“A brilliant essay?–I daresay: it has much work in it, many opinions boiled down into a kind of jelly, which I have stained red as far as I can.” By mid May she has finished Room of One’s Own, A and handed it off to Leonard to read while she buzzes off to write Moths, The: see also Waves, The. But it takes months to get started. “I feel no great impulse; no fever; only a great pressure of difficulty. Why write it then? Why write at all?”
With a minor detour into concerns about her style in rereading old essays and revising Room of One’s Own, A she struggles to start this new novel. At times, her ideas seem cinematic. “Could one not get the waves to be heard all through? Or the farmyard noises? Some odd irrelevant noises…early morning light…” The more she thinks about it, the more she is drawn in and excited by her own ideas. Which is the answer to “why write at all.” “Everything becomes green and vivified in me…”
In September, Leonard goes to a picnic, and she stays home. She claims to be tired, because she wants the afternoon to think about her book (solitude: need for) and then feels lonely thinking of everyone having fun without her, which slides into brooding over how she’s 47 and can’t read without spectacles anymore and soon she’ll go through “the change of life” (menopause)… Leonard comes back and says the picnic wasn’t much fun anyway. And then finally her ideas start to take off, and I’m back making entries for structure and style.
But wow, here is Room of One’s Own, A again, subheading, attempts to predict reviews “It is a little ominous that [Forster, E. M.] won’t review it. It makes me suspect that there is a shrill feminine tone in it…I am afraid it will not be taken seriously.” Of course, it is. And she’s deep in the difficulties of Waves, The so it doesn’t matter that much to her anyway. “I press to my centre. I don’t care if it is all scratched out.”