A challenge failed?
On the 31st of December, I set myself a challenge to write and post on Medium every day in January. And I’ve already hit a stumbling block. I failed to post something yesterday, and there is only one thing to blame for this… My new typewriter.
I’ve wanted a typewriter for as long as I can remember but never got round to buying one for various reasons. Before Christmas, I came across an online Etsy store called Tony’s Typewriters based in the Nederlands, quite by chance and after browsing voraciously, fell in love with a green 1957 Olympia SM2.
Why a typewriter?
First and foremost, all writers should have a typewriter, right? They are bloody cool.
Over the past year, I have become disconnected from my writing. Stress at work and home, as well as my depression, have sapped the creativity and the drive to write from me.
Recently though that has changed. Due to the antidepressants and my reduced workload, I have been writing more often, and have written a few articles on Medium, which I was struggling to do before.
Writing on Medium is a happy distraction from the novel I am working on, which is proving to be a bit of a slog. I have had the idea for quite some time but due to the reasons listed above, as well as not knowing where the story was going I put it on the back burner. I have taken heed of a lot of advice from writers on Medium and have started to outline the plot properly. (I had considered myself a panster) As a result, I have been getting excited about it again, which is fantastic.
I love the fact that as a writer you can affect your reader so profoundly with your arrangement of words. Draw them into an imaginary world that you have designed. By writing on a typewriter, there are zero distraction getting in the way of the story. No blinking command line, no red lines abruptly appearing to show you how bad your spelling is. You get the point. It’s raw and exciting, mistakes can’t just be wiped out with the push of a button. Due to the force you have to push down on the keys means you feel every letter you write. It’s not easy typing on a typewriter, your fingers take the brunt, you exert more energy than you would on your laptop. As such you are more subjective with what you write, keeping your writing uncluttered with less of the unnecessary. That’s what I’ve found anyway.
So yesterday when I should have been writing something for Medium, the urge to tinker on the typewriter won out. Challenge failed? I don’t think so. I wrote which was half of the challenge anyway and I can always publish twice tomorrow to make up for it. I decided to have a crack at the ending of my novel and I’m glad to say the words churned out. If my typewriter has done anything, it’s given me a renewed focus. The click clack click clack zing is an exciting background noise that makes me want to keep going. I am sorry that I didn’t manage to post on Medium yesterday, but in its place is a renewed sense of purpose a warm fuzzy feeling and a 3,000 word draft of the final chapter of my book.
Plus, did I mention that typewriters are cool. There is always a discussion whether or not you can call yourself a writer. But if you own and use a typewriter, you are most definitely a writer. And a cool one at that!
Did you know? J.K. Rowling typed up the manuscript for the first Harry Potter novel on an old typewriter but she hadn’t double spaced it and as such had to re-type the whole thing out again!
Do you own a typewriter? Do you prefer typing on it then a computer? Thank you for reading.