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Q&A with Nick Parker

Creative director at The Writer

I'm Nick Parker, a creative director at The Writer. We're a language consultancy. The common thread to everything we do – whether it's writing for clients, training, naming, storytelling, whatever, is making their words work harder. I'm also a short story writer, occasional drawer of pictures, and a convicted eye bomber.


Oh, I'm such a clich?: An 11" macbook Air, an iPhone, and a rucksackful of paper notebooks. A nice fountain pen. Pencils. I've got an iPad Mini that I mainly use as an ebook reader.


I've spent way too much of my life dicking about with formatting, so I keep things as lo-fi as I can these days: Text Edit whenever possible, Word if it's writing for a client, Outlook as a necessary evil. I like Powerpoint, mainly because it's usually done so badly that there's a perverse pleasure in making it elegant and good. Back in the day, I used to work in magazines, and was a wizard in Quark and Indesign. Now if I use them, I have to google 'how to draw a text box'. I've lost it, man.

My laptop is also a graveyard of discarded productivity software. I've tried em all: from the big GTD monsters like Things and the Omni one, to frugal ones like Notational Velocity. They've all failed me. These days I just write lists in text edit. Or on bits of paper.

Dream setup

My setup just works as it is (writing sentences is pretty technologically undemanding!). Generally, I'm waiting for tech to stop feeling slicker and more polished, and start to feel more tactile again. The e-reader that looks, smells and feels like your favourite paperback; tablets that you can draw on with a pencil, that's when it'll get interesting again.


All the disparate threads of everything I find inspiring in life, literature, art and work can be found in Remy Charlip's book Arm in Arm.