There is a really interesting post here by Stuart Elden on his writing space, which links into another post on the topic and a related Twitter hashtag (#whereiwrite). My writing space has varied a bit over the last couple of years. I used to do nearly all of my writing in my university office, with just about everything I’d written either being prepared in my office at York St John or, after I moved, University of York. In the Summer term of 2012 I had a research term, so from the Easter holiday I started writing at home. I’d done bits of writing like that before but this was the time I shifted to doing most of my writing at home. I still write some bits at work, but these tend to be less common now.
As a result of limitations of space and along with it only being a recent shift to writing at home, my writing space has stayed very minimal. Nearly all my books are in my university office and I just bring home what I need for that day or week. But when I first started I didn’t even have a desk. Below is the temporary desk I used in the Easter-summer of 2012. It’s a towel box. I used this with a plastic fold up chair.
On this temporary desk (pictured above) I wrote the first half of my book on the politics of circulation. I also wrote an article on music and cultural classification, as well as shorter pieces on Sloterdijk and new music cultures. It was a really productive time for me and this temporary desk somehow just became part of the process. I enjoyed writing on it. Managing with this temporary desk seemed to contribute something to the writing.
I’m not sure if its because of the positive experience with the towel box, or the lack of space, but I’ve kept my writing space very minimal. I’m still using the same white plastic MacBook. The desk is used then for reading and note taking or for writing things using the laptop. I occasionally use my laptop to write in other spaces but nearly all of the substantial writing I do now is on my home desk.
Categories: Sociological Craft