|Woolf's writing desk in the studio, Monk's House garden|
I believe that during the past year I can trace some increase of ease in my professional writing which I attribute to my casual half hours after tea. Moreover there looms ahead of me the shadow of some kind of form which a diary might attain to. I might in the course of time learn what form it is that one can make of this loose, drifting material of life; finding another use for it than the use I put it to, so much more consciously & scrupulously, in fiction. What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose knit, & yet not slovenly so elastic that it will embrace any thing, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious holdall, in which one flings a mass of odds & ends without looking them through. I should like to come back after a year of two, & find that the collection had sorted itself & refined itself & coalesced, as such deposits mysterious do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, & steady tranquil composed with the aloofness of a work of art.
Diary of Virginia Woolf
April 20, 1919 (D1 266)
Here is a link to photo of Woolf's Writing desk, painted by her nephew Quentin Bell: