Prat-time writer

I actually have a rule on social media. If I write a tweet or a status update that makes someone sound like an prat, I don’t post it.

And if it makes me sound like one, I do.

I see no reason I shouldn’t do the same here. It’s you. You already know me.

So let me confess upfront that I come out of this like a prat. But only a small one. And the reason to talk to you about this is not me, it’s how startling writing and the business of it can have changed since I started.

On Tuesday evening, I had been due to have a meeting with a friend about a project and then that project changed. We met anyway, just for the fun of the chat, just because why not?

As I got to her place, though, I did feel a little peculiar. Because I wasn’t carrying anything. Usually I have a bag, usually it has an iPad in it, usually I’m working.

"You’re not carrying a bag," she said at the door.

That’s how peculiar and rare and odd and weird it is that I could be walking around without equipment.

"Unless you’re going to tell me it’s all hidden in your pockets," she almost said. It was something like that, this was the meaning, I’m paraphrasing and now I’m discussing that paraphrasing with you in order to put off saying the next bit.

I took a folding keyboard out of my jeans pocket.

And a battery charger. Lightning cable. AirPods headphones.

From my jacket I took out my large-screen iPhone, an old second iPhone I’ve been using for audio recording, and a Lavalier or lapel microphone.

I had them because I’d been using them, but the thing of it is that I had my entire office in my pockets and neither you nor I could notice until I got it all out like this.

I mean, this is more than an office. That equipment can be used – and I am using it – as a film studio. I shot some footage for a different project on my way over to her.

It’s incredible what we can do now, what a writer can do anywhere. We used to be pretty portable because we just carried a HB pencil and hoped someone had paper. But now you can script and produce videos using what’s in your pockets.

Only a week ago, I actually hurt my ribs from all the bags of equipment I had to carry for a day-and-evening job. This Tuesday was relaxation and yet while it was different equipment, while it was for different things, the reason I was carrying it was that I forgot it was all there.

I think that’s marvellous and it makes me want to go work away from my office more.

If only I hadn’t taken it all out of my pocket and placed each part on her coffee table. It looked like I was trying flog stolen goods.