Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Room of One's Own

This is my desk. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my desk is useless. Without my desk, I am useless. I must write at my desk. I must write better than the competition who are trying to take all the good jobs. I must write before they write. I will. My desk and I know that what counts in war is not the books we write, the size of our books, or the fancy typeface. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit. My desk is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its drawers. I will keep my desk clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. Before God I swear this creed. My desk and I are the defenders of my livlihood. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is ours and there is no enemy.

- Adapted from the U.S. Marine Corps Rifleman’s Creed.

A room of one's own, a space of one's own, or simply head space has always been one of the prerequisites of being a writer and is possibly the biggest financial outlay you have when you're just starting out (tax returns come later...). So this is my one. Or rather, a corner of our bedroom that also doubles up as my office.
Note its compact to write doesn't have to be big. J.K Rowling started her career in cafes and on her kitchen table, and I have friends who write on their beds, lap trays and even in their cars when refuge from the chaos of everyday life is not forthcoming elsewhere.
What's important is that you do it. Everyday. Not when the muse strikes you (it never does; there's always something good on the telly), and not when you "find the time" (have you actually worked out how much extraneous crap you
do everyday?)
A good desk will be your friend for life. It will give you a focus (avoid under a window where you can while away whole hours looking at trees in bloom or the squirrels eating their nuts) and a place to store the accoutrements of your trade that you don't want decimated by food, kids or well-meaning partners when they need something to doodle on. Later on, when you start to get into the writing habit and, god forbid, start making some money, you can upgrade to a nicer desk which to me, is always an incentive. And invest in a good chair, too; that way you'll actually want to sit there for any length of time. I''m currently saving up for an Eames Time Life, but enough of my obsessions...
Below are some other peoples' desks. There are many like them, but these are theirs....

All images via flickr


Anonymous said...

Totally agree. A good desk is an absolute essential. I always think a view is too... for those moments when you just need to stare out of the window for no real reason! Love your yellow lamp by the way.

Wiz said...

LOL, I'm just sore 'cause my view here is crap, although exceptionally good for those with a penchant for writing crime dramas....
The lamp is an original MacLamp; much loved, never rewired...EEK!