All right, so today you guys get to see how old-timey I actually am. I’m a very old-fashioned writer but not because it’s cool or hipster. In fact, if you spent any amount of time writing things the way I do you would think I’m crazy. You won’t write on anything other than a laptop or straight to laptop device for something like “looking cool” or “being hipster”
You’ll rip your hair out first.
But let’s get into it.
Here’s one of my babies. Ironically named Baby after Dean’s Impala. Yes, I do like Supernatural. My 1929 Royal Series 10 Typewriter is without a doubt my most favorite thing to write on. Most of my poetry on my Instagram comes from this beauty. I wrote my last novel on this baby too.
I’m not bragging, but oh my god I love this so much.
It was a gift to me from my then boyfriend now husband(of course I had to marry him after that) for Christmas. I cried. But not just because I’m a writer and I like writer things. Not because I wanted a collection of things I don’t use. But because I’ve always wanted one.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted a big black Royal. They aren’t cheap but they still always caught my eye. Gleamed at me from the other side of a computer screen.
The most important thing to me about writing is the scene. Not just on the page but in my reality. I like to have a specific scent for each book I write. I like the temperature to be just right, depending on the book or story. I like to see certain things around me, like nature. And I have to have coffee. But there’s more.
I love the feel of a typewriter. The clack, clack, clack. The ding. The rumble like thunder from the machine, electric or otherwise. It’s so special to me. I feel like I’m doing something and unlike a computer, I can physically see a machine create my ideas, my progress, my world. I can stack pages empty on one side and full on the other. I feel connected to my stories. I feel like I’m actually making something.
It feels special, unique, and yes, old-fashioned. But that makes me love it even more.
But there’s another reason why I write with a typewriter, a more practical one.
It’s to make me slow down.
Personal opinion but I think that the bane of most writers is the lack of willpower or ability to slow down. Especially when we are writing on a computer where we can very quickly spit out hundreds and thousands of words. We can even sit back and do voice to text if we really want. Though I can’t tell you how that would turn out.
When you’re working on a typewriter that needs force to get the letters out, has no “delete” button, you’re forced to slow down. But your thoughts also have to slow down because you can only type so fast on those keys. Which is a good thing.
You can slowly watch your words pour out of your fingertips nice and slow.
Next tool I use is fountain pens. I have many, a small collection that I’m gradually growing as I go. Old and new-ish alike, Italian and Japanese and German, and lots of special, sentimental pieces spot my collection.
I got my first fountain pen from my uncle when I was I believe eight years old. No, I didn’t eat off a silver platter but I did have family members that believed in my passion for writing which is very special. From the first moment I used them, I knew I loved it.
Again, a very tactile thing, I love it. I like writing short stories and poetry with my pens and yes I do write with every single one I own. They all get some love.
When you’re writing with a fountain pen, it can feel like butter or it can tug against the page. It can be relatively quiet or scratch its way along. The smell of ink can be bitter or it can be sweet.
But again, I get to feel myself create things. I get to watch my hand create words that show others new worlds. The base of my career is writing and there is no closer act of that than putting pen to paper.
The fountain pen brings two things of practicality to me. The first is that it also forces me to slow down because my arm can only move so fast and I can only write for so long before my arm starts to cramp. So, you guessed it. I have to slow down and take breaks. Which means I have to slow down and pay attention to what I’m writing.
It brings more than just that thought.
I have to be gentle. I can’t get aggressive or emotional when I’m writing with a fountain pen because it’ll transfer in the form of pressure and fountain pens are slightly fragile tools. I can’t take any frustration out on them. So this means that I have to chill. I need to separate myself from my story a little bit. Instead of being angry or sad with the characters, I’m a little bit more straight faced. A little bit more in control and able to write a good story that isn’t driven by my emotions as the writer.
All right! So those are two of my tools that I use and love to use. I have many others, a few other typewriters and one electric one that I love to death as well. But the Royal is my baby. My fountain pens, my best friends.
They all have a history to one. That that involves me and one that involves others. I love to dream about the stories they have already seen, the ones they have already written and typed. Sometimes it floors me because it’s so powerful. Other times, it just inspires me to guess and create stories based on the vibe I’m getting from them.
I love my tools. I love who they make me as a writer. If you’re new to writing, find something that makes what you create even more special. Find something that creates an experience. Learn about who you are as a writer.
And most importantly, I hope you can all enjoy your writing today as much as I enjoy mine.