What’s in your wallet–er, desk?

I’m going through a branding lesson in a writing workshop I’m doing right now, and I’m finding some interesting things this week.


One assignment asks us to look at our writing area – whether that’s a desk, corner in the dining room (my first writing area), or where ever. The instructions were to list what’s ours. Mine included a weird assortment of things, along with ordinary stuff like my computer monitor, cell phone on charger, and a box of tissues. Among them were:

  • The Road Ahead by Philip Tarnoff, a nonfiction book about America’s highway infrastructure
  • The Writer’s Guide to Psychology by Carolyn Kaufman, Psy. D
  • Headphones
  • A Pokemon action figure of Psyduck
  • A brass star paperweight – prize for a writing contest!
  • A vinyl record in its sleeve – 2112 by Rush
  • My Camaro mouse, which I don’t use, because it’s not comfortable, but so cute I had to have it!
  • Stuff on my bulletin board, which includes a “What Would Ozzy Do?” bumper sticker and a Far Side cartoon showing “The untold ending of D.B. Cooper”
  • A binder for my “How to Revise your Novel” materials when I’m working through a revision
  • Several candles and a Scentsy burner, for those evening when my husband had Taco Bell for dinner – or the dog seems to have had
  • Three, new-in-package Camaro convertible Hotwheels I got at a Camaro event where they had tons of ’em

So what does this stuff say about me and my interests?

Evita and Wolfgang (photo by PhoDOGrapher)

Obviously, my writing and my day job are my passions – my computer is my primary tool for both of these. Both are creative pursuits; while the day job is less so than the writing, it pays the bills (neatly stashed in my letter sorter beside the computer). Camaros are obviously a passion; not only do I have my Camaro mouse, but also my two framed pictures and the Hotwheels. I also like Rottweilers – evidenced by a Rottweiler pen, pictures on my bulletin board, and figurines on the hutch. My family photos around my desk remind me what’s most important!

Some passions aren’t so much anymore. I used to spend more time playing video games, particularly long, role-playing games, especially Pokemon. I still enjoy them, but I just don’t have time to play them any more. I still like my Psyduck action figure,  because it still holds true that if I were a Pokemon, I’d be Psyduck, because like me, he has chronic headaches.

What’s on your desk, or in your work area? What do you think it says about you?

And what would Ozzy do?

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19 Responses to \

  1. My work area says I’m a a messy, lazy person (which is funny, since I’m so organized at my paying job)! I have papers everywhere. And my work area is at the end of the couch in the family room. I’m forced to clean when we have company, but I wouldn’t want to write anywhere else. It’s comfortable (and all my papers are there).

  2. Oh my goodness, you’re a Rush fan? I’m there with you. I saw them in concert years back, and it was awesome!

    On my desk I have photos that need to go into albums; financial statements, bills, and receipts; my box of new business cards; a few writing books like Save the Cat and The Novel Writer’s Toolbox; more pens than I will ever use; a Dr Pepper Ten; my Nook; a journal and a few pads for jotting notes; a small frame with a scripture (“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart…” Col 3:23); and a cat. There are too many papers on here; I need to clean up.

    This was an interesting exercise!

  3. Mine is showing a little chaos right now as I’m in the middle of turning our home office into mine (all mine-yay!)So my writing spots and files and desks are scattered right now. But wherever I am, there are always quotes up somewhere. And like you-I’ve got headphones nearby too. 🙂

  4. Hmmm. I have four desks. My husband has one, and we have two more we use as tables, etc. in the living room. So what does THAT say about me?
    Okay, so the “desk” where the computer is is really a table and is near the piano so I can go from one keyboard to another. Also near the kitchen so I can get to it between stirring soup and mixing bread. Another desk is upstairs and is usually loaded with books and magazines. The other two are in my art studio and are loaded down with paint, colored pencils, paper, brushes, etc.

  5. Stacy, comfort is a big thing for me! Having to clean up every so often probably keeps you from accumulating too much clutter. As long as it works for you, that’s what counts!

