As a traveler, I write in many places. In coffee shops. On subways. In parks and museums. Always on buses and trains and airplanes. In fact, I never leave home without a journal. But my writer's desk is more intimate than any of these places that pass through my life briefly.
My writer's desk is my home. It is a part of me, or at least an extension of me. It is where my world comes to life through words. It is where I come on Monday evenings, exhausted in anticipation of the week ahead, to find energy. It is a healthy place for my mind and for my soul.
My desk looks like any ordinary wooden desk, but it tells many stories: of my relationship angst, of my most inspired New York moments, of my deepest and most heartfelt fears. It is simple and lightly sanded. It is large enough to hold my colorful momentos collected from countries around the world and small enough to tuck perfectly into my nook, a cozy, attic-like room in Williamsburg that sits at the corner of Bedford and North 5. Above it, colorful images from around the world and dried-out sunflowers that remind me of my Father. On it, an hourglass timer to keep me accountable, stacks of half-read New Yorkers, and a photograph of my sister and I in Paris. These considered decorations give meaning to my work.
Unlike desks of my past, this one faces a wall rather than a window. At first, I imagined this to be deeply suffocating, but after nearly two and a half years of showing up here, there's a comfort in knowing I have nowhere to focus my attention except down, where my pen touches paper. Rarely do I use a computer here, but there are many journals whose leather-bound backs have rested gently for days on end, waiting patiently to be filled with ideas.
Some days, my desk is my greatest companion; it is in these moments that the words come pouring out, like there is nothing more affirming than the fact I am a writer. On others, it is my deepest enemy. These are the days when I write for an editor who is not myself, for people who challenge me to the core for the sake of improvement and I must step away from my desk many times over because it does not reveal itself as a place of solace or pleasure.
Minimalists have told me that objects don't add value to our lives, or at least we as a species give objects too much weight. I might say my desk is an exception: this object is sacred. It is my treasure; it cost me nothing but it is priceless. It's simple presence as a place to give myself to my thoughts is the ultimate luxury.
My writer's desk is my home, and in moments of darkness, it brings me great light. It is a place where I can be the truest version of myself. It is where my imagination takes shape when I invite it to. My desk is a part of me; it is life, joy and freedom.