Environment

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.

 

 

 

 

 

10 comments

  1. Congratulations on the promotion. With great power comes great responsibility. Or at least a little more cash… What happened to Little Dick or whatever his name was, and Candice the stripper? I thought you were writing me in as a sadistic transvestite osteopath. Don’t tell me you chucked it?!?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I write at home on the lounge, or the study or the dining room table…at work like you do, but I use Evernote for my notes and ideas. I keep thinking I’d like to carry around a notebook and write things in it, just to cover the odd occasion when I don’t have my laptop on me (it’s a work and personal laptop, MacBooks rock btw), but that doesn’t happen often, that and I don’t have any more room in my bag! I’ve only written in cafes a couple of times, that was back in the day I had limited internet and needed to pinch theirs. It does feel a bit wanky doesn’t it?

    Congratulations on the promotion! I got promoted too, and am not important enough for an office either though I could use one. I keep thinking I should threaten to leave, that seems to have worked for other people…

    Good luck with your writing!

    Like

  3. I can’t afford a hair transplant, so maybe I’ll get a hairpiece. The thought of seeing the shock people’s faces when I tell them it’s not a transplant but a toupee fills me me delight. So why do we all avoid eye contact people who wear wigs? And why do good writers avoid using the word delight?

    Like

  4. I’m a coffee shop writer (at least when it’s new writing). I like to be around noise / bustle. Not all the time but it fits me as a sort of ambivert – to be around people without interacting with any of them. Editing is a different matter. Got to have headspace. Got to have my notes and books and a lot of floor space for that. I need a study haha. Anyway, congrats on the promotion thing. More time for writing if there’s less to do 🙂 Perfect timing for your 2016 projects!

    Liked by 1 person

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