makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Saturday, June 25, 2011

During one meeting of new mothers, back when my daughter was only a few weeks old, a child health nurse asked us all what we had found to be the more surprising thing about motherhood. For me, in all my naivety, it was how completely consumed I was by my new role. Even when she was asleep or being looked after by her dad, I still couldn't think about anything else. It was as if every other aspect of my life ceased to be of any significance. Well, it was early days and, as time passed, I was able to focus momentarily on other things, but never for long. I felt pressure to make the most of the time she slept: I had a novel that needed to be edited and a hunger for some kind of intellectual stimulation. I struggled to concentrate. If only I had my own desk, I thought, a space all to myself (a room was quite out of the question), I'd be able to leave all my books and notes strewn all over it, ready and waiting for me when the time made itself available. In an "antique" store, crammed full of junk, I found a discarded school desk, carved with obscenities. It was over-priced, but perfect. I set it up in the corner of the living room, deluding myself into believing that I'd be able to write while my daughter played at my feet. Of course, it didn't work out quite like that...

A couple of addresses later, I still have the desk. Now, it is tucked away in a nook of the sleep-out. My little girl's desk is around the corner; the toy box lurks behind me. If I'm lucky, I get to sit there about once a week, sometimes for five minutes, at most for a couple of hours. What I've come to realise is that the desk makes no difference - it's just another surface on which to pile stuff. Even if I had a room of my own, it wouldn't help, because the space I need to write is in my head and, for the most part, that is fully occupied. The best I can do is scrawl down scraps here and there, little vignettes that come to me in moments of clarity, and hope that one day, I can piece them all together and create a whole. Oh, and read, because all writers need to read and that I can still do, albeit at a much slower pace!


  1. I loved this and you are so right. It is not the desk or the room but the space inside your head. I felt similarly in throws of new motherhood. All consuming but mostly in a really wonderful way. xx

  2. I saw this and instantly thought of you. x Sim


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...