by | Mar 30, 2011 | Uncategorized | 10 comments


  1. Strikethru

    Nicely said. I often find it tough to settle down in front of a typewriter for all these very reasons.

  2. Ted

    Excellently said, sir!

  3. notagain

    Well said. I'm reading Mortimer Adler's "How To Read A Book" and this fits right in.

  4. rino breebaart

    100% percent sound and correct.

    A little axiom I've found: every new 'convenience' or time-saver comes at the expense of some previously useful and sufficient way of doing things or knowledge.

    Like fast food is not a meal.

  5. MTCoalhopper

    As I got ready to leave work, yesterday, I was making a to-do list for the evening. I have to gather my thoughts (like rosebuds) while I may. High on the list was a blog update not relating to TCA writing prompts. However, arriving home, one thing led to another. I got so much done, and yet I accomplished so little. The Remingtons sat silent for another night.

    No, a typewriter doesn't force us to gather our thoughts, but it does ask politely. That gentle request often gets a better response than the screaming demands of multimedia.

  6. Anonymous

    It seems that a collection of electronic communication devices occasionally makes life simpler but often seems to make it more hectic. I believe you are correct in saying that the people who live and die by their e-leashes actually want it that way. What I find ironic is that many who pretend that they don't want to be endlessly connected won't actually take time to unplug very often, if at all.

  7. rn

    Amen, Richard, with one caveat. For me, a good typewriter offers the opportunity to disappear. When I'm writing on a typewriter — a few moments ago, on my Oliver 9, for instance — all that exists are words tumbling from my moving fingers one by one, with almost no will involved. My metaphor is this: when I'm pounding on my typewriter I feel as if I cease to exist and the words write themselves. Paradoxically, this allows me to be me on the page. I don't think I can achieve this in the wired world, which continually asks for thought, for composition and organization, for the artifice of cutting and pasting, and, since it's all about connectedness, oppresses me with the constant knowledge that there's someone out there somewhere, listening, reading, watching, judging.

  8. Richard P

    Interesting caveat, Robert. I think it's possible to get into the flow of writing using any tool. (I'm impressed, though, that you can do it on an Oliver!) When writing my NaNoWriMo novel I sometimes had that "flow" experience. I guess the moment of thought-gathering tends to come when I sit down at the typewriter. Then, sometimes, when I get going, the typewriter disappears and I just live in the words. I agree that this is, often, easier on a typewriter than on a computer, where the Public is just a click away.

  9. rn

    Absitively, posolutely: it's possible to write well with any device–pen, computer, Kroy machine, calligraphy brush, chisel on stone. Here's my problem: thought is the bane of my writing–it's just a straitjacket of self-consciousness. Flow exists, but it's rare. When I get to banging the bakelite (is that what they're made of?) ivories of the Oliver, the thoughts happen on their own, with no pre-effort from me. And it's not only the Oliver: I have a similar relationship with my Noiseless No. 7. Of course, my work changes dramatically as I hone it and edit it–but I find my voice emerges more easily and authentically on my typewriters than it does on any other tools I've tried.


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