Where do you write best ?

Phil: I’ve worked in offices all my life. There might have been the occasional trip out to a farm wearing a bright green boiler suit, but to be honest working life for me has involved going to a room with desks, telephones and bits of paper every day.  Because of this I associate office with work. Sit me in a nice park and unlike the people in a computer advert, I don’t feel the urge to whop out a laptop and start fiddling with Excel.

Perhaps this is why I find it quite tough to get stuck in to some writing when at home. I’m OK once I get going but it seems unnatural and there are other distractions to feed my natural urge for procrastination. Many other people share my problems with this I’m sure. The nolanparker team has been known to decamp to a library to get some work done as silence combined with the bookish atmosphere seems conducive to good literature creation.

Just occasionally I get to try somewhere different. Yesterday I was minding the Town Hall for a few hours. It’s not a difficult job really. People come in for meetings and have to be told to sign in. Sometimes tourists drop by and I have to try to temper their disappointment that the public bits of the building are a mass of corporation green paint and badly sited cables when the fine Victorian exterior would lead you to expect something rather more grand. Very occasionally, we get loonies wander in who have to be persuaded to wander out again without making a mess of the leaflet displays.

In between times I’m left to my own devices. As an occasional, temporary town hall minder, I don’t have a mass of other things to do. Most others in my position read books or magazines. I tried this but then realised, I had found the perfect spot to write. It looks a bit like an office apart from the occasional interruptions. Even these are welcome as you never know who you will be talking to next and the variety adds to the day. But as it looks like an office, my brain says “work” and so my fingers can fly around the keyboard.

The only exception is when I’m tasked with clearing up excess cakeage left over from planning meetings. Of course, I should point out that the photo shows a very small laptop which means that is a really tiny cake. Never let it be said we are profligate with the public purse !

Anyway, I have a few more sessions of minding coming up. With a bit of luck that means a few hundred more words.



Filed under Phil, Writing

6 responses to “Where do you write best ?

  1. At the start of my career, worked in various ad agencies in London so a bit like Madmen. Found the creative atmosphere stimulating. After about 15 years I went freelance and worked in other people’s studios all over London for one or several days often at other peoples desks, which I found difficult at the start, having to ask where they kept the Magic Markers, where’s the tea making facilities, etc. Also worked from home but I had a dedicated room to work in which helped as it was my own studio. Lots of ideas came on the train staring out at the flat Essex countryside which was an hour from London each way so lots of sketchbooks filled up. I was always working to a deadline which concentrated the mind – Hi Neil, I know it’s Friday but could we have some concepts for a brochure for the Fiat Uno – meeting is at 10 on Monday – was a common request. I found biscuit and tea consumption increased drastically at home.

  2. Interesting that you find ideas arrive on train journeys. I also find them conducive to thinking. Maybe it’s something to do with the passing scenery flipping random switches in my head.

  3. The topping looks good on that cake – are you bringing some for our next brain storming session?

  4. What I want to know is: after all those cupcakes, have you out in weight?
    Because I work on a computer all day I seem to do all my writing, poetry etc., in longhand but have found that because the iPad does not look like or feel like a desk top computer, I am starting to you this to write.

  5. Putting on weight is just an occupational hazard. I do this because my readership demand it. I didn’t eat all those cakes for pleasure you understand !

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