Distraction free writing seems to be the buzz these days. In fact, there are dedicated writing apps that have stripped away the formatting doo-dads, leaving you with a cursor and a blank screen, with the idea that you should focus on your words and nothing else. Great concept. However, what these tools still have is a distraction of your own making — the ability to go back and edit what you’ve just written. (Ignoring, of course, a web browser that’s only a click away.) And it’s not the deep edit that’s distracting, it’s the endless twiddling of the sentence or the words within the sentence, that slow the momentum of writing. It’s too easy to want to get things just right before moving on. And while doing this you’ve pulled yourself out of the flow of writing. That stream of consciousness where all great ideas lurk. That childlike ability to create and not critique. That’s where creativity lives. That’s where writing on a typewriter forces you to move the words and ideas forward without the ability to go back and edit.
There’s a physical sensation to writing that connects your fingers to your brain that is different than a computer. Your brain will sense that you’re on the high-wire without the safety net of editing and will respond with a creativity survival response. Once you’ve taken a few steps across the void, you’ll feel an exhilaration, new words and ideas will form, balancing your steps, giving you confidence to continue. As the words are strung across the page, you’ll succumb to a sense of fun, that innocence of creation will return. The rhythm of the typewriter will feel like steps towards a goal. The sound of keys striking paper begin to feel like music and when you stop writing, even for a moment, you’ll feel compelled to continue, because there’s no reward in silence. Your words are your music. They are the soundtrack to your story. And the typewriter is the instrument.
Like any instrument it takes a bit to master, but it’s not difficult. The typewriter will feel cumbersome at first, clunky perhaps, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to write more and it may even become addicting. You’ll want to get your fingers on the keys, even if it’s only for a few sentences, because in those brief moments, you’ll experience the thrill of creation that you just don’t get on a computer. And once the pages start piling up, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. Put them in a folder and once you’re done with a section, sit back and read what you’ve written and you’ll be amazed at how your creativity has grown. It’ll read rougher, but in its crudeness there’ll be a raw beauty. A beauty that’s always been inside you, now revealed by the typewriter.
The typewriter is the gateway to your truest expression. Unedited. Unadorned. Unadulterated. With it you’ll tap into words and expressions and ideas you never knew existed. They’ve been suppressed by the computer where they’ve been edited, critiqued and deleted.
Get a typewriter and free your writing! Your muse will love you for it!