The Instrument

I sat down at my desk this morning and looked at my laptop.  It’s about five years old, getting up there for a computer, but it’s still capable of keeping up with most of the new PC’s.  It was a gift from my dad, a work computer that broke down, which he fixed and gave to me.  I love this laptop.

But I realized recently that I can write my books on it.  I can’t write them on any computer, not anymore.  The reason for this?

Well!  I was given a typewriter for Christmas, by my two youngest sisters.  It’s a newer one, one of those interesting types called an “electronic” typewriter.  It uses a rudimentary computer to control the typehead and the keys.  However, it is NOT a word-processor, because it types at the same rate as you do and, once the heads have hit the ink, there’s no going back.

I had been working on a fantasy novel for some time, at least eight months, I’m not exactly sure.  It was interesting enough, though nothing special, and it had stagnated at around 36,000 for several months.  Then I was given the typewriter.

That novel was finished, ending up at around 70,000 words, within the month.  I realize, now, why it was so easy to finish.  I used a typewriter.

The typewriter is an instrument of writing and ONLY of writing.  An author doesn’t get bogged down in the editing of bad sections.  Computers allow him to turn around instantly and revise a poor section.  At first, this sounds good, but in practice, the author realizes that it wastes his time.  All of the creativity he built up working on the story, suddenly drains away when he begins to edit.  A typewriter allows none of this instant editing, requiring you to wait at least until you are finished with the page.

The typewriter is also an awesome inspiration.  I look at my typewriter, sitting quietly on my desk, and I realize that I have just GOT to sit down and write.  It’s calling me to pound out some great work of epic fantasy on its keys.

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