    Julie, I’ve probably seen Rush a dozen times! My fave since high school. 🙂 Your desk sounds like a writer’s space, all right!

    Coleen, headphones are a must for me! My husband’s watching TV right now – the TV is right over my bulletin board – something I didn’t have much choice over. I’m envious of you for getting your own space – enjoy it!

    Michele, four desks, wow! It sounds like you’re a multifaceted person with many, varied interests! 🙂

  6. Hi, Jennette. What beautiful dogs!
    Aren’t most dogs better at being dogs than people are at being people? When will dogs figure that out?
    Anyway, that’s an interesting exercise. If we’re at our desk all day, it shows what we choose to live with.
    Like Michele, I have many desks. But at my daily work desk, besides the reference books, daybooks, computer stuff and paper, there are old or foreign glass and pottery things. Tile samples as coasters, a water carafe from our favorite (closed) French restaurant in San Jose, a celadon-colored vintage mixing bowl that holds charging cords, a black clay vase from Oaxaca, two antique glass fuses as paperweights (one from upstate NY and one from Calaveras County) and a 1930’s green glass elephant that holds my solar-charged watch.
    I’m sure that’s very interesting to everyone! :)) But thanks. I never noticed how I surround myself with things that were made in fire.

  7. Jennette, I enjoyed the “view” of your desk! :)My desk has a netbook, a 21″ monitor, a photo of my boys, a camera, my iPad, a $20 bill (just because I have to buy something for my SIL and I don’t want to forget to give her the change!), a bunch of different colored sticky notes, and scribblers. Lots of scribblers for keeping notes on the stories I’m writing and for collecting various info about self pubbing, etc. On the bulleting board in front of my desk, I have a calendar, various notes about writing, a couple of contest certificates, and a photocopy of a slinky with the following below it: Some people are like Slinkies, not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs. 🙂

  8. I have an “Easy” button from Staples–a gift from my kids, lots of mementoes from former students, and a mug that reads, “Write Your Own Story.” Oh, a stack of books sits on the printer to weigh down its broken lid. Fancy, huh?

  9. SJ, your desk sounds very eclectic! What a cool assortment of stuff! And that’s something about “things made in fire” – considering your blog’s theme!

    Sheila, that’s definitely a writer’s desk! Gotta love the Slinky pic, too. 😀

    Pat, it sounds like you need the Easy button for your printer! At least you don’t have the button one of my coworkers has – hers says “No!” LOL!

  10. Hmm, I sit on a big lazy-boy recliner. to my right is two floor lamps and a small bookshelf filled with books and a basket of pens…I love good pens. so I guess that must mean I’m a writer…LOL. my desk at work is equally messy. oops

  11. I have scores of tiny glass bottles, encrusted with dirt, ancient rusty tin cans, jars and twisted bits of metal bridle.
    Odd, eh?
    Well my wife is a keen metal detecting-type person. I have shelves above my desk and she does not (because I’m a writer, so of course I need shelves for books, research etc).
    However – long before I could fill these shelves with the apparatus of an author hard at work, she beat me to it – by filling them with her buried ‘treasures’!
    There’s just about room for my journals, and a tie I kept to remember my Granddad by.
    So what does it say about me? Other than I’m uncomfortable and a bit restricted in my movements… :0)
    Well, I love my wife. Enough to put up with all her sh*t… I miss my granddad… and I work incredibly slowly. Because if I try to do anything fast, I end up showered in hundred-year-old glass bottles!

  12. Looks like my desk got a recent cleaning, although it’s not going to sound like it. I have an old camera with charger, camera case, broken memory card to go with that, a card my daughter wrote to her friend I’m supposed to mail, the DVD remote, 2 suitcase keys, reading glasses, son’s transformer mp player awaiting more downloads, son’s robot brain waiting battery change, clay vase with flowers (mother’s day gift from youngest), white tiger mascot, a ring, box of pens, hair brush (?), camera manual (not for camera on desk), purple pen, agent info note, and my creativity crystal. Everything else is currently cluttered AROUND my desk and the area is in need of cleaning. That’s what I am up to today. 🙂 Organizing.

