The Writer as Jane Eyre… Or the Writer as the Wife Locked in the Attic

I forgot about my last blog post. This, however, is the title I came up with ages ago, when I knew I had one more to write—then life intervened, my time got booked with freelance work, and I promptly forgot. I believe the post was due on Valentine’s Day, so it’s a little late, but I thought I’d wrap up my blogging with a Valentine for the Room. Much love and many thanks—for the autonomy (the best of Jane), for the escape (the wife no longer locked in the attic). Thank you for so many things… here are a few:

For starters, though it seems a small thing, I began to use the dictionary again, having changed over to the electronic version years ago. I spent many hours in the Room flipping through pages, which is how I began as a poet—rifling through the dictionary while I gathered my thoughts.

The Room offered participation in two public readings—one with the Writers’ Room  community and others at Lesley University, and one still to come, the Writers’ Room Open House, which also welcomes the talented new fellows due here in March.

So much new material. I have written pages upon pages, and although I have not become a speedy writer over the last year, I have become a diligent one. Much of this material is unusable—some is mere play, some is badly written. But there are many, many words, invaluable later on.

Three poems written in the room published or forthcoming in wonderful places. Several others are currently circulating with magazines. Some real writing was done here.

I have a chapbook length manuscript that feels fairly tight. And also a looser, but well-girded book length manuscript that may be at page count soon.

I send out a thank you for the many writers I’ve met while here, including the group of fellows I was privileged to be part of. For their posts, and for the chance to reflect on the year in my own posts, I am grateful.

Thank you, dear Room, for the space. For the quiet and for the energy of the location.

I think we are all the bold Jane Eyre, but we are also the crazy wife locked away in the attic—we writers. We are locked away with our solitary work. We are obsessed, demented maybe. Nobody cares to acknowledge us—we have, in our own way, made an impossible marriage. But at times, we are saved. It’s an imprisonment of our own making, and here, made in absolute peace and comfort. If I can, down the road, I’ll be back.

—Valerie Duff, 2015 WROB Poetry Fellow

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