When Your Desk Doesn’t Tell The True Story

If you were to look at my desk, you’d probably be able to tell I’m a writer. All the signs are there (not literally, folks). I have a corkboard, white board, sticky-notes, tacks, paperclips, papers pens, markers, planning notebooks, and lined three-by-five cards all within easy reach.

I know what it takes to be a writer, and I like to be prepared. My writing life is organized, beautiful, and ready for action. Whenever a thought strikes me I have easy access to getting it recorded and in the proper file. (Did I mention I also have a huge file folder right under my desk? Oh, and two file cabinets a skip, hop, and jump away.)

My ergonomics keyboard and computer stand make writing easy on the wrists and perfect for long, intense writing sessions. I have a window to gaze out of if I need inspiration and a comfy chair with a sheepskin on the back. (Because apparently, that’s good for your health or some such thing?) The salt lamp to my right sheds just enough light to give a warm glow, and the defuser to the left takes its job seriously as it pumps out essential-oil infused mist that not only helps my hands stay moist, but helps me stay healthy.

On paper (or Instagram) my writing life can look pretty perfect. The set up is optimal and life is grand.



How my desk looked this morning with no staging, straightening, or editing


But, sometimes a picture doesn’t tell the whole story. The whole story which includes things like the fact that I’ve yet to ever put a single paper in the file under my desk. Or that my pens get chewed on more than written with. Or that my file cabinets have mayhem going on inside of them, and with a huge variety of things other than paper.

Sometimes my writing gets left behind in a flood of non-writing work. Or I get sick and my brain can barely figure out how to string words together, much less spell with any reasonable accuracy. Or I lose momentum and forget how important writing really is.

See, just because I have the perfect writing set up, or project the best writing aura online, or even trick myself into thinking I’m being productive… Well, that doesn’t always make it true. There’s a difference between truly writing, and well… Ya know, just walking the walk, and talking the talk kind of thing?

That’s the way it is with the rest of life, too. Just because you claim you do something or are something doesn’t make it true. Just because you can make your life appear to be one way on social media or to your parents or around your friends…. Well, that doesn’t make it true, either. Life isn’t what we portray it to be. It’s deeper than that, it’s who we really are. A conglomeration of the thoughts we think, the actions we take even when others aren’t around, where we spend our time and money, and what we really are on the inside.

What I Listened To While Blogging:
Story of My Life by the Piano Guys
Where I Blogged:
At my desk
Fun Fact:
I’m going to PA this weekend! 
Question Of The Day: 
What was the best part of your Sunday? 

P.S. Yes, I really am a writer. A woefully behind-in-goals and haven’t-written-much-in-ages and straighten-and-stage-her-desk-before-photos type of writer, but at the end of the day, I’m still a writer. And for that, I’m thankful.

8 thoughts on “When Your Desk Doesn’t Tell The True Story

  1. talesfromthemindofkristian says:

    Well Our clocks went forward on Sunday morning by one hour, so I spent most of the day feeling out of Kilter, almost jetlagged but I hadn’t flown anywhere! The highlight for me was having my cousins wife come round with their little girl (who I want to call my Neice but technically she isn’t) Amelia Rose, who is 2 years old and adorable. She is teething, so a bit fractious but still as good as gold really. She loved seeing my chickens running around my garden and even fed them some corn, brave girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Ah yes! We had our time change a few weeks back. It didn’t seem quite as hard to get used to this time around, but I think that’s because my week was already off kilter. 🙂 Aww, that’s sweet that you got to hang out with your almost-niece. And I know that feeling. I have several cousins who are younger than my nieces and nephews, so they’ve always felt like nieces and nephews to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Angela R. Watts says:

    YESS THIS. It’s something amazing – things can look perfect online… but a pretty picture doesn’t make or break the fact we’re writers! You can have a great social platform and be popular – and you can still be a wonderful writer without that. Why? Because God is GOOD. 😀 Love this post, girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Aww, thank you so much, Angela! I’ve been pondering recently how to balance writing-writing with online writing, and it’s a bit hard to get the correct balance. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maris says:

    It happens to most of us I think. We try our best to be organized but just sometimes life happens and when that happens as in any other job or hobby – we fall behind. Your desk is a lot neater than mine, but each time I clean mine, I can’t seem to find anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      I know that feeling, too! I have a little box next to my desk (on the floor) that is full of papers that need to be gone through and that I go through sometimes, but not nearly enough. But, if I need something that I can’t find, then generally I just need to look in the box. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Grace H. says:

    Great analogy! My desk is usually a mess of books and papers and notepads and pens that makes no sense to anyone except me – to me it’s beautiful and organized and I can actually get things done that way. And then when it’s clean and tidy and organized it just means I’ve been cleaning instead of working. Things that are cliched and stereotyped to be one thing often are completely different than what they appear to be. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Ah, I’ve reached a point in my life where I never thought I’d be – I can barely write if my desk isn’t clean. Anyone who knew me as a child would know how funny this actually is. I used to have about a foot of stuff on my floor at all times. 🙂 But yes! I know what you mean about knowing where everything on your desk is and having a system.


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