Which Desk Should You Choose For Success (And Which Guarantees Failure?)

DSCN1193This is my desk. I only recently got this set-up so I don’t know yet whether it will help my writing process or not. Of all the aspects of writing probably one of the most banal is the issue of where you sit when you write. And yet maybe it makes all the difference. Personally, I vary. Sometimes I can write fine with Fifty Worst Celebrity Meltdowns of All Time on full blast and a travelling circus passing by the window. Other times  I need the serenity of a Tibetan monastery to write so much as an Argos order form. Mostly, though, I’d prefer to be in the kind of arrangement shown in the photo. How about you?

Here are some of the options available to you. Firstly, the good stuff. Of course you need to be insanely wealthy to acquire some of these set-ups but others can be attained relatively cheaply. I’ll show you some of the high achievers, then after that I’ll present what happens… When Workspaces Go Bad

best desk 3

This one is truly a thing of beauty. I’d find myself gazing out of the window all day though instead of writing. And I’d fall off a chair like that after nine drinks.


best desk 2

How gorgeous does this look with all the smoothed wood and sleek lines? However, not sure I’d feel comfortable eating a Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle over that ergonomic keyboard.


Immagini 5435

I really do like this one; it looks comfy and it’s got extra seats so you can invite people round and pretend you’re a chat show host.

Now for the fun part. Here is a selection of desks from the very depths of hell. However much you aspire to inhabit one of the beautiful scenarios shown above, it is far more likely that you will end up languishing in something closer to the horror-scapes of filth and depravity shown below.

Messy Desk

Nice. Notice there’s one empty cardboard box left… presumably waiting to be filled with manila envelopes of shit like all the rest.


bad desk 5

The owner of this desk space clearly values cleanliness hence the cleaning fluids. Maybe they could clean up the forty-three years worth of bank statements and parish magazines before they turn into an avalanche? Wait a minute, I need that 1989 edition of Health and Safety in the Workplace; it’s the one with the Kim Woodburn centre spread.


bad desk 4

This one’s a true work of art. Always good to see that red baseball cap, bottles of soy sauce, plastic carton of Quality Street papers combo.

So which of the available options did you choose? In many ways it doesn’t matter. If you produce good work then people will say; ‘so what if he/she was a bit untidy, so what if he/she was slightly unhygienic, so what if he/she had some funny habits with Doritos?’ ‘He/she wrote that amazing book/movie/play’, they’ll say, ‘we don’t care if they kept used tampons in box files arranged according to the Dewey decimal system’. Alternatively, if you don’t produce the material… if you don’t actually write anything… they’ll see you for what you are; just a lazy bastard.

Better get writing then!

last desk




Published by Jon Kenna

Author of two novels; 'Ghost Road' and 'Mr. Mad' plus 'Susan Shocks' a book of stories for children. All available from amazon.co.uk

2 thoughts on “Which Desk Should You Choose For Success (And Which Guarantees Failure?)

    1. I’m pretty much the same although I can work in other conditions. I absolutely love solitude although it’s hard to get sometimes. I’ll never understand why some people don’t like time to themselves. I’ve always been like this even from being a kid.

Leave a Reply to Jon Kenna Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: