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Writing machines
January 19, 2012 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Previously the Guardian has done a series on Writer's Rooms, now they have started on Writer's Desktops - "where writers show us around their working lives by revealing what's on their computer desktops" (Previously)
posted by fearfulsymmetry (10 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Up next from the Guardian: Writer's Gloveboxes "where writers show us around their working lives by revealing what's in their car gloveboxes."

This is like learning about science by looking at what clothes the scientists are wearing; you can arguably extract some useful information from it, but it's almost completely peripheral and irrelevant to the practice.

These articles would seem to target the folks who spend large sums of money on a "writer's desk" or a "writer's notebook" because they're more enamored of the idea of being a writer than the actual process or product. You know, putting lots of stuff on paper, and then revising and editing the heck out of it to distill something of merit. But then, that would be work, wouldn't it?
posted by leotrotsky at 11:02 AM on January 19, 2012


This is like learning about science by looking at what clothes the scientists are wearing; you can arguably extract some useful information from it, but it's almost completely peripheral and irrelevant to the practice.

Well, not if you were studying scientists instead of science.

In any case, the accompanying articles are the good bits, not so much the screenshots.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:03 AM on January 19, 2012


I stopped using the desktop years ago. Feeling pretty damn superior right now.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:15 AM on January 19, 2012


I think writers' gloveboxes might be more interesting, actually
posted by iotic at 11:40 AM on January 19, 2012


I'd like to take a peek inside Tom McCarthy's "Sonic Youth" folder.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 11:42 AM on January 19, 2012


I'm glad to see that the Guardian has discovered the "share your desktop!" thread on every message board ever.
posted by curious nu at 11:43 AM on January 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


They should do a series on what porn sites writers visit when they are procrastinating.
posted by perhapses at 11:51 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is this desktop thing? I haven't seen one in years. Let me give you an example. If I quit my web browser right this moment, I get this message:

"Are you sure you want to quit Safari? 49 windows are open, containing 261 tabs. Do you want to quit anyway?"

No, I don't.

On my 30" Cinema Display, I have about 2 square inches in the upper left corner free, but only because I need to leave a little space so I can grab window corners. On the right, there's a thin vertical strip of desktop visible, but only because the Dock (on my right side) shrinks away from windows as apps open. I usually keep two big primary browser windows open that take up half the display each, side by side, like a two page layout. That's what this display was designed for.

Anyway, I never understand why people bother with designing elaborate desktops with icons and background pictures. That only works for people who close or hide all their windows when they're done with them. It's like shoving all your work into drawers every time you step away from your (real, physical) desk. You just have to pull it all back out and put it in place when you want it again. Managing a computer desktop is like having a physical desk that you have to constantly maintain or else your books and papers will fall on the floor. It's stupid.

If I want to write without distractions, I use WriteRoom. It blanks everything but the writing screen (and no menus on that either) and my browser with 49 windows with 261 tabs open is only a keypress away.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:43 PM on January 19, 2012


I am waiting for "Writer's Bathrooms"
posted by parmanparman at 1:43 PM on January 19, 2012


I am waiting for "Writer's Bathrooms"

The Grauniad has you covered.

Our bathroom at home is a building site at the moment, so one of the great things about staying in a hotel for me is being able to take a bath. In our smart hotel in Dubai, the bath water came out of a hole in the ceiling..
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:28 PM on January 19, 2012


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