Modern Writing Desk Guide for 2019
The most humble desk is something like an old door set across a couple of two-drawer filing cabinets, with an old dining room chair tucked into the gap. But we can do better than that, can’t we? We can do much, much better in our search for the best writing desks.
Even in our mobile era, a desk is a home base. A place to sit and think (and hopefully to write). The dining room table may do, or even the couch, but consider a desk as a way to focus on your writing.
What are some of the best writing desks?
To answer that question, look at some of the desks that have worked best for successful authors.
Think about some of the famous writers you know. How and where did they work?
The answers might surprise you:
Charles Dickens preferred writing as he sat in a chair while his busy family ran about. He would get so caught up in his writing that he tuned out the noise. Today, we would call that “flow.” But Dickens also had a desk that he put to use.
A more contemporary author with an inspiring desk story is military thriller writer Joshua Hood. This young writer built his own desk from scratch as a sort of rite of passage. Based on his best-selling status, it’s an approach that definitely worked for him.
An author whose desk is more of a command center would be mystery writer Sheila Lowe, author of the popular handwriting detective series.
One of my favorite books is the photography collection, The Writer’s Desk by Jill Krementz.
The wonderful black and white photos depict writers at work in their workspaces. Krementz took the photos as far back as the 1970s when writing on a laptop must have seemed very futuristic indeed.
Read on for some tips on choosing your own writing desk:
Your search for the perfect writing desk should begin with several questions. First of all, what are your unique needs as a writer?
What style of writing desk fits you best? Perhaps your desk needs to make a statement. You may prefer something that fits your modern decor, or that fits in the with traditional style of your home. Perhaps you need a desk that fits in with the style of your writing. Something like a roll top desk with its myriad of cubby holes may be perfect for your nature and for your writing.
Let’s take a look at the options for your own desk. We can break them down into categories:
Desk Shopping: Creativity Center Desks
This is more of the command center approach to a writing desk. It’s a place for all of your writing supplies, perhaps a desktop computer or larger, auxiliary screen for your laptop, and maybe even a warmer for your mug of coffee.
Small Writing D
Another element to consider for a writing desk is portability. Are you someone who moves around a lot? Perhaps you are a student or just lucky enough to have a job that enables you to stay in various locales. You may want a desk that folds up and that can fit in the back of the Subaru with your other worldly possessions.
Are you a writer who needs to squeeze into a corner of the bedroom or living room? Conversely, you may have room for a sprawling surface that can become your very own command center.
If you like working in bed, we have just the right desk for you! There are several models that enable you to get cozy in bed, on the sofa, or in your favorite recliner while keeping laptop, coffee mug, and notes comfortably in reach.
Honestly, these may be our favorite model of desk just because we like the idea of lazing away the day while working in bed!
These lap desks offer some huge advantages. First, they can keep all of your desk equipment organized, and offer you a place to keep your coffee mug where it’s less apt to spill or your keyboard. Laptops can get hot and a lap desk keeps the actual computer off your legs so that you stay cool.
This is kind of the total opposite of the lap desk for working in your easy chair. The approach keeps you on your feet.
Wait, but why?
Some experts urge us not to sit so much due to concerns that sitting is the new smoking.
For those of us who need to be on a keyboard for much of the day, it would seem that writing comes with some occupational hazards! Writing can be a lot of work, but it is a mental exercise rather than a physical one.
You might be wondering by now:
Should writers actually be worried about how long stints at the keyboard may affect their health?
Not necessarily, according to a recent article in the American Journal of Public Health.
Still, it’s not a bad idea to move around:
One way to accomplish this for a healthier writing day is to use a standing desk. There are a variety of options, but I have found that I prefer being able to sit or stand during the day. Some of these new standing desks give you that option with a motorized or mechanical lift mechanism so that you can opt to sit or stand at the press of a button.
To be honest, my standing desk option is even more simple. I use a small side table that goes on top of my main writing desk. When I need to improve that blood flow, I will put the smaller table on top of the desk and place my laptop on this table, thus creating my very own standing desk. When I feel the need to sit again, I just take the side table off my desk and return it to a corner.
Wait, there’s more!
For those want to get some actual exercise at their desks, there are some options for this as well. For those who want to combine work with exercise, there are also writing desks that include a treadmill. You can get a desk that is integrated with a treadmill, for example. A more straightforward method is to add a portable foot treadle to go under your sitting desk so that you can keep the blood pumping.
One more thought on desks:
When choosing a writing desk, also keep your budget in mind. Is this going to be an investment in yourself for the long term or do you simply need a temporary workspace? Desks that cost less than one hundred dollars may meet the needs of some, but you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on a desk that will be more suitable for the daily writing grind.
Your desk is your home as a writer, your base of operations.
Which desk will you choose?