Welcome to my first ever WOYWW post, regular WOYWW-ers – here, you’ll find a desk with a difference...so I hope you’ll stick around for a mo to see why!
For the uninitiated, What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday is a weekly initiative set up by Julia over at http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/ for crafters to show and share what projects they’re working on at the moment. My fab friend and papercrafter-extraordinaire Zoe got me into WOYWW a couple of months ago, and I’ve dipped in and out since, interested and inspired by the various crafting desks and projects, but never participated. Until now!
As my Pen Pot Readers already know, I get a lot of creative inspiration for my writing from Art, photography, papercraft, buttons, fabrics – pretty much anything visual or textured, really! So, while I’m not a proper crafter, I am a writer with a crafty mind – and I’d like to share with you my work/writing desk this Wednesday.
My writing desk lives in the cupboard-under-the-stairs (no Harry Potter jokes, now, please!), which is big enough for my desk, a small bookshelf to my left, a deep stack of files behind me, as well as accommodating the necessary shoe rack and coat pegs to the right. I converted the cupboard-under-the-stairs into my writing room (or scriptorium, if you, like me, enjoy a fancy term every now and again) in December 2007, when I decided to get serious about my writing and where it might (hopefully) find a place in the world (can that really be 4 years ago, already??!!).
As I don’t have a window – I like, even need, to see things that’ll ‘spark’ my imagination and creativity, and a blank wall just doesn’t do the job – I created my own view by sticking pictures and quotations on the wall; you can see that I’ve dabbled in papercraft a little by backing these on to paper, even distressing a couple for effect. Every now and again (when I get bored!), I’ll change these pics and quotes, taking them off the wall and beginning from scratch. These ones have been up since Zoe and I came back from our city break in Paris (back in November last year), so it may be time for a change soon!
Just like my wall, my laptop wallpaper is also a view into creative thinking – it tends to be more directly focussed on the current Project-at-Hand, and so it gets changed every few days to help spark new ideas and angles. The wallpaper you can see is a fab drawing I found ages ago on someone’s blog after a Google Image search of ‘girl reading’ – it’s by Antonia Franck, but I can’t seem to find any info on her anywhere (I’d love to see more of her work, so if you happen to know of anything, do let me know!), and it’s a direct influence on the poem I’m currently writing.
Perched on my favourite book of all time, Roget’s Thesaurus (I just love words, you see!), is my pencil case (containing the portable and bare essentials of red and black pens, highlighter, Post-It pad, and a couple of paperclips – plus I have plenty of pen pots around the house that hold many more choices!) and behind that is my Journal. Pen Pot regulars already know that I’m working on a poetry sequence based around my early writing influences, but they’ve never seen my work actually in progress, so this is a first for both of you!
I devote a separate journal to each writing project, so that it has its own home and place of genesis, and so that I can keep it all in one place! My current Project-at-Hand is a poem about reading and why it’s so important to me. I’ve written...(hang on, let me count ’em!)...twelve pages (wow!) of notes about this in the Journal, and am in the process of building up a Word Bank around this idea – which is where my beloved Roget’s comes in!
You should just be able to see a red brainstorm on the right-hand page – this will grow later today with alternative words from the thesaurus, added to the brainstorm in black ink; when that’s done, I’ll read back through them and highlight the ones which stand out. On another day (for distance between drafts, or even stages of an idea, is important), I’ll take those words and start weaving a narrative or poetic line around them, which will probably make it into the First Draft of the poem.
So, there you are – my very first WOYWW post! I hope you enjoyed a little look at a writer’s desk, and would love to hear any comments you have. I’ll be looking at and leaving comments on as many WOYWW posts as I can over the next few days, so see you soon!