Scene of the Crime – Stephen Lloyd Jones
Stephen Lloyd Jones, author of THE SILENCED, shows us his shared writing space, complete with wipe-clean table cloth - find out why below!
Posted on April 3, 2018 in Guest Author, Scene of the Crime
OK, so, I’m kind of embarrassed about this. Looking at the Scene of Crime posts of my predecessors, I see writing rooms that are tranquil havens for the mind, neatly ordered desks harbouring not a single mote of dust, elegant bookcases, beautiful antiques. They’re places you’d want to visit. Somewhere you’d like to spend a little time.
If you came here expecting that, I should apologise.
This is my workspace. Well, it’s one of them. My others include the local coffee shop, the train, the passenger seat of our family car, and, in extreme circumstances, the bathroom toilet. (FYI – I’m not writing this piece during an extreme circumstance.)
First thing you’ll notice is that it’s a shared space. Other than its obvious use as a dinner table, this is used by my wife when she’s working from home. It’s also where my three boys do their homework, various construction projects and most of their evil scheming. The printer is mine, used exclusively for writing. I can only get it to work with my wife’s laptop, which means I have to email her everything I want to print. Sometimes, quite rightly, this gets on her nerves. There’s probably a better solution – like a new printer, a basic computer course, or an improved IQ.
The wipe-clean table cloth is a necessity rather than an aesthetic choice. My first job, before writing, is to mop it clean of spilled milk, Cheerios and other unpleasant fluids the boys may have left behind. We go through about three of these a year. Berry chewed the last one (a cockapoo, not a son), although I think our five-year-old might have eaten the one before that.
This would probably drive a lot of writers mad. I guess I’ve just got used to it. When I started my first novel, I was working long hours at a London advertising agency. Because time was tight, I snatched writing hours wherever I could: on the train, in coffee shops during my lunch break, park benches, client meetings, wherever. I developed the ability to tune out most distractions and just crack on, which is probably the best bit of writing advice I can give anyone; if you want something badly enough, make some space for it, however cramped or gross that space might be.