There’s a lot of interest about writer’s desks, like they’re some sort of holy shrine or something, especially those belonging to the big names. Stephen King is featured with his feet kicked up on his desk on the cover of his book, On Writing. I’ve even seen pictures of author’s desks pinned on Pinterest. Some are tidy. Most are not.
Regardless, everyone wants a peek at a writer’s desk. And so I ask…what’s the big deal?!
Desks generally have four legs and a flat surface. There’s usually some kind of chair in front of them. Random office supplies are likely to be stationed on one corner or another. Scouring a picture of an author’s desk and then replicating it at your house isn’t going to make you a better writer.
Or is it?
I propose that there are some items wannabe writers could and should attain that reside on every successful author’s desk.
A Drawer Full of Humility
One of the great things about writing is that the possibilities for learning and growing in the craft are endless. Truly great authors realize they don’t know it all and continually polish their craft. And even the biggies get 1 star reviews, which tends to sag the ol’ pride sails in a quick-slap hurry.
Learn to be humble.
Finishing manuscript after manuscript takes dogged determination. There’s not a whole lot of glamour in parking your behind in a chair and typing away for hours on end—but that’s what it takes. Toss your preconceived notions of effortless storytelling into the nearest dumpster. It’s work.
Learn to be persistent.
Isaac Asimov, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harriet Beecher Stowe…these are just a few names of some of the superstars who took the time to mentor writers who weren’t as far along on the literary journey as themselves. No matter what stage of the game you’re at, there’s always someone who’s newer to the trade than you are—someone who could use a helping hand.
Learn to reach out.
Professionalism File Folders
No one likes a whiner. A diva. A perpetual eater of sour grapes. Most people don’t prefer cotton-headed-ninny-muggers, either. While it’s true that writing is a solitary pastime, when your work does begin to sell, you’ve got to be a team player. Communicating with agents and editors should always be with a respectful tone.
Learn to be accommodating.
3-Ring Binders Full of Patience
Whether you’re waiting to hear back from your first-ever query, or already have several books on the shelf, patience is indeed a virtue. And it’s not something that falls by the wayside even when you’re a NY Times bestseller. Even big names are waiting for royalty checks, sales figures, the next contract, etc.
Learn to be enduring.
If you’re missing any of those 5 ‘Must Haves’ on your desk, take a tip from this author…get them. It’s not about the physical décor, it’s the interior. Yours.