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the desk

I moved the desk up from the basement on Sunday. I moved a chair to go with it and placed both of them against the wall, under the window, in the spare room. The room that before Sunday was known as my ‘reading room.’ In my head I now refer to it as my ‘writing room’ but that’s one I’ll keep to myself for now.

I moved the computer upstairs as well, plugged it in to charge so it will be ready. It will be ready for me whenever I decide that I’m ready.

The desk looked bare with just the computer so I looked around to find something else to add. My eyes quickly landed on a sign that a friend had given me for my birthday this year, and a coaster – both with the word “dream” on them. I added them to the desk and stepped back to reassess.

Much better.

I could almost see myself sitting there, a cup of steaming tea sitting on the coaster, waiting for me to stop writing and take a sip.
For years I have had a picture in my head of my desk, my writing space, my view. And I kept telling myself that the reason I have not written anything is because the reality did not yet match the picture. I didn’t have THE desk. Sure, I had A desk, but not THE desk. I couldn’t possibly be expected to write anything without THE desk, right?

Standing there, surveying the space I had created, I realized it was a lot different from what I had pictured. I had always imagined an old, antique wood desk with a huge writing surface and drawers – it had to have a lot of drawers. I’m not sure why, but I was sure that when I was a writer I would have lots of things that would need to be put away in drawers.

The desk I dragged up from the basement is not any of those things. It’s made from some material that is doing its best to imitate wood and has a wobbly front leg that refuses to be tightened. It does have a drawer but it’s just big enough to hold a few pieces of paper and a couple of pens; not nearly big enough to hold all of the ‘writer things’ as I had imagined.

I imagined that I would sit at THE desk and stare out the window while awaiting the arrival of my brilliance. I would look out the window at an inspiring view – a forest, a lake, an acre of rolling hills. That’s what writers need, right?

The window in my spare room looks directly out on the side of my neighbour’s house. A perfectly uninspiring view of off-white aluminum siding. If I put my face up right next to the glass I can almost see the sky.

Not at all what I pictured.

But the reality is, if I wait until I have the perfect desk, in the perfect room with the perfect view, I will spend the rest of my life waiting. And I’m tired of waiting; I’m tired of making excuses; I’m tired of dreaming.

But I’m scared.

As I stood there looking at that little desk I realized that I created all of those excuses to protect myself. Being a writer is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do; the only thing I ever believed I was any good at.

What if I fail? What if I realize that I’m not as good as I thought I was? Who will I be if I’m not that person? What do I do if this dream doesn’t come true?

I start to panic, feel the tears welling up in my eyes, the grip tightening around my heart. Maybe I should move the desk back downstairs; maybe I should wait and give it a try next year; maybe, maybe, maybe.

But instead of letting the doubts win, I decided to listen to the other voice in my head, the one that is slowly starting to speak louder, drowning out everything else.

“Stop thinking so much. They’re just words. Sit your butt down and start writing them.”

And maybe this time I will finally believe that it’s just that simple.

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