Guest Post from Lua Fowles

September 4, 2010 at 5:52 am (September Blog Tour) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Note from Cassandra: I’m over at Lua’s blog today but she has left a great post here for us all to read and enjoy. Thanks Lua for sharing these thoughts with us, and wishing you all the best on your writing journey.

‘a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction’

By Lua Fowles … says Virginia Woolf and I think she has a point. It’s not just women who need a room of their own but I think it goes for all writers; we need solitude, we need quiet and we need a door to shot out the world. The Muse is a strange creature, it wants to be alone with the artist, it requires our full attention to help us put that story on to paper. So basically, yes Virginia, we need a room to develop that idea we have into a novel.

But that makes me wonder- what about before we discover (because lets face it, ideas are discovered not created) the idea of our story? It is necessary to get into our room and close the door once we have the story idea but what are we supposed to do with all that peace, quiet and an empty room when we have no story to tell?

I love the word “frustration”. The dictionary says it means, “a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.” That feeling of dissatisfaction, that impulse to solve the unresolved problems and fulfill our needs is what drives us to tell stories. For me, telling stories is the only way to make sense of this world, to understand myself and others, to stay in balance in this chaotic world. It is the only way that I experience satisfaction and solve my problems. In that case, I suppose, it’s safe to say that I need frustration before I need a bunch of money and a room of my own.

Ideas need to develop “outside the room”. They don’t develop because we’re perfectly satisfied with ourselves and with the world around us, they don’t emerge because we don’t have any issues with the world. They emerge from dissatisfactions and frustrations. Having a room is great, once you have your story idea. Then you can go inside your room and work on it, develop it, make it a masterpiece without any distractions or interference. But before that, to find your idea- you need to go outside and get frustrated a little. No- make that “a lot”. You need to get frustrated, a lot

Lua Fowles is an aspiring writer from Istanbul  Turkey, currently working on her first novel, ‘Closed Eyes, Change of Heart’… On her blog, Bowl of Oranges, she’s talking about the difficult but joyous journey of becoming a writer. She’ll be on her way to the University of Kent to get an MA degree on Creative Writing this September.

Visit Lua’s blog here:



  1. Brown Eyed Mystic said,

    Hmm…Great thought to ponder.

    Sometimes, I don’t get a great idea for a story; now after I’ve read your post, I think it may be because of my sufficiently smooth-sailing life, which is more like a cake-walk and less like walking on egg-shells. Pardon the cliches, but you get the idea. I do agree pain and angst are an great story-generators. That said, I am considering we writers should pray for mishaps and tough life-lessons rather, since shaking it up will give some juicy ideas after all! 😉

    Great post Lua.


    • Lua said,

      Thank you Brown Eyed 🙂
      I agree- with me, strong emotions always end up as a story! Getting out there, experiencing new things and taking risks help me develop story ideas.
      Can’t hurt to try, right? 😉

  2. writerleerobertson said,

    Great post, Lua. I read A Room of One’s Own when I was a teenager and remember that I loved it. If you write, you really do need some kind of “room” of your own (even if it’s just a corner and a set of headphones).

    But for story ideas you need to live – you’re right about that.

    • Lua said,

      Thank you Lee!
      I agree; first some living then some room 🙂

  3. Cassandra Jade said,

    Thanks Lua for the fantastic post and for hosting me on the blog tour.

    • Lua said,

      Thank you Cassandra. This was such an amazing experience! Have fun with your blog tour 🙂

  4. J. Kaye said,

    I am going to sound like a parrot here, but it’s true. Great post!

    • Lua said,

      Thank you J. Kaye, I’m glad you liked it!

  5. AlexJ said,

    Well, I’ve got the frustrated thing down to a science…

    • Lua said,

      I’m right there with you Alex.
      But at least when you’re a writer, you get a good story out of it! 😉

  6. sed said,

    Great post Lua! As you know I’m not a writer but I believe frustration makes all of us more creative. Because we become stabile when everything is peaceful. But if we feel the frustration we try to solve problems or create something to change the situation. I guess you writers also need a strong feeling (like frustration as you said) to create a story! 🙂 I wish creative days to all the writers! and also a quiet room! 🙂

    • Lua said,

      My point exactly Sed 🙂 A healthy dose of frustration forces us to get creative! Thank you.

  7. Carol Ann Hoel said,

    I agree that more than needing one’s own room a writer must live like a bird on a wire, holding its delicate balance until the wind shifts, flapping her wings of great necessity, aiming for a sturdy branch, dodging sideways rain that should have been avoided at all costs but somehow bolted out of the blue with lightening snapping at her wings, wings not strong yet from experienced flight, but wings that won’t give up. Then the writer is ready for the quiet room. I agree with all that you said, Lua. Thank you for sharing.

    • Lua said,

      Carol that was an amazing analogy! I couldn’t agree more- “wings not strong yet from experienced flight, but wings that won’t give up.” This is exactly what we need 🙂 Thank you!

  8. sharmon said,

    Lua, this is so true…and yet. I have read accounts of writers who have no money and certainly no room and still produce wonderful works of art. They have my highest praise. I for one, really, really need that room and working only part time (two days per week) really helps free me. Without my wonderful hard-working husband I would be forced to work full-time and my creative energy would be sapped.
    Nice blog. Makes me count my blessings.

  9. Lua said,

    I know what you mean Sharmon- I have the highest respect for people who have suffered through so much, have so much to deal with yet somehow managed to stay creative and find the time & the energy to write…
    That thought alone makes me count my blessings! 🙂

  10. lbdiamond said,

    Yes, I was just thinking this morning that I want a “Fortress of Solitude,” partly because I use time alone as a way to refuel from the week’s stressors, and partly because I need to be in my head to concentrate.

    But ya can’t be a hermit forever, right? Well, maybe… 😉

  11. erikamarks said,

    Hi Lua! I must admit I am someone who doesn’t work best in solitude. Don’t get me wrong,I can’t have too many distractions (for example, I cannot write a word with songs with lyrics) but for the most part, my best writing seems to happen in fits and starts when I can sneak in some time here and there–and many of my ideas come from activity–however, there’s no question that when I’m stuck, there is no better remedy than walking my dog–that kind of solitude always brings around a solution it seems.

  12. buttercup600 said,

    You are shining my friend…great write Lua xx

  13. Cassandra Jade said,

    Thanks to everyone for the great comments.

  14. Helen Ginger said,

    I work best in the quiet of my office, But when I’m having troubles or am trying to figure out something about the plot or characters, then I have to walk as I think or go to sleep and let the characters talk to me in a dream. Strange.

  15. Miss Rosemary said,

    Very good point Lua. Frustration can indeed be a god motivation.

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