Finding a Place to Write
January 1, 2012 § 1 Comment
It’s interesting to see where writers write from. Faulkner had a simple setup on a small desk with his typewriter, tobacco and a window to gaze out of. It’s hard to believe such a tiny desk was responsible for so many great works. I guess it comes down to finding a place where the writer feels physically at ease while their mind travels great lengths.
Tolstoy had a similar size desk but had quite a bit of clutter in his study. I would have a hard time concentrating in here. It feels a bit claustrophobic. Maybe he felt he was surrounded by everything he loved all packed into one little room.
Jane Austen had the most Spartan setup of the bunch. I imagine you’d want to have a good idea of what you wanted to write before you sat down in that chair; I wouldn’t call her setup comfortable. Maybe for her, being from such a large family, it was just a luxury to have her very own spot to write.
I’m not setting out to write a book in the same league as these writers, but I’d still love a place to write. So far I’ve just written from wherever I happen to be whether it’s the couch, the kitchen table, a local cafe or sometimes like Marcel Proust, in bed. I’ve never had a proper writing desk before, so this week I’ve been on a quest to find one. I would say the desk found me. The first desk I sort of liked was a no-go because the store owner flatly, rudely and definitively refused to sell it (even though it had a price tag on it).
It turned out to be divine intervention because the next place I went to I found my desk. I hadn’t planned to go there but my husband wanted to look at a Hans Wegner chair so we made the trip. It may sound strange to have such a strong reaction to a desk, but it sucked me in like a vortex the second I laid eyes on it. It was more perfect than I could have imagined. It’s a beautiful mid-century modern Danish desk made from rosewood with a bookshelf built into the front of the desk. We bought it from our new favorite store in Denver called Zeitgeist, home to a gorgeous array of modern furniture and art.
Not only did we find the perfect desk, but I totally dig that the desk has been Randy’s own desk for the last 10 years. Randy is just a cool guy. You’ll get no disinterested Design Within Reach demeanor from him. He loves Modernism and wants any and everybody to have the chance to love it too.
I knew I wanted a desk that had a little history to it. Randy built his business from that desk, a business he’s been lovingly been in for 38 years. He was willing to part with it because he recently acquired a desk he’s been trying to get his hands on for 20 years.
Before Randy, the desk was owned by a Danish architect who lived in Boulder. Apparently he had come to work in Boulder and fell in love with a woman who lived there, eventually moving there for good.
Now the desk is making its way back to Boulder. I hope to continue to be an interesting part of its history. One thing is for sure. It’s a place that inspires me to sit and write from.