How I Work
Kent, South East England.
One word that best describes how you work:
Current mobile device:
Samsung Galaxy 5 with 128GB MicroSD card,
HP 1TB HD 8GB RAM running Windows 8.1 with Win 7 Classic Shell on the top, 64bit, Pentium. Also 2005 era multi-drive Windows XP Legacy machine with 500GB HD + 4GB RAM. Also currently retired Toshiba 500GB laptop.
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without? Why?
Phone. Twitter. Facebook. Internet on Chrome – Firefox for some plugins. Open Office. Feedly. VLC. Wavepad/MixPad for audio editing. Also A5 notebook, and black pen. Pen, must, MUST be black. Never use Word or Internet Explorer. Dropbox. Also 8 external Hard Drives with total 13TB capacity and each document, file, etc backed up on three drives each in a different physical location. I'm Android / Windows. Never take to Macs. Apple are the kiddy version of computers for me, with nowhere near enough customisation and flexibility for what I need.
What’s your workspace setup like?
I have three in the home – a basic garden table for frantic work during the summer when the sun is out, otherwise I feel like a prisoner trapped indoors. One simple extension cable, and I'm set up. The second, and my default position is a laptop on the living room chair. I also have a home office with storage where the desktop machine is based, and have that as a dedicated work room. An average day I start around 9.00-9.30am with a To Do List, and start with email. After that, phone calls. After that, it's simply a case of grinding through whatever it is that needs to be done.
The laptop is a 15” screen. Desktop runs at 13”. Laptop is definitely my preferred environment due to typing angles, and I get much less RSI on a laptop due to typing position. Additionally, if upstairs, the laptop tends to be in use, with the desktop used as research and playing media or legacy programmes. Ideally, I'd have multiscreens, but I don't. I tend to write on Open Office, using multiple copies open with shared of ideas or prompt notes alongside a master copy.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?
Browser seperation. Use Firefox for work, Chrome for fun.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
A post it note. There's a satisfaction in crossing off the achieved tasks. The last thing on any To Do is “Die”. Always put that one off.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
160GB Classic iPod 5th Generation. It's madness Apple killed it. Ideally, there's an enormous market for a pocket sized 250GB music player that isn't also a fucking phone.
What tools do you use to write?
Open Office. Always. Customised and rebranded alongside an autosave features and backups.
Do you find yourself always working on something? Or when you finish a project, do you take time to let your mind wander without concern for what’s next?
I'm always working on something. Poetry and verse and fragments are handwritten. I had write a lot – primarily if it goes through the hand onto the page, I can then 'retire' it from my memory. This is only a problem if a notebook gets stolen, which has only happened once, but it wasn't a productive period then.
I also have a Master Document which also has an appendix of ideas, and some individual finished fragments without homes that aren't – in my mind – ready for sign off yet. Sometimes they just need to be considered and forgotten about for a while before being revisited to ensure they still stand up to me. Sometimes I get so close to something I need to forget it all and come back afresh. It's very rare I don't have a project on.
If I'm writing, I tend to get RSI and cramp after 10,000 words a day. Hand written it's about 3 hours at a go. If I'm on drums I tend to stop after two and a half hours. If I'm editing audio, it's relative but regular breaks are essential.
What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?
I am awesome at putting things against walls. The main trick to creating the illusion of space is to push everything against a wall.
What do you listen to while you work?
I tend to have music on whenever I work – normally live concerts, which offer enough familiarity not to have to listen too closely, but also enough variation from the known to ensure it doesn't become boring. At the moment, I'm revisiting Underworld's back catalogue, including a large number of live albums with massively varying setlists and arrangements within each song. I also go for remixes of familiar songs, DJ mix compilations, dependent upon the circumstances, it might be a Moby or Unkle DJ mix set, Mogwai or live Metallica. I should listen to more Aphex Twin, come to think of it.
Right now, everything’s running through a powerful set of Creative 5DXM bluetooth speakers. I also have some Phillips noise cancelling bins (SHL3100BK's - currently a lot cheaper than they were on release day) that beat the shit out of Beatz.
What are you currently reading?
About 4 books, including in no particular order J.W.Rintzler's “Making Of Return Of The Jedi”, Danny Boyle's interview set, and approximately 140 open webpages.
Magazines currently on the shelf: “Print is dead” - Egon Spengler.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
INTJ, so an Introvert : whatever situation you put me in, I'll try to find it worthwhile, either the inside of my head (it's fascinating) or the outside world which is equally fascinating.
How do you recharge?
What’s your sleep routine like?
I generally sleep around 11.30-12.30, up around 7.10-7.40 unless it's weekends when I get up around 8am.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Always leave two minutes before you realise you should have left two minutes ago.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans?
My latest review work is always at thefinalword.co.uk. I'm often on Twitter at @mrmarkeeed.