Hello, hello, and welcome to the middle of the week, dear readers. If you are feeling a little run down or if Friday is feeling a little too far away, I encourage you to check out Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading and Ronovan of Ronovan Writes. My contribution is from English writer Virginia Woolf.
Virginia Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen on January 25th, 1882 in Kensington, London. Woolf was educated by her parents in their literate and well-connected household. Her parents had each been married previously and been widowed, and, consequently, the household contained the children of three marriages. Her father, Leslie Stephen, was a notable historian, author, critic, and mountaineer. He was a founding editor of the Dictionary of National Biography, a work that would influence Woolf’s later experimental biographies.
The sudden death of her mother in 1895, when Virginia was 13, and that of her half-sister Stella two years later, led to the first of Virginia’s several nervous breakdowns. After her mother and half-sister, she quickly lost her surrogate mother, Stella Duckworth, as well as her cherished brother Thoby, when he was in his mid-20s. She was, however, able to take courses of study (some at degree level) in Ancient Greek, Latin, German and history at the Ladies’ Department of King’s College London between 1897 and 1901. This brought her into contact with some of the early reformers of women’s higher education
Her most famous works include the novels Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Orlando, and the book-length essay A Room of One’s Own , with its famous dictum, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
Woolf suffered from severe bouts of mental illness throughout her life, thought to have been what is now termed bipolar disorder. She spent three short periods in 1910, 1912 and 1913 at Burley House, which is described as “a private nursing home for women with nervous disorder”. Though this instability often affected her social life, her literary productivity continued with few breaks throughout her life.
Woolf committed suicide by drowning in 1941 at the age of 59.
“When I am grown up I shall carry a notebook—a fat book with many pages, methodically lettered. I shall enter my phrases.”
// Virginia Woolf
Notebooks are among my favorite things and lately I do not go anywhere without one. I have kept the advice of Robert Lewis Stevenson close to my heart like gospel. I have kept on me both a book to read and a book to write in, sometimes two.
The notebooks to write in include my daily journal where I write about my emotional state and on the facing page write five good things that happened that day. Even if it was a bad day, I have to come up with five good things. I think it has helped change my perspective on what a bad day really is.
My other notebook is thinnner. I use it as a sort of editorial calendar for this blog. Each page is a full week but I may go to a two-page spread and use the facing page for notes about posts I’d like to write. It’s new and I’m still getting the hang of it. I like it because it is a reminder that the writing is never really done. After today’s post, I need to start on tomorrow’s post. After that is the day after tomorrow’s post, and so on….
I have also noticed that writing ideas out by head seems to generate new ideas in a way that typing on a screen just doesn’t. I now carry a legal pad in my bag to outline posts and writing projects. I like the feel of a
I like the feel of a pen and paper and I love the look of my own handwriting. When I write by hand if feel connected to what I am saying. I feel like it is the real me coming through from my mind and heart out of the pen and onto the paper. A good notebook is warm and inviting, it is sweet and loving, it is a true friend and the definition of a soul mate.
It might sound like I am exaggerating but try carrying a notebook around with you for a good period of time. Writing in it every day, many times a day, and see if you don’t feel the same. After a while, you and your notebook will be inseparable and you will wonder how you ever lived without one.
Featured image via Pixabay
Biographical information via Wikipedia and Goodreads