The typewriter clacks away, the sound reverberating around my empty apartment. Yes, you heard me right, typewriter. I’ve no time nor money for a computer. This now ancient piece of equipment has all but gone the way of the fax machine or overhead projector. But the typewriter is a machine that has crafted some of the finest literature ever written or read.
The typewriter is my best friend and worst enemy. On good days, we are one, the words fly from my fingertips with ease and I cannot stop the cascade of sentences. The bad days, writer’s block sets in and the typewriter might get thrown from my second story window. It is a necessity though, for the writer to teeter between genius and insane. Amazing how often those two coincide.
My imagination is what fuels me. Shoveling coal into my creative furnace it heats my words with vigor. That imagination is my best friend, showcasing my natural abilities to put words on paper and truly make people feel what I feel. But, that imagination can quickly turn on me, thoughts elude me, finding new avenues and pathways in my subconscious to cloud my thinking. My thoughts are Danny trying to escape Jack Torrance in the maze at the end of The Shining.
A computer is not like a typewriter. Obvious, but the typewriter offers no distraction. It is only you, the typewriter, and your words. A computer has an infinite amount of distractions, beeps, and squeaks that can make you ignore your writing. You type a few words, then; oh I need to check my Amazon order, what’s my insane uncle saying on Facebook now, how many calories are in that Starbucks drink? Small distractions become hours long vacations on the internet superhighway. The computer is a highly technological piece of equipment that wasn’t made for merely typing.
The typewriter was made for typing, nothing else. Pouring your soul out onto the paper, the click clack until you hit the end of the paragraph then “ZING” it slides to the end. Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Let your emotions fall onto the paper, craft something truly beautiful, spectacular for the world to enjoy, even if it’s heartbreaking.
The relationship between you and your typewriter is romantic. Not in the traditional sense of the word, moreso a symbiotic partnership between person and machine. But not a technologically advanced piece of equipment. Just a simple machine that transmits your words and thoughts directly from your mind, to your fingers, to keys, to paper. The typewriter requires you to be exact, often you are unable to delete mistakes. Retype the entire piece. This is the beauty of the typewriter.
Embrace the typewriter. Eliminate distractions, your writing is the only thing that matters to the typewriter. Give your typewriter a name, treat it like you would a best friend. Hit the keys in the dead of night, let the sound fill the room as the words spill onto the paper. It is the only beautiful thing left in this godforsaken world.