Extra Post: The Writer’s Desk

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There is a blog I get to virtually every day, if I can.

I don’t know exactly how long I have known Nancy, at Spirit Lights The Way; but its a long time in Blog Years.

I turn up at hers and there’s always convivial company and good conversation. I just like it. Nancy’s suits me.

A short while ago she threw down a gauntlet to her fellow bloggers. With a prize. It did not require duelling at dawn, or anything too strenuous: rather, it required a window on our writing life. She has asked any of us – yes, you too if you so wish – to write a short piece, no more than 100 words, about:  …”your writing desk, your writing rituals, why you write, how you write, how you stop writing, or . . . surprise us with a tantalizing tidbit about your writing life.”

And the prize? A copy of Jill Krementz’s “The Writer’s Desk.”

Deadlines are as follows: Entry submissions due by Robbie Burns Birthday (1/25)
Semi-finalists announced on Groundhog’s Day (2/2)
Voting ends & winner crowned on Valentine’s Day (2/14)

Here’s mine.

I do not have a desk. If I did, something suspect would happen while my back was turned, writing. I write sitting on my bed, facing the action, while children watch television and bounce on the mattress and dogs and cats joust, and the forest whispers outside the window. A former journalist, I think it fast and write it hectically, bemoaning the lack of a decent sub editor to haul me over the coals for appalling proof reading.

No desk, but a workstation, and its particulars are recorded pictorially so as not to upset the word count.

I thank you.


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52 thoughts on “Extra Post: The Writer’s Desk

  1. Lovely. Though I worry about you back and posture….. crouched over a laptop, sitting on the side of the bed…..
    (how long do we have to put our piece together? )

    1. PS – how do you add text to a photograph like that please (bearing in mind Technical Advisor has left home and gone off to Uni…)

      1. Love this window into your writing world.

        Quick clarification for Pseu (and any of your other readers who wish to play along):

        Entry submissions due by Robbie Burns Birthday (1/25)
        I’ll announce semi-finalists on Groundhog’s Day (2/2)
        Voting ends & winner crowned on Valentine’s Day (2/14)

  2. Always fun to see how others work. In the last few years I’ve gravitated from a proper “computer station” with full sized desktop computer, printer, office chair, etc. to a laptop on a TV tray by the sofa in front of the TV. So much more comfortable.

  3. Oh, I love the coils of laptop cable… my “Desk” features similar. And the pug sog in the drawer, well, one of those can often be found in Felix’s wake – from time to time, even where I write 🙂

    1. Sometimes, if I am not careful, I lose sight of where their toys finish and my things start, Cameron. I have to march up and down like a sergeant major and demand immediate exchanges of prisoners.

  4. I’ve kind of entered one of my kind of poems to Nancy’s challenge, Kate, although just for fun, not to enter the competition or anything. I think not having a desk or chair is kind of fine as well! 😀 Good luck with your entry, by the way.

    1. Thank you, Tom: though winning the book is not my object. Rather, it is seeing how my colleagues work which is so absorbing.
      I must go and read your poem! The trouble with working the second half of the week is that I disappear on Wednesday and don’t really emerge again until Saturday. I shall potter off shortly.

  5. My computer is on an old library desk in my home office, but books for research are all over the house. I also do a lot of research with my i-Pad sitting on the couch or in other places.

  6. I love to hear how, where, when and why people write, it fascinates me. I like to hear about people’s processes. I even sometimes try to imagine the rituals of writers I admire. If I might be so bold, I’m glad you took this challenge, because out of all the bloggers I follow, you are one of the ones who I was most curious about their writing routines. You posted a particular article some time back about how speedily you put together an article when you were working as a journalist, which I particularly enjoyed. Many times since I read it I have remembered it.

    1. Thank you! Wonderful to have someone remember that, Heather! Time for writing has always been scarce: as has the luxury of silence and stillness. The newspaper office taught me to write anywhere, anytime and that has stood me in good stead for family life. The kids go to bed at 8:30: I must sleep at 10. It’s a tiny window but writing takes me away from everything else. It has become the thing which renews me every day. I feel incredibly fortunate 🙂

      1. I think it’s a wonderful thing to be able to write amongst activity. I wish I could but when I try I either lose concentration or feel that I haven’t produced anything of very good quality. I imagine being able to do that must mean that you’re rather good at focussing on all sorts of things amidst distractions in other areas of life, too. I can understand what you mean by renewal. Whenever I get down in the dumps, if I write some fiction I feel like myself again and I feel a lot happier. (And then I wonder why I allowed myself to get out of the habit, even if only for a few days! 😀 )

  7. Not writing (at least not yet — though I toy with the thought) because I’m too busy reading here, there and everywhere — one thing nearly always leads to half a dozen others! 🙂

    I read for the love of it (much fiction) and for the sheer pleasure of learning a bit about a lot of stuff . . . the internet is such a ready and willing resource.

    As an aside, I LOVE that hare….have a few of them here in my room, too!

    1. The internet is such a chain reaction, isn’t it, Karen? As you say, one thing leads to another and there’s half the day gone…

      I have always loved hares. maddie bought it for me outside Exeter Cathedral at a market in the Summer. It brings back memories of the cathedral and the wonderful Summer optimism.

  8. That rabbit Maddie gave you is such a nice accent piece, Kate, along with Felix’s runaway knight. Since my apartment is not much bigger than a desk, I write on an ancient MacBook at a wobbly butcher block table I bought almost thirty years ago when I moved into this hovel. It’s a modest setup, but it works for me.

    1. It sounds a great set up, Lame. Practical; pragmatic. Being one who deals in New York cliché, I always think of Sarah jessica Parker with her laptop and her tiny apartment…

  9. I don’t think I could do it – er, write – in bed. Then again, my own place may be far far worse – perched at the end of the kitchen table, zenned out from the tumult around me. Or sometimes not at all removed.
    I think I need a writer’s desk with a portcullis and surrounded by a moat.
    Might feel lonely though.

    1. Noooooo, I think the moat sounds eminently practical. Being a loner sounds incredibly cool to me, though my lifestyle would not brook it. Portcullis and moat. They’re on my bucket list.

  10. Kate this is so sweet of you to shine a spotlight on this contest. It is a great idea isn’t it? Now to sit and write about writing…hmm.

  11. My office is my sofa! I sit at a desk and terminal at work…I just can’t face it when I get home! 🙂 Love a glimpse of what you keep in your drawers…you’re braver than I am! LOL!

  12. Love this, Kate 😀 It shows that a truly creative mind can write anywhere in any circumstance without the need for a desk, a quiet place, a room with a view, (although, no doubt, you have many such perfect places inside and outside your home near the forest). Your perfect spot is in your head, and that’s what counts when it comes to writing.

  13. Love this, Kate…have met you before over at Nancy’s blog…she rocks, doesn’t she? 🙂
    Yes, you must have a strong back…writing in bed is something I did when I was very young…in the dark…words poured out to my diary…practically unreadable the next morning, even to me.:) I love that your world continues on around you as you type. Great photos!

  14. Some of us are designed to use desks. Some of us are designed to stretch out, curl up, or perch on beds, chaise longues, recliners, carpets, or any number of places that horrify the traditionalists (the traditionalists in my family, at least).

  15. Someone who can carry on writing with children jumping on the bed…? good lord I didn’t know it was possible.
    Congratulations on reaching the semi-finals Kate. Love your entry!

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