Where do you write? What tools do you use?
I’d love to say I scribble everything down in a notebook, but I’m left handed and it’s not just a case of people not being unable to read my handwriting, it’s a case of me being unable to read it. They say I should have been a doctor. I’m inclined to agree – I’d look lovely in lab coat and a face mask. #ViralOutbreakChic
So now there’s no romantic picture of me slaving over parchment and quill, what do I do?
Well, during my working day, I sit there in the office with a minimised version of word, knocking out rough drafts and ideas. Ideally, I would rewrite and edit then as well, but I find that these are the two aspects of the process that require my absolute attention. And at work, my phone rings occasionally and I have to answer questions (usually responding with “Not my department, mate”) and people around me talk and the general hubbub of the office grates. And the boys in the kitchen are still bleating on about football. Where’s Mourhinio going next? Who fucking cares?
I requested my own office. Apparently I am not important enough.
Consequently, the bulk of my writing tasks I perform at home, in my study. The fact that I even live in a place with a study is something I find mildly ridiculous. How did I escape those dark, Scotch-soaked days in that rat-infested Hackney bedsit? Am I still actually there, lying on a futon next to an empty bottle of Bells and an ashtray filled with spent Mayfairs? Am I Bobby Ewing in the shower?
I hope not. I worked pretty hard to get out of that place.
But I feel all the better for it. Saw a friend I hadn’t seen in about 8 years. He asked me if I’d had a hair transplant. He didn’t believe me when I said “No.” So I guess I must look all the better for it, too.
Anyway, the trouble with my study – now there’s a first world problem if ever there was one – is that it’s also a recording studio. There’s a big fucking iMac, 3 speakers, 8 guitars, an electric piano, 2 keyboards, mixing desk fader things and a variety of analogue synths. And since I stopped pursuing music professionally, they just sit there, looking at me as if to say Fucked that up, didn’t you?
I’m a sore loser. Even before I’ve written my first word, I’m feeling down.
On the plus side, I do have a lovely view of the greenery and things (see above). This might seem standard for most people, but if you live in London, it’s pretty rare.
I gaze out of the window at the trees swaying in the breeze…But behind me is a black Gretsch solid-body (which I’ve never liked, despite how cool it looks), and it’s sucking away my artistic good intentions.
When I get over the initial hump and crack on with some writing, it can go fine. Just fine. But then if I hit a wall, I’m still surrounded by all these musical instruments. So I’ll pick up a guitar or plug in a synth and spend an hour or so dicking around with music.
Zero words written.
I need to be more productive. I want all these wonderful ideas I have for 2016 to happen. I don’t want to be that asshole in the pub who’s slurring “Yeah, so I’ve been writing this stuff and I’ve not actually put any of it out there yet…and I’m not really sure what it’s about…but it’s fucking great, y’know.”
So I’ve decided to buy a new laptop. My current machine, some old Samsung (2008?) thing that takes about 20 minutes to splutter to life and then crashes at random, doesn’t really cut it anymore. It’s given up on life a traumatised wreck from downloading so much porn as happens with some technology.
I’ll get a MacBook this time.
I got promoted at work last week. The new laptop is my reward for furthering a career I have no passion for. It’s like a sugar cube for the medicine.
Anyway, promotion…I have joined the shady echelons of Senior Management. And while I’m not exactly sure what it means, I have worked out that my opinion has more clout (although still not enough to blag my own office) and I have less to do. One step closer to being the bad guy from Mr Robot.
Future writing plans…
I’ll pop the laptop in my man bag and sit in Starbucks with all the other wankers with their backlit keyboards.
“Triple venti soy caramel macchiato, yah. Need the caffeine. Just working on my novel…”
And then I’ll be a proper writer.