Tag Archives: creativity

Writers’ Tools – The Writing Desk (Bureau)

The other day, I very nearly put my beautiful Stag mahogany writing desk onto ebay, in order to make some quick cash. I figured at the time that I would only be writing on a computer anyway, and that the bureau was going to take up valuable space in what I’m currently transforming into my writing room.

How sinfully wrong to think that way! Luckily, due partly to comments on this blog (the value of writing by hand, rather than typing), combined with the realisation of the value and beauty of my desk, made me pull the plug in the middle of listing the item.


Yesterday, I made a start on my short story, on the bureau. Not the actual story itself, but characterisation, plot, and any other pre-writing thoughts (incidentally, the process triggered another idea, to do with old photographs and nothing related to writing – but it goes to show that the mind, when actively engaged in creative pursuits, is ‘liberated’ or freed to expand and spark).

I’m not sure how far I’ll get with my story this week. I have various ‘admin-type’ things to do – stuff that you don’t have time for while you’re working, and which therefore takes up much of your holiday or any other ‘time off’! Another illustration of the ludicrous pointlessness of working full-time.

Starting to write now

My gorgeous boyfriend asked at the week-end how the writing was going (meaning: my plans to become a writer). He suggested that I start now, rather than just preparing for some time in the future, and gave a concrete example of a local magazine I could submit a short story to.

He has a point. It’s all well and good reiterating the desire in theory (as I do on here), but would be even better if complemented by actual creative activity. The exhilaration I feel when completing a piece is unique and will provide much needed air to the embers. It’ll also help refining my voice – 9 years ago, I was writing mostly in German, drawing on experiences of my youth and immediate past. This time, it’ll all be in English – and I have plenty of material outside my front door, waiting to be turned into fiction.

Only yesterday, a drunk neighbour fell down the stone stairs and lay with a head wound.

Inspiring Places: The Writers’ Museum

I’m planning to go to the Writers’ Museum in Edinburgh soon – a museum dedicated to some of Scotland’s best-known writers including R.L. Stevenson, Robert Burns, and Sir Walter Scott. I’ve got to admit that I have little knowledge of their work (other than R.L. Stevenson’s Treasure Island and a number of Burns’ poems); however, seeing the real devices that these people used (such as Burns’ writing desk and the press on which some of Scott’s novels were published) will serve as reminder to the alternative life awaiting me.

I went to see Scott’s house in Abbotsford in the Scottish Borders in March this year, and it had a similarly positive effect. The libraries in such grand houses are what most amazes me – they are a benchmark that I aspire to with my new study (the ‘room of my own’ talked about previously). Only that mine is a council flat and not a country house: the display of large amounts of books without the associated grandeur will undoubtedly be a challenge.

Dream about Writing

I had a dream about writing last night. I only just remembered it.

There was a competition and we had to write – within a set amount of time – a short story based on one of 4 topics. I can’t remember what the topics were, but one of them was to do with digital (digital culture maybe?), and one with Islam I think (an Other, which I know little about).

My boyfriend was there, too, and he seemed to get stuck in right away with his story. I on the other hand had difficulties choosing the topic, and a block – I couldn’t concentrate, and was progressing very slowly. I didn’t feel too good or confident about the whole thing.

I then asked to see my boyfriend’s work – and it was a beautiful graphic story, a comic, where different colourful shapes leapt and jumped along a wall.* This freed my thinking – and I went back to my own story and incorporated some graphic elements (typeface, cut-out sentences from magazines etc.).

No one ‘won’ the competition, and I don’t think that was the point. It was more to do with my love for my boyfriend, and how him being in my life (for just over a year now) has put me back in touch with what I really want from life. Not second best but the best. No fakery but what’s real and true.

*I played Prince of Persia on the PS3 last night, and they were leaping along via these rings that stick out of the walls

lenina is feeling restless

I’ve been feeling restless this week, and quite agitated. I think it’s to do with the fact that I haven’t had any exercise since I got my new car, and now it’s catching up with me. I’m quite highly strung anyway, and always full of thoughts (too many!), analysing things, and generally overly productive (I don’t stop).

While I didn’t have my car, I walked or cycled every day to work and back. That worked quite well, balancing everything out (and releasing some of the pressure). Right now I don’t do it, and there’s a lot of stuff going on.

So, I need to think of a strategy to find some kind of release (my work colleague suggested sex! But I’m not going out randomly to shag strangers thank you very much). I think the best method will be to channel my surplus thinking (and there’s plenty of it) into writing, and my surplus aggression (for want of a better word) into exercise (i.e. walking or cycling. You won’t find me down the gym!).

In a way it’s quite exciting to be restless – I haven’t felt this in a long time, and it’s a good creative and otherwise motor. I thought that, being 34, I was past it – thankfully, I am not. Bring it on  😛