Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where Have All the Typewriters Gone...ohwa?

Writers with typewriters had it so much easier.

Sure they had to change the paper. But that paper was valued. It couldn’t just go on continuously. So everything they wrote had to mean something. They couldn’t just go efngknvk rdkgnogklvnsnk esgkngldk vsd, on their keyboard like I seem to like to do when I’m writing on mine.

Yes. Writers with typewriters had it so much better.

All they had was a typewriter. All that it did was type letters. That was it’s only function. The typewriter had no connection to anything else. Whereas I can simple minimize my Word document and viola’ access to all of my friends and family via facebook and gmail.

Annie Dillard’s writing life was easy compared to this torture. A click a way I have access to complete and total distraction.

If I had a typewriter the only distraction I’d have is what’s happening outside my window. Or the dirty dishes in the sink. Or an empty stomach that needed fed. But I have all of those distractions, PLUS the distractions of the world wide web. Of photobooth, of garage band, of solitaire. Oh solitaire how you remind me of my lonely existence as a writer.

Oh but wait. I’ll just click on this other window where I can talk to any number of friends who are available to chat at any time. And thus, solitaire, you no longer represent me.

Writers with typewriters had much more fulfilling lives, because when they needed a bit of information they’d have to go to the library, or call someone. But thanks to Wikipedia I can have all the facts in the world without ever really having to learn anything.

The writing life is so much different these days. So many people are doing it. Blogs galore. Which in a way is great, but in a way it makes it harder to find what’s good or what’s valuable or even valid. I guess all of that depends on the reader anyway. And at least there are still people reading.

But alas I wouldn't really want a typewriter because they're loud and messy and big and I'd have to use a lot (literally, probably an entire lot) of white-out because I can't spell very well. And now I have spell check. So there's that.

I just wish I could use my computer as if it were a typewriter. I just want to quit opening other windows. Because there is nothing worse then sitting down to write and window shopping instead. Who knows if I'll ever get anything of any longish length written.

As they say in AA, one day at a time.

Or in my case, a better motto would be, one window at a time.

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