“What is needed is, in the end, simply this: Solitude, great inner solitude. Going into yourself and meeting no-one for hours on end – that is what you must be able to attain.”

- Rainer Maria Rilke

The new desk is built by Yours Truly, and by “built” I mean “assembled,” despite the intimidation of pages and pages of instructions. I reason with myself that anyone who can knit a hat can put together a desk from a box, and so with total attention paid to the finer details of this cap lock and that screwdriver, etc, in an afternoon the desk and file hutch are assembled. Built, I should say, for in my opinion, anything involving the use of screwdrivers, cap locks, wood glue, etc, adds up to being built.

I spend a day putting the final organisational touches on the green study, and the next morning I get to work, spending a happy couple of hours editing and revising, two of my favourite writerly tasks. With the study now put to work, my hard drive swoons, then collapses. Utterly.

The important things I have backed up, held safe in a memory stick, in Internet storage, and on paper. My computer guy assures me that he has retrieved all the data from the expired hard drive. The new one will arrive soon.

“Soon” turns into a week, and then another; in the meantime, it’s lovely to sit at my new desk and write by hand, a whole different thing from pounding along on a keyboard. Icicles hang outside the window, lit by the waning winter sun, and it is a relief to take pen in hand and feel the give of paper beneath the nib.

By the time the new hard drive arrives, I am onto a firm project, something that has eluded me over the past year as I’ve moved from one short story to another, and back to the first, then on to a third, and so on. I have a deadline, and am off to the races. If there exists a better way to come to grips with a new hard drive than to put it to the test revising finished work and taking tentative first steps with new work, I’d like to know about it.

I love my writing space; and the newly-built desk holds up beautifully.

Categories: General.