I’ve spent an absurd amount of time this week pondering the desk situation and it came to me yesterday that perhaps I am trying to make one space do the work that properly belongs to two separate spaces. Let me explain.
When I think of the word “desk” my mind conjures up two entirely separate images. One has technology, whether that is a typewriter in a 1950s setting or a spiffy computer in a 2020s setting; the other has pens, inks, letters, papers, possibly even wax seals. I love both of these images: the one seeming pushy and go-getting, the other calm and meditative. I think I have both of these elements within me. I feel my desk setup may have been going wrong because I have been trying to make those two very different approaches work together.
With this in mind, I am tweaking my previous ideas about my “desk set-up”, but only so far as to focus that area entirely on the practical – it is going to be the home for my laptop computer, and it is going to be where I do the typing elements of my creative writing. I am going to start with a minimum of things and only add what I find I really need whilst I’m working.
Today, however, I have been building a separate nest for the decorative, the pleasing, the archaic part of the equation as shown in my photos. The table is the one from my grandparents’ house in York and it’s the new home of my writing slope. This beauty has been in a few photos on this blog, but I haven’t really talked about it, although I promise it will get its own complete post one day soon. It was a hugely generous birthday gift from one of my sisters and her husband and I just love it. Open, like this, it provides the ideal surface for my William Hannah notebook, which is my everyday companion, and my pen case (also a present from the same sister and brother-in-law).
This table with the writing slope on top makes a very good ‘standing desk’ for me to do quick jottings, such as the mark I add each time I finish a glass of water, or colouring the boxes when (if!) I complete a task. For longer planning sessions, or writing notes, I will most likely sit on the settee (which used to belong to the same sister and brother-in-law – there is a worrying theme in my home).
It feels like I am still a long way from working out exactly what my setup needs to be, but that I am a little bit closer than I was. As it is, with each day that goes by I am making little improvements which I hope will lead to big benefits in the long run.