Goldilocks and the perfect Desk

Nest |nest|

Noun 1 a structure or place made or chosen by a bird for laying eggs and sheltering its young.• a place where an animal or insect breeds or shelters : an ants’ nest.• a person’s snug or secluded retreat or shelter.• a bowl-shaped object likened to a bird’s nest : arrange in nests of lettuce leaves.• .2 a set of similar objects of graduated sizes, made so that each smaller one fits into the next in size for storage : a nest of tables.

Verb [ intrans. ] (of a bird or other animal) use or build a nest : the owls often nest in barns | [as adj. ] ( nesting) do not disturb nesting birds.

DERIVATIVES  nestful |-ˌfoŏl| |ˈnɛs(t)ˈfʊl| noun ( pl. -fuls).nestlike |-ˌlīk| |ˈnɛs(t)ˈlaɪk| adjectiveORIGIN Old English nest, of Germanic origin; related to Latin nidus, from the Indo-European bases of nether (meaning [down] ) and sit .

Nesting is a vital part of both a bird’s, a mother’s and a writer’s life. Nesting is the signal that there is going to be an act of creation. To foster that creation or creativity, birds, mothers and writers all need to be very comfortable in their personal space. There are very vital ingredients that are needed to create the perfect nest. Birds need just the right twigs and grass, mothers need a nursery and baby clothes, writers need a desk and a chair.

I run a weekly interview called Warrior Wednesdays on my Dragonfly Scrolls blog where I talk to writers about their writing. One of the questions I ask all the writers is to describe their writing space for me. Every writer is different. As one would expect. But the one thing that unifies us all is that we all have that very private, personal writing space where we do our own form of nesting. Just like birds have eggs, mothers have babies….writers also create and give birth. Our eggs, our babies are our stories.

Why is a writing space, let me call it a Writer’s nest so important to the creative process? There are the obvious reasons:

  • We need a place to keep all our many books so that they don’t become trip hazards for others.
  • We need a place to hide our secret hoard of stationery – notebooks, journals, sticky notes, pens, highlighters.

But most of all:

  • We need a place that is just our own personal writing space.
  • We need a place that has a door that closes the rest of the world out so that we can focus on the noise from the character chatter in our heads alternating with the “writing” playlists blasting out of our iPods.
  • We need a place where we can hold conversations (behind closed doors) with our muses and our characters.
  • We need a place where we can cry with tears of joy and frustration, bite our nails as we wait to hear the all important news someone loves our book, be entirely one with the weirdness of being a writer without people thinking we are weird.

For me, it is nesting time again. My 5 essential ingredients to making my nest super-comfortable and cozy:

  • My Macbook.
  • My favourite pen: (Oh I have the secret stash of many pens but this one is special.) I was given it for a 21st birthday gift and was told by the giver that this would be the pen that would help me write my stories. It is a 18ct gold Parker ball point with black ink. It has not let me down yet. When I am battling with a story or a character, I pull out this pen and something magical happens…suddenly I come unstuck.)
  • My notebooks: I have an ideas notebook and a WIP notebook. At the start of every WIP, I buy myself a new set of moleskine notebooks. (If I am honest, I will confess to having many beautiful notebooks that I buy, other than my Moleskine, just because I am a notebook/journal junkie.)
  • My chair:  Ah, I love my chair. It is a black leather swivel/rocking chair that is ergonomically designed to fit your spine’s natural sitting posture. I love the ergonomic stuff but the swivel/rocking is what sold me on this one. This chair is priceless to me.
  • A desk: For years, this has changed and been upgraded depending on how much space I had for my writing space. But for years the desk has just been a desk. Nothing special. You see I had not found the one I wanted. I knew what I wanted, searched for it for years but this object remained elusive. I saw ones like the one I wanted but they were always not quite the right size, the right wood grain or way out of my price range.

