for women writers.

Creative women of all kinds need space and a financial framework.

Pesto could be a newspaper illustrator!

Note: The introduction is a paraphrase of the first sentence of the article A Room of One's Own (1929)
By Virginia Woolf.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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