  13. Louise, the Lazyboy sounds great! And good lighting and pens are a must. 🙂

    Tony, your wife’s treasures sound cool! And neat that you keep your family things close by. Priorities!

    Debra, it sounds like you’re just moving stuff around! 🙂 But it also sounds like you have a place for it. I have an old camera and charger on my desk too – I just didn’t include it in my list. 🙂

  14. We have three desks between the two of us. I have a computer desk which has, at the present moment, a half eaten bag of dark chocolate, a basket with an assortment on pens and pencils, two dictionaries (I don’t rely on grammar check), The Associated Press Style Book, a Bible, a lamp, a phone and a stack of papers I’ve been collecting research on — oh and my website logbook. The desk behind my chair has another stack of papers, my organizational binders, my garden journals, and another assortment of pens, pencils, and office supplies. My husband’s, who is the other half of C.D. Hersh, has his computer stuff, papers, office supplies, Cincinnati Reds books and Mickey Mouse memorabila on it. I don’t know what that says about us other than I like chocolate, he likes Mickey Mouse, and we both have more office supplies than we’d ever need! Translate that into branding, if you can!

  15. CD, the fact that your bag of chocolate is only half eaten also says you have some restraint! Stuff like that doesn’t last long around my house. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. What a great post, Jennette! I look around at my desk – which is a world class mess — and I see taped to my computer my writing goal for 5 years from now, my concept sentence, story sentence and theme for my current revision-in-progress and my concept sentence and story sentence for my WIP, a sticky note that reminds me who my ideal reader is, a sticky note with the HTML code for punctuation, and a sticky that reminds me WIP 1st, then blog, email, FB & Twitter! Around me are notes, manuscript pages, a nearly empty cup of coffee, writing instruments in many sizes and colors, a ceramic wizard business card holder with my business cards displayed, a tiny ducati motorcycle (inspiration for WIP), and a couple of dragons watching me work. A photo of my hubby sits beside me. On my bulletin board are two drawings he did of my protagonist, a schematic of the town in which my WIP takes place, a Yorkshire Terrier calendar, buttons that say “I’m a woman of tomorrow,” “Beam me up sideways, Scotty, no one down here knows which way is up,” and “Analog Mafia,” and a cartoon my hubby drew of our dog, Nemo. And so much more stuff it’s ridiculous. But it is all things I’ve chosen, things that all speak to who I am. Thanks so much for making me look at all of this in a slightly different way!

  17. OMG! I can’t even see my desk! LOL I’ve been going through things and trying to organize the rest of the house. So where has everything ended up? You got it. My office. These are the things I need to go through and decide what to keep, what to donate and what to trash. I’ve got tons of books as you can imagine. That’s probably the hardest thing for me to get rid of. But get rid of (or at least reduce in size) I shall. Maybe when I get it all sorted and cleaned out, I’ll take a pic for my blog.

  18. I am so happy because a few months ago I finally got a desk to work from. I too was on the dining room table. It sucked. On my new desk I of course have my computer, notes on my new MS that I’m working on. Notepads galore, filled with almost everything that goes on in my brain. Sticky notes, paper clips, cell phone, kindle. But what I really wish I had was those Camaro hotwheels Jennette! Thanks a lot! Now I’m going to be searching for my own hotwheel cars or it’s going to drive me crazy! LOL! 🙂

  19. LOL Rhonda! Figuring out what to give away, throw away, or keep is the hard part – especially if it’s books! Good luck decluttering!

    Karen, so glad you got a space of your own – it does make a big difference! And yours definitely sounds like a writer’s space. My Camaro Hotwheels were a special 2011 LA Auto Show edition, and GM gave away tons of them – I’ll bet there are plenty around your area!