No matter how lovely the rest of my writing space looked, there was always something missing. Nobody else would have seen anything wrong but I always knew. So I kept on looking and kept on dreaming about my perfect desk. The desk that would make my writing space sing in perfect harmony. I have been Goldilocks. The perfect desk kept on eluding me. Until today. Today I found my perfect desk and amazingly it was in my budget. This one is the perfect size. It is the perfect wood grain. In a few short days when it gets delivered, it will finally be mine. So to bring on ahs and oohs from all my writer friends, who I know totally get the point of this post, I am posting two pictures of my new desk – the one I have been dreaming of for so many years.



Solid white oak with a dark veneer.

Unlike so much of modern furniture, this is a custom-made piece with dovetailed joinery and not a piece that is glued and nailed.

Isn’t it just gorgeous? This is the desk I have been dreaming of.              

The dream was worth waiting for.

Next week I will be posting pictures of my new writers nest. I am busy moving house and will soon have a cozy writing space of my own again. New season, new house, new writing space and most important just like Goldilocks…finally the perfect desk, the one meant for this writer….all just in time for the creation of the new WIP.

The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him.
Roald Dahl

Now I have THE desk to go to. Some people dream of fast cars, others of big houses but mine was the perfect Oak Rolltop Desk. Each to their own, as the saying goes.


What 5 essential ingredients do you need for your perfect Writer’s nest?


16 thoughts on “Goldilocks and the perfect Desk

  1. I’m very happy for you, Kim. The “write” desk is now “right” 🙂

    You asked: “What 5 essential ingredients do you need for your perfect Writer’s nest?”

    * Contact with my Muse
    * A flexible writing plan
    * My computer
    * Note paper
    * Lack of interruption

  2. It’s wonderful seeing another roll-top desk! My husband gave me one as my first birthday present after we married. Unfortunately the Australiana Wooden Chaie with an Emu engraved in it isn’t great for ergonomicss, so I had to get something supportive, bu the other chair still occupies a special space.
    Yours in a really beautiful space Kim

    1. Thanks Jill…A roll-top has always been my dream desk so I almost can’t believe I have such a beautiful one now and it is all my own. Very surreal. 🙂 Your desk sounds lovely and what a lovely gift from your hubby – makes it even more special. 🙂

  3. So happy you posted at Two Writing Teachers. I love what you say about the writing nest. It’s all how you build it, right? Your desk makes me excited, like wanting to move into a new space is always great, isn’t it? Hope you have fun! Looking forward to more of what you have to say!

    1. Hi Linda…Nice to see you here. I loved your blog. Yes new spaces and fresh creativity nests are very exciting….it is already working it’s magic and the nest is hatching some bright new eggs. 🙂

  4. That is, indeed, a gorgeous desk. My grandmother had one very much like it. Thank you for the post . I laughed when I got to the secret hoard of stationary bit. I too have one of those hoards (which I have to guard ferociously from my two year old). Coloured pens, a vast array of sticky notes, and yes, I’m a notebook lover too.

    1. Hi Karina. Oh, I almost had to whisper about my secret hoard of stationery…it has actually taken over my desk, there is so much. 😀

  5. Looks beautiful, Kim! My office is home to a glass and metal sectional that’s always cluttered with printer, notebooks, monitors, dayplanners… cats. 🙂 Now I’m jealous!

    1. Hi Patti 🙂 Now you know why I have been so quiet on Skype lately 😉 I have been moving house and feathering my nest….Very happy with my space now though. Been a long time since I have had such a large space for my writing so I am loving the feel of it. As for my desk…there is magic in it’s wood grain…I can just “feel” it already.

  6. I have not discovered my writing nest and that keeps me from writing consistently. I do have a tote bag with my notebook, pens, and a book or two for inspiration. I have been dragging it around for months, hoping to start writing. Maybe today is the day?

    1. Hi Juliann 🙂 I felt the same way for ages so I can totally relate. I think all writers and artists need a nest or a cave that we can retreat to: A place where we can be at one with our characters, our story or our art. We need a place of our own where we can feel totally comfortable. I know I am very fortunate in my new nest. It has been a long time since I have had this large a space. Hope today is your day that your inspiration strikes and finds a vein of gold. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

    1. Hi Ruth…Welcome to my online home. Glad you stumbled across the post. See you soon again. 🙂

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