Someone recently asked me what my preferred medium for writing was and without thought I replied typewriter. But the reality is, I never wrote a single line of type on a typewriter. After I responded, my mind toiled over the reasons it came so easily, despite my unfamiliarity with such historic machination that after creating an invisible list of reasons why I prefer a typewriter, I came up with this:
Typewriters are forever linked to a writer's DNA. Of all the real reasons to use a typewriter vs. a computer (though if being completely honest I prefer a notebook and pen), typewriters produce a solid finished product whereas computers are only a digital record of your words. If a writer is continuously typing on a computer, she is never really holding an actual binding of pages, she is not feeling the nostalgia of reading, flipping pages, scribbling notes in the margins, crossing out whole sections only to realize five paragraphs later you still want to use that opening line from a passage you crossed out. Typewriters therefore are an instant record of your work, and writers need to see the fruits of their labor. Otherwise, we make excuses for not writing, we suffer from severe bouts of writer's block, we are easily distracted and looking for interruptions, we lack creativity.
Second and certainly as important as the point above, typewriters provide a necessary change of pace. Do you ever question why it seems impossible to finish that decades-old manuscript? Or why you lose your train of thought and find yourself staring at the screen for half an hour before you finally give up and slap your laptop shut? I do. Every day. So often that I'd rather skip past the questions and just put off writing all together until I can find the time to beat myself up over my unoriginal blog posts that people probably gave up on ages ago when I first gave up on it. If I had a typewriter though, I'd like to set aside a block of time every day where I write something, anything, to get my thoughts back on track and the hundreds of words in my head on paper, regardless if anyone ever reads it. Which brings us to point number 3;
Typewriters remind me that my words are written for me. It should be my choice if anyone ever reads them. Can you handle that? Knowing that your craft is something you live and love and you and only you have the power to introduce the world to that part of you. There's no need to rush, take you time. Set your own pace. Otherwise you're sharing half a thought, never digging deeper into what you're really thinking on a subject and no one really wants to read uninspired ramblings, do they?
That being said, this is a complete rambling of my uninspired mind, hoping for some sort of spark as I'm imagining this 21st century hi-def product were in fact a 19th century typewriter...