Last week, one of the books I read was A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf. If you're not familiar with this essay, Woolf discusses what women need to write fiction, the obstacles they faced when they wanted to write, and the work of past and contemporary women writers. Woolf asserts that women need "Money and a room of one's own" in order to write. I think the money is a stand-in for time, as money can buy freedom from work and chores so that a person has time for thought. Woolf notes that women such as Jane Austen would have to write in the family parlor or sitting room, perhaps getting five minutes at a time to write, and having to cover up their work when they were interrupted. As a working mother, time is my rarest and most precious writing resource, so it's frustrating when I have to give it up at lunch or in the evening so other things can get done.
What do you think is the most important thing a writer of either gender needs? Feel free to leave your answer in the comments.