What I’m Reading: The Writing Desk

What I'm Reading: The Writing DeskI think every writer has a “thing” that makes the writing process their own. Some write in the morning, others at night. Some write in a special place or in notebooks before sitting down at their computers. I write to music. I’ve always connected emotionally to music, making it a great background for my writing.
It started accidentally. While writing a devotion book for my sons, the house was always too loud. So, I chose an instrumental movie soundtrack to block distractions. Then the words flowed. The rhythm of the music created a rhythm in the writing. When I saw the tone my first novel was taking, an album came to mind. I listened to it every time I wrote. It kept my writing tone and emotions focused. If the scene I was writing called for something else, I switched up the songs. Now, with rare exception, I write to music.  Other authors would cringe at having to write with music. The sound would be a distraction. It’s not their “thing”.
The idea of authors each having individual ways of approaching writing is intriguing to me. So, when I saw Rachel Hauk’s The Writing Desk, my curiosity was piqued. Tenley Roth is riding the waves of praise for her very successful first novel when her worst fear is realized. She has writer’s block with a deadline looming. She begins to doubt her writing ability, wondering instead if her fame is due to her family name. Her father and great-great grandfather are legends in literary circles.
When she lays eyes on a worn desk in her mother’s home, it speaks to her sense of creativity. Along with the eccentric habit of wearing an over-sized man’s robe and slippers, Tenley adopts the desk as her writing “thing”. The desk, however, has a history that Hauk weaves seamlessly into Tenley’s story, giving readers two stories in one book. Past and present merge as Tenley finds out the truth about her literary history. And we get to join her on the journey to understanding who she is as an author and more importantly who she is as a person. And it all begins with a worn writing desk.
We never know what God is going to use to shape our lives. The kindness of a stranger changed Ruth’s life as she gleaned in the fields. For Peter, it was a stormy sea. Words scribbled in the dirt changed the life of the woman caught in adultery. God changed Saul’s life and purpose with a blinding light and a one-on-one chat.
Many people and events have given me a clearer understanding of who I am and who I am in my relationship with God. Some have been as pleasant as the kindness Ruth received. A lot have been more difficult, like walking on a storm-tossed sea. But whatever my current “thing” is, I want to be open to it. Whether it comes with joy or pain, I want to embrace the chance to learn more about myself and God.
By the Book: Read one of the above scriptures. Meditate on how God used these events in their lives. What did He teach them about themselves? About Himself? Ask God to help you embrace whatever “thing” is in your life and the lessons He wants to bring out of them for you.

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  1. I write to music too! It seems that each book I write has a different kind of music that energizes the story. For The Copper Box it was Mozart piano sonatas. My WIP is set in the Grand Canyon and the music that energizes that story is Native American flute music. I haven’t read The Writing Desk, but I’ve put it on my to-read list!