The rather brilliant writer, Dave Hartley asked me to do this based on an entry he wrote for his blog about his writing desk right now. I’m between computers right now – my old desktop has finally given up the gun and gone to a better place, and I’m writing on an old iBook from 2004 and I’m still learning where I can and can’t write with a laptop. It’s different with a desktop, you place somewhere when you first move in to a place and that’s more or less where it ends up. As a writer, you make what you can of where you’re stuck. With a laptop though it’s different I guess. I’m still learning. But it got me thinking of where I’ve done my writing over the past years and how it’s affected the kinds of stuff I’ve written.
So here’s what I do. I pick someone, anyone on the street really, anyone in my view from my window and I write about them. It’s how I start most of my stories. When I first started University my room in the halls had a tiny window next to where my desk was. If you looked out of that window, the view you would get, well it wasn’t much of a view. Just a road and a bus stop, and a mechanic’s garage. I’d not packed much for my first year so all that lay on the shelves above me were a few books for my course. The view changed once every year as I moved from there to a small house, where my window overlooked a garden, then to another house where every day I would write whilst looking through the window of a tattoo artist’s place. Up the road from that was my fourth house – which was opposite a schoolyard.
Right now, where I’m writing at the moment, Regent Road in Salford zips past me a mile a minute. A small group of trees sit just in front of my window – there’s a rather confident squirrel that lives in it and likes to tease dogs when they venture too close to the trunk – and beyond that, a pavement. People walk past, going back and forth from the supermarket just out of view. A lot of the time, ambulances and police cars shoot past, and for a moment the whole room lights up neon, even in the middle of the afternoon. You might think this is a distraction, that this means I don’t get much writing done but I love it. I just sit at the table, look out of the window and I pick someone.