This is the desk where I write and edit these days. It’s a very comfortable setup, but it’s temporary: I’m house-sitting, and neither the space nor the furniture is mine.
An explanation in case these two details look odd: the fat blue book with grey stripes on it is a long-serving Canadian Oxford Dictionary, now held together with duct tape; the weird desktop image is a still of Tommy Wiseau in his incomparable debut movie, The Room.
Three Things I Can’t Write Without:
I can’t think of anything I absolutely need in order to write. It’s obviously a huge help to have a laptop or pen/paper, but in a pinch a poem can be composed by memory. I can write with silence or noise, in public or private, on a moving plane/train/bus or in the stillness and seclusion of a devoted workspace like this one.
So here, instead, are three things I prefer in order to write:
1. Control over my sonic environment. I may choose music or cafe babble or city hubbub, but ideally any selection of tunes is my own and the verbal space isn’t hijacked by a particularly intrusive/distracting conversation.
2. A computer. Faster than writing by hand. And I do like to edit off a clean laser printout.
3. Certainty that this writing is the best use of my time right now. If I’m just using it to procrastinate something else (whether a pressing non-writing task or a writing task that’s less immediately attractive), that background guilt is a problem. But if I’ve set aside time specifically to write, and I know that I’ve scheduled other important things so that they’ll happen in their own good time, that gives me the clarity of mind to get into “the zone.”