When Mr. D and I built our house, we didn't build a "study" or "computer room," the logic being that our kids will best navigate the internet and avoid online dangers if the computer is in a central location. Also, our kids do homework at the dining room table while I prepare dinner--this means I'm at their beck and call for support. The desk area we built into the kitchen plan was intended to be Central Station--and with three kids and the accompanying paperwork from school and our various activities as a family, it has indeed become just that.
The above is my desk--but also the family's desk. Cub Scout handbook, the boys' Awana books and Bibles, coupons, schedules, permission slips, incoming and outgoing paperwork and mail, phone, messages, party invitations, school projects and assignments--it all is dumped on this space measuring 4 feet by 2 feet--and up the wall. I'm great with how the space is used. The trouble is this: my family has crowded me out.
As a writer I often have manuscripts that need editing, lists of characters, plot points hastily scribbled onto pieces of paper, rejection letters, tips on writing markets/opportunities and other important stuff that takes up space. In the current set up I have NO space for essential tools like a thesaurus and dictionary. I'm cramped and crowded with no room to lay out my projects--and if I do, I have to gather it all back together and stash it away before Team Testosterone comes through the door by 3:00 every afternoon to command the space for their own needs once more.
I need my own space. A room of one's own, so to speak. I want an armoire desk where I can hook up the family laptop when I want to write and I can use that armoire to stash all my necessary writing supplies, clearing out Central Station a little while allowing My things to sit undisturbed. The perfect spot would be in my library--there's a spot along a wall between two windows that let in awesome light and a great view of the front garden. My dictionary and thesaurus are already located there--as are most of my books so reference work would be literally within arm's reach. The room was built for reflection and intellectual pursuit, setting my writing in the library makes perfect sense.
To find such a piece of furniture is the work of one afternoon--we have several used furniture shops in the area, no doubt one would sell exactly the piece I desire. But what would I do with this?
That, friends, is a gorgous piano in need of repair and tuning. But I love it--irrationally and passionately--like I love Neil Patrick Harris (Secret Gay Boyfriend). This monster takes up the whole wall and there's no other reasonable spot in the house for it. Keeping the piano is impractical and pointless. Replacing it with an armoire desk makes perfect sense. The trouble is, no one else wants this beautiful piano. It's worthless. It's heavy. Realistically, it is garbage and should be disposed of and I haven't the heart.
So what's a girl to do? I can't keep hacking it out in this tiny spot where my family squeezes me out a litte more every year. The library is where my writing belongs. Do I settle for a tiny, ladylike desk and "make do" because anything will be better than the status quo--or do I shove that behemoth piano out the front door and down the slope to the fire pit and stake my claim in a grand and meaningful way?
Reader: Which setting shall I aspire to write in?