The Old Smith Corona

Lately, I've had a hankerin' for a typewriter.  There's some stuff, some writing, I want to do and I want to use a typewriter.  Don't ask me why - it's just that there's a deep seated feeling in me that Writing, real Writing, is done on a typewriter.

I know of many famous writers who did all their work LONGHAND.  I ain't that nuts.  Besides, I'm left handed and when you write a lot of longhand, left handed, you get ink or graphite or whatever all over your fingers.  Furthermore, I think too fast to write with a pen or pencil - I can type faster than I can write with my hand.

Anyway - in MY mind, serious Writing is done on a typewriter.  Not longhand.  Not on a computer.  On a typewriter.  And today, a friend of mine, Dr. Dave, gave me an old Smith-Corona portable, much like one I had as a very young man.  Much like the one LM(Love Muffin) and I had when we were first married.  

There's some things about typing on a typewriter that I'd forgotten about.  One of those things, especially on a Manual, is the amount of key travel it takes to strike the paper with the letter.  I've been typing on computers for more than 30 years, and I've become a bit spoiled by the instant feedback, limited travel keyboards that are now common on all computers.  That key travel slows you down a bit and keeps you in the moment - somehow giving you a clarity of thought that computers can't match, and longhand loses because of the length of time and concentration it takes to write.

I'm close enough to done with my re-write of "Sarah" that I need to get the tools in place to prepare to make a manuscript.  I may never submit an old fashioned, typewritten manuscript to a publisher - what I WILL do is scan the pages and OCR them into a file that will be submitted. 

I know.  It's backwards.  But then, so am I, in many ways.



Marianne said...

I have never shaken (shook?) the feeling that only real writers use typewriters (thus making me a miserable failure). I'm with you, Lou. But I have worse editing abilities. ;)

Tara R. said...

I used to have an old electric Smith-Corolla. I learned out to type on that and in college. My kids have no idea what a carriage return is, or how to set tabs, and margins.

Now, I write most of my stories in long hand, then transfer it to my laptop.