Computers have not only changed how we write, they’ve changed where we write. No, this photo wasn’t taken recently, but it shows one of the places my laptop and I can go to write on warm summery days. (That’s assuming we’re eventually going to get summer this year.)
I know I’m more efficient when I work at my desk, but a change of locale is refreshing. It occurs to me that there are a surprising number of desk options in the house besides the one in my office. That one is exclusively my own… the office and desk leftover from my days of running a business from home.
My husband has a desk of his own, too. After forty years in ministry with an office in the church du jour, he needed a spot at home after he retired, and a corner of the guest room became his sanctuary.
My bedside table in our master bedroom is another desk, one that belonged to my husband’s parents. Its finish is crackled and marred but that only adds to its value as a family heirloom. The accompanying chair with its petit point cushion somehow disappeared into a stepmother’s household, but the desk has followed us through seven moves. I keep a pen and notepad in it for nighttime eurekas but without a chair I’ve never used it as an official writing place.
There’s a built-in desk in the kitchen/family room, too, but I don’t think of it as a real desk since it’s an extension of the matching kitchen cabinets and countertop. When it hasn’t been cleared for the sake of a photo, it collects spillover debris from the other counters… right now, in addition to the phone, it holds a box of tissues, a jar of 20-20-20 fertilizer (my houseplants need help), a notice from the vet that our dog is due for his booster shots, and a pottery jar of peppermints.
Upstairs, in what use to be our youngest daughter’s room before she married, there is a tabletop desk in front of the window. It was chosen to provide lots of writing space for my writing buddy when she comes to visit. Often as not, though, she comes downstairs to work at the kitchen table where more of our ‘Wildwood Acres’ is visible. (She doesn’t come often enough now, but at one time there were week-long visits when we spent hours discussing our writing projects.)
Five desks in one home! I know I’m blessed with all these options. I could take my laptop computer and work on any one of them, and yet most often you’ll still find me in a recliner in the family room with my feet up and the laptop perched on my knees. There’s something to be said for being surrounded by the comfortable informality of the working household, even when that includes the distractions of the refrigerator, the television and my husband’s comings and goings.
Please excuse me now… I’ve made a cup of chai tea and it’s time I got back to writing.
How about you? Do you have a desk? What are your favourite writing spots? Do you cope well with distractions or do you need privacy to write productively?