I Want a Messy Desk

I want a messy desk.

One that is just orderly enough so that some deadlines are met on time, some are just barely missed, and some that never should have been anyway are forgotten.

One where the computer and the Chapstick and the nut clusters and the speakers and the papers and the pens and the coffee (oh, most assuredly the coffee) and the half-drunk glass of Merlot and the sometimes glass of bourbon and the Field Notes notebook and the Mash Season One DVD all share Ikeaoid space and make up the tabletop exercise that is my life.

I want a half finished novel and a third draft of a short story and a blog post and a Haiku and a song snippet and a puzzle book and a picture that my granddaughter drew for me. Just for me.

I want Stephen King and Poe and Malcolm Gladwell and professional rags and throwaways and the Green Journal and a comic book or two, just for fun. I want a dictionary, electronic of not, because sometimes, I just don’t know what it all means.

I want music, lots of music, always, always, always music through my own ears via Sennheiser and Harman Kardon and Jambox and Bose and Skullcandy. I want Beethoven and Bach and Bachman Turner Overdrive and Stones and Beatles and Monkees and Sly and Dylan. I want full orchestration and I want acoustic. Because sometimes the soundtrack of my life is quiet, and sometimes it is screaming in my head. Sometimes it is electric, and sometimes it is bongo drums.

I want a messy desk.

Because the day you see a neat desk, an empty desk, an uncluttered, nonproductive, uncreative, flattop, clean, swept, organized desk is the day you know they came to take me away for the last time.

The day that I would never love again.

9 thoughts on “I Want a Messy Desk

  1. Loved your post. Such a wonderful justification of ‘messy’ creative environment. I’m OK with a messy house too it it provides a happy and creative environment 🙂


  2. Greg,

    I love your post!

    And I love everything on your desk. Especially the incomplete written work, the music, and season one of MASH.

    Oh, and did I mention the music? 😉



  3. And the Seven Rules of the Messy Desk Manifesto are as follows: 1) Cover every usable square inch 2) Keep the important stuff closest to the chair 3) Try to make the piles chronological 4) Stack all half-finished cups two-high at a minimum 5) Make each official document even more official with a drop or two of spilled coffee 6) Know two ways out if you smoke, or your lamp is incandescent and greater than 60W. 7) Have fun! Write a lot. Take a picture for later use by your biographer . Charge for tours–volume discounts for the senior citizen bus excursions.


  4. Ross,

    Thanks so much for reading. Feel free to comment any time, and to keep me in check if I start to embarrass the wider world of psychiatry. Sometimes I get out of hand…



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