Scene of the Crime – Andrew Reid

Andrew Reid, author of THE HUNTER, tells us about his writing space.

Posted on January 24, 2019 in Guest Author, Scene of the Crime
Tags: where i write

I love seeing other writer’s spaces. There’s something ineffable about the process of sitting down in complete solitude and willing the words into existence that I find myself grasping for clues in the oddest places. What kind of notebooks are they using? Is there a whiteboard? What kind of pencils do they buy, and is there a hard ceiling on the varieties of sticky note you can have stacked up in a drawer?

The truth is that you don’t need anything special to write. You can do it on scrap paper with a pencil if you like (although God help you when it comes to editing the damn thing). But writers don’t like dealing with the truth. The truth is dull and flat: we like things with layers, a history that you can pick at and peel away, and in that depth find something that feels like truth.* So, while my workspace is largely a mundane thing – with two children under five, I do most of my writing in the spare room at home (if at all) – I invite you to peer closely and discover all of the things I’ve picked up over the years while building up my own personal mythos of what a writing space should be like.

I will pick out this one detail: the mechanical keyboard. I bought it just after moving to Sweden and it is so nice to type on. There’s a wonderfully loud click on keypress that turns into a torrent as you pick up speed, and on a good day the words just bounce merrily out from under your fingertips.

The rest of my writing I do in transit: fifty minutes each way on the Stockholm tunnelbana for my commute to work. I sit with a notebook and either write longhand, or plan the next section in the form of a flowchart and random pieces of dialogue. It can be tough to concentrate, though: the views of the Stockholm archipelago are a genuine treat all year round.

But where do you write if you’re a visitor to Stockholm? If you’re ever over here, where’s the spot to get some writing done? Well, there are options:

Stockholm Central Library, near Odenplan, is a beautiful building with a circular library and more than a few comfortable places to sit. I recommend a visit, even if you don’t really get a chance to write anything down.

If you need caffeine: the standard option is any one of the million Espresso Houses dotted around the city. There are tons of them, they have free WiFi, most of them will have power available for charging, and there’s almost always a sofa free. Perfect.

If you need to be seen writing or just a good shot for Instagram: Drop Coffee at Mariatorget, or Pascal at Odenplan. They make excellent coffee served against a backdrop of people with interesting scarves looking very intently at their MacBooks.

*this may not actually be true at all, but it’s a handy way to justify treating myself to Palomino Blackwings when I would be fine with a box of pencils from the corner shop

THE HUNTER is available to buy here.

Andrew’s desk (and mechanical keyboard!)

Views of the Stockholm archipelago

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