All posts by kateforster

Writer.

You Can Have A Messy Desk

If you can’t trust a skinny chef, then I don’t trust a writer with a minimal desk with nothing on it but a laptop and some index cards.

The published writers and credited scriptwriters I know all have a degree of their mind laid out on their desk. A corner of clutter, or a pile of books or manuscripts to be read, or particular pencils or pens they like, crowded into an old mug. The desk is another writer’s tool and it is almost sacrosanct with its ordered chaos.

I trawled through images of writer’s desks today, and I am sure many of them were cleaned up for the photos, or the desks of the long dead were staged to look like Jane Austen never had a cup of tea stain on her handwritten pages.

My scriptwriting partner has a desk that is part chaos, part order, just like her brain. Two screens, and another computer for administration, plus index cards stuck to the wall with various scenes written on them in mismatched ink, next to posters of her movies attached to the wall, alongside pictures drawn by her little boy. She also had pens everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I mean, on every flat surface is a vessel filled with pens.  I find it comforting. I think better with a pen in hand.

I write with her, she at her desk. me on the POÄNG armchair which is ridiculously comfortable, my feet up on an an old office chair.  Next to her overflowing bookshelf. We talk, I type, she makes us coffee, and we work through the script.

Lunchtime comes around. She had things for us for lunch, because she’s organised, and I am not. We eat, go back to the work. I type, we talk it through. Then before I go, I sent it to her for the curation.

This is how we work, and it works. Then I come back to my desk, to work or write, or wonder why it’s so cluttered, and should I clean it up.

But cleaning my desk is procrasination and I recognise this fact so I don’t clean it up. I just put it into piles of disordered order, and keep going.

That is really a metaphor for my life. Piles of disorder and still going.

Is that such a bad thing?

I guess what I’m trying to clumsily say is, don’t get caught up in the procrastination. Just keep going. Too many rules in the writing space can mean too few risks are taken on the page.

Be brave. Don’t clean up. Start writing.

*Above is my desk. And yes, that is a back scratcher. A must have tool for those working from home!

 

 

 

 

The Joy of Being at Home

The reason I write about my house often is because I rarely leave it anymore. I am now an introvert, with an extrovert’s communication skills.

I’ve since realised that leaving the house for me has to be worth the hassle of putting on a bra and shoes.

This week I had lunch with one of the smartest people I know, who can riff about religion and sociology, and heartbreak and grief, and I come away knowing something more about the world.

A little while ago I had a drink with another smart cookie who was visiting from London. Again, I came away with more learnings for my slow brain to process.

And then a lunch with a clever bookish friend and her puppy, and after where we went wandering up the road and were handed a bouquet of Vietnamese mint over a fence by a gentleman, and told how lovely we were.

A walk, a trip to see someone special or a place that’s filled with beauty. Buying something delicious to cook for my beloveds. I don’t want to leave my cocoon for anything less than necessary, or rewarding.

Is that a bad thing? Am I snug or am have I merely retreated in perpetuity?

But why should I leave? My house caters to all my Taurean desires. It is filled with rugs and books, plants and art. Candles waiting to be burned and notebooks waiting to be filled.  It houses a rabbit named Daphné, who likes to get so close to the dog that their whiskers touch, and there is now new grass growing on my handkerchief of a lawn.

There are herbs in tubs and an angel trumpet tree in a huge chinoiserie pot. There are lemons, oranges, and pomegranate trees waiting to fruit and ferns in proliferation.

I have books by my bed, by my sofa, on my desk. I have music in every room, including my head, and I have a key for when I wish to open the gate and wander for a while.

But I will always come back. Always. It is where everything I love lives, or visits me, or knows where I am.

Knock loud, I’m home.

 

 

 

 

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