| Don’t Write Alone
Where We Write Where Alanna Bennett Writes
My desk has to hold all the different versions of me, the good days and the bad. So far, it has.
I hadn’t gotten around to setting up a work area by the time the pandemic kicked into gear. When I wasn’t in a writer’s room, I usually worked out of cafés across Los Angeles, so a desk always stayed a few notches down on my to-do list. Not long into self-isolation and eight-hour Zoom work days, though, it quickly became a necessity.
Problem was, I knew I’d be picky about it. I wanted the desk to look old fashioned, like Jane Austen could have written at it. After weeks of yearning for vintage secretary desks priced as if Jane Austen had actually owned them, I settled happily for a World Market find that cost a couple hundred bucks.
Now, my workspace is small, warm, cozy, and stocked with the necessities—most notably for me being the lush yellow armchair I converted into my desk chair. A friend, a fellow writer, furnished me with two faux plants, one for the wall and one for the desk. I bought myself a pretty, gold whiteboard. It sits reminding me of my to-do list, or of the ideas I’m in the midst of brainstorming. I’ve got colorful gel pens stuffed inside a vase shaped like the bottom half of a lady, which thrills me. I’ve got my gargantuan gallon-size water bottle to remind me to take care of myself, and a candle with a face that I light when I need to set the vibes right. Sometimes, I’ll even throw some flowers up there to remind me of all the color that’s out there in the world, and that I’m not far from it just because I’m spending hours in this small space.
Ultimately, my desk has become my safe haven. A place in the pandemic where I could give myself permission to bury my brain in other worlds, not just the unforgiving one outside my walls. In front of me, at this desk, there aren’t many distractions, just beauty. To my right is a big window, the light I need to get me through a year inside (and to light me up on long Zoom meetings). On my left, though, is my couch and my TV. They give me permission to take breaks, to indulge in other stories that may inspire.
My desk, I’ve decided, has to be flexible. It has to hold all the different versions of me, the good days and the bad. So far, it has.
Photograph courtesy of the author