Kendall Kulper: "Where I Write"

Posted September 12, 2014 by Sara 1 Comment

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Today, I’m thrilled to share an exclusive guest post with you from Salt & Storm author Kendall Kulper. Today, Kendall stops by to talk about her writing spot.

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Home Sweet Writing Desk: Where I Write
by Kendall Kulper

I’m something of a nerd when it comes to writing spaces. I love seeing where other authors write and all the little personal things that make it special, like Roald Dahl’s awesome writing shack, complete with overstuffed armchair/lap desk or Judy Blume’s baller poolside writing office.

Whenever we move to a new place, finding a space for me to write is a top priority. I work from home, and since I try as hard as I can to recreate the feel of a regular nine-to-five job, it’s very important to me that I have my own dedicated space. Meaning, my desk is where I work, not where the mail piles up or where I hang out and paint my nails. Butt in chair = work getting done (usually).

And since I am very particular about writing spaces, I DIY-ed as much as I possibly could, beginning with—oooh—my standing desk.

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Can I confess something?

I love my desk.

I love it so much that after I built it, I meticulously broke it down and rebuilt it twice when I moved, first to Chicago and then to Boston, because I couldn’t bear the thought of getting rid of it.

I based it off of these plans from home builder Ana White’s uber-amazing DIY website and modified it to fit what I wanted. First: I have always dreamed of having a standing desk, where I could work all day and still get up and move around a little. I only needed shelving on one side, and I added some little hooks to keep all my various wires and chargers organized. Since I’m still a lazy person at heart, I did get myself a comfy chair, too—this bar chair from Ikea. And of course, no desk would be complete without a secret dog bed.

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When I used to work at an actual office, my desk there had not one, not two, but four monitors, arranged in a giant square. It was suuuuper luxurious and made me feel like I was in The Matrix, and while I couldn’t quite get four monitors to fit on my desk at home, I at least have one extra one, which is usually where I park my current music playlist and, for edits, the original document.

My corkboard is a holdover from college, and it’s where I keep all my little, personal things—quotes that inspire me, funny buttons from friends, a few of the odder rulers from my (way too vast) collection. All these things tell stories, and when I’m feeling my inspiration dry up, a quick glance at my corkboard is a great way to reenergize and refocus.

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I try to keep my desktop pretty neat, although at the moment it’s covered in various baby-related and move-related things (mostly because I am on writing hiatus while I take care of my newborn). In general when I work, the only things I keep on my desk are my laptop, monitor, a miniature LeCrueset pot full of paperclips, my college beer stein filled with pens, and maybe a notebook. I have a very designer-driven need for things to look pretty and clean; clutter gives me the heebie jeebies.

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One thing the old apartment lacked was a good space right by my desk where I could store all my books and notebooks for whatever project I was working on. In the new apartment, I built a whole separate shelf just dedicated to work. Right now things look pretty empty because I’m mostly done with the research portion of the book I’m working on, although I still have my three most-useful books (Two Years Before the Mast, Leviathan, and The Dictionary of American Slang) within an arm’s reach.

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Probably my favorite thing about my writing space is how much it’s just me. I feel like anyone could walk into my apartment, take a look at my desk, corkboard, and bookshelf, and figure out exactly what kind of writer and person I am. It’s my little haven inside my apartment and my favorite place in the world, the place where I spent so many hours banging out my books, crying and celebrating all the twists and turns in my career, and wondering what will come next.

For the comments: What does your desk/writing/work space look like?

Sara
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