I named this blog, and my subsequent writing brand ‘Upon my Desk’ because, to quote:
“I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.” – The late, great Robin Williams as John Keating – Dead Poets’ Society
It was only recently, though, that I decided I needed to look at my working life in a different way. For months, I worked wherever I could: on the sofa, in bed, at the kitchen table, while the second-bedroom-come-study sat idle, filled to the brim with boxes and bursting with junk.
I have been meaning to write this post for a while. I wanted to share with you what is (quite possibly) my greatest masterpiece… At least, for the moment. My imagination is endless and, frankly, ends up being totally confined by four walls. I needed to create a workspace where I felt calm, collected and able to channel this imagination into something positive, or useful.
The result is this:
I have spent hours working on my dream space; somewhere that writer’s block will be blown to smithereens, that I will feel constantly inspired and for those moments when I don’t, somewhere that I will always find something to turn to.
I’ve tried to fill my desk space with lots of lovely things. Above my desk, I have framed loads of prints to make me smile: everything from the best lines from my favourite books, to motivational quotes, to wonderful prints and pictures.
It’s just as important to adorn your desk, though. When you have a beautiful workspace, it really makes you want to work.
- I ordinarily hate desk lamps; they are so cold and industrial. Instead of buying one, I decided to go down the home made route. A simple base and a beautiful squirrel cage bulb would have Edison himself screaming for my inspiration levels.
- There’s nothing better than a scented candle, and with ‘Joy’ and ‘Laughter’ emblazoned across them, why wouldn’t you follow those instructions? As my favourite print says, good vibes only.
- The right hand corner is my favourite corner. It’s where my typewriter lives. I tend to keep something that I have written on display, whether it is a quote I have read, or (like now) some key lines from my novel to keep me motivated. I happened to write my favourite lines yesterday, and now they are staring at me, so I can’t escape – I have to write something that betters them!
If you couldn’t tell, I don’t like pink at all. Pink is vile.
- I keep Love Letters of Great Men on my desk, because I am an old romantic. I want to get Love Letters of Great Women next. I love reading personal writing; the intimacy and private feelings that come through fascinates me. When I was writing my dissertation, my favourite pieces of Larkin’s life came from Letters to Monica – call m voyeuristic, but I just can’t help imagining the lives that go along with these letters. Whenever I’m feeling uninspired, or just need a general pick-me-up, this is my go to.
- I was bought She by two amazing friends, to remind me that I am stronger than I believe I am. Sometimes, life feels overwhelming, and the decisions I make seem like they are monumental, even when they aren’t. I love flicking through and being reminded that I have infinite potential, even when I don’t feel like I do.
- I picked up the cutest little jar yesterday, because I was fed up of not being able to display my rightful married name, Mrs. Benedict Cumberbatch. People need to know! The jar is vintage style and is neatly wrapped up with a lace ribbon – all for the bargain price of £1.99 – thank you very much! The pencils were a gift, but I know they came from Etsy. Whoever you are, Etsy seller, thank you!
“You must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!” John Keating – Dead Poets’ Society
No matter how small the steps, it is important to embrace your creativity. If even the least creative of us managed to channel a slice of their imagination, the world would be a happier place. Never give up, or resign yourself to a negative life – you are worth more than that. Start with what is upon your desk – it’s as good a place as any.
Don’t wait to be inspired – inspire yourself.