The Desk
April 23, 2019

It's important to have a writing space. I think it's a way of training your brain to not focus on day-to-day thoughts, like life's worries and what to have for dinner (and what snacks will fill the void in between). A writing space helps you to settle down, focus on nothing else, and start writing.

Therefore a desk a wonderful thing, and I haven't had one in just over three years.

That's a long time to be a writer with no desk.

That's like an alien without a spaceship. Or cake with no tea. It's like an incorrect mathematical equation, (I imagine it to be like: 1+0=1676.25678). It's very confusing; you don't have to be a mathematician, or a baker, or an alien to realise that a writer without a desk is just not right.

I used to have a table in Belfast, that also was our dining room table, and it looked out over the balcony. It was also close to the kitchen, which meant I was close to the kettle, making it the perfect space. There, I would write away into the late hours, drink tea and eat biscuits, and it was wonderful.

Back at home in Donegal, I used to treat it like my holiday place, where I wouldn't do much writing but I'd do a lot of things that involved having fun (see photo of climbing Muckish for evidence of the fun). I didn't much worry about the lack of desk, cause I had my writing space in Belfast. Now that I'm home, I've sort of been writing in an opportunistic way - writing in quiet corners, by kitchen tables, in cars and by beaches. I've written on envelopes, on napkins, and even on my arm. While all of these spaces are great (not so much the implements), they're not quite the atmosphere I'm looking for: none of them are really ideal for establishing a writing routine.

So, three years on, I need a desk. The dream desk.

In my future, I want a bright space with big window so I can see the sun rising. I'd like big bookshelves and colourful soft rugs and fancy beds for the pets to sleep on as I work. Right now though, I'd happily settle for a table and a chair. That's the dream, and I'll keep you updated as this dream becomes a reality. It's all starting with moving around furniture, to create the ultimate "writersroom corner". A hugely important part of this process involves tidying up too; as my six-year-old nephew said to me, with wisdom far beyond his years, my soon-to-be writing space is currently "a bit of a mess."

What you should take away from this blog post is that writers like their space, but will write absolutely anywhere if necessary. Just as long as it gets the imagination going - then that's what writer's want. It's important to have that sense of routine, though. As Stephen King describes:

“I have a glass of water or a cup of tea. There’s a certain time I sit down, from 8:00 to 8:30, somewhere within that half hour every morning,” he explained. “I have my vitamin pill and my music, sit in the same seat, and the papers are all arranged in the same places…The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon. - Stephen King”

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