Sometimes I fantasize about having the ideal desk. It’s nice and solid, in oak or cherry or some other polished hardwood, and it puts my monitor at just the right height, and it’s got three or four proper-sized drawers that I can put things away in . . . something rather like this one, in fact, which I would buy in a heartbeat if I had all the money in the world.
Since I don’t have all the money in the world, I’m still using the same particle-board desk my husband/co-author and I bought as one of a pair in a 2-for-1 sale at K-Mart the year we took up this freelance writing gig. It’s not even a little bit ergonomic — the computer magazines were only just starting to take up that idea — and it’s ugly as a mud fence plastered with tapoles (to use an idiom of my youth), and so far it has proven damn-near indestructible.
Taking a sledgehammer to it would be cheating.
I tell myself that with a new desk, a proper desk, I would experience a sudden efflorescence of creative enthusiasm. I know better than that, alas. The quality of the desk has little or nothing to do with the quality of the writing. I did a lot of very good work during the five-year span where I had my computer and printer set up on a table in the kitchen where I could keep an eye on the front door — that being the time period when the two younger children had learned how to work the latch on the front door but had not yet attained the discretion necessary to not go out and play in traffic.
Nevertheless, a writer can dream.