On a scale of 1 to too pretentious for words, how bad would it be for me to buy a typewriter?
One of my first novels – a term I use incredibly loosely in that it was mainly a transcription of Disney classics on perforated printer paper, bound with shoelaces stolen from my Dad’s shoes – was written on a typewriter. And so, in the face of the crippling writer’s block I have had of late, or rather a hesitancy to start something which I know I will never finish, I thought a little nostalgia might do the trick.
I’ve been writing long hand recently, partly because I don’t have a printer and am reluctant to buy one for the minimal amount of printing I actually do and partly because I love the way a pen feels against fresh paper. Almost as much as I like the obtrusive sound of metal keys punching words on to a page, giving each phrase, image, scene a violent birth into reality in fresh imprinted ink that cannot be erased.
I’ve also become something obsessed with the notion of getting a vintage or second hand typewriter. I remember on the typewriter I had as a kid, the faint ghostly imprint of letters overlayed on the ribbon, as if the machine itself wanted to preserve an echo of the last story unlike the ease of deletion of the digital age. Of course I would have to demand that the old ribbon be left in the typewriter if I did buy second hand…
But is it a little too….cliched? To write on a typewriter when I have a perfectly adequate laptop that has served me well all these years? And considering most of my professional writing resides within the online realm it seems almost contradictory to look to the analogue for my personal creations. But perhaps this is exactly the type of schism I need to create to move me away from the easily disposable tripe I have been writing of late – going back to my roots to write for myself, not for work or for someone else.
Also – this may be the most inspiring blog post I’ve seen in a rather long time, courtesy of Flavorpill: Famous Authors and Their Typewriters.
There’s something quite beautiful about an author and their typewriter.