Monday, November 5

Yes No Maybe

I am notorious for becoming suddenly passionate about a thing, going all out on it, and then losing interest.  Well, maybe not notorious exactly, for I have actually stuck to a good many things too: my cello and my (finished) book.  But when all of a sudden I realised that I would really like to own my own typewriter... I doubted myself at the same time as becoming hugely excited. 

I've always been one of those people who are annoyingly stubborn about something small and often sentimental, and then change their mind when they realise that the new way is actually better.  (Things like books, however, nothing in the world could make me read e-books.  That's not negotiable now or ever.)  However, this propensity of mine makes me wonder whether or not writing on a typewriter would be a good idea or not. 

I've found that since I've started typing my work rather than handwriting it, I have had a much better flow and control of my writing and creativity.  Sometimes I've felt that by the time my hand has finished slogging away at that sentence with that scratchy pencil, my mind has been swept too far ahead and has gone and run itself aground.  Typing has allowed me to keep up with my thought process, and also to make spontaneous decisions and changes to what I've already written.  In most contexts, my typed writing has been better than my hand-written.

However, this leads me to wonder what the effect of type-writing would be on my work.  I am very aware of the personality a typewriter has - I remember long ago my Dad quoted someone, which I automatically believed to be C.S. Lewis but probably wasn't, about the connection they formed with their typewriter, as if it was a very sweet, trotting pony whose peculiar gait he had become so fond of.  I like to harbour the idea that a typewriter would be good for my creativity, that I too would find a lovable, ambling pony within that machine, and that he and I would canter into some great adventures, each step of which would be marked by the hoofbeat of a typed letter and a ding of a chombing bit between pony teeth as we reached the end of a line.  Would it give me more freedom to play with visual literacy?  Would it give me a medium for greater connection with my writing?  Would it force me to accept what I had written, and edit later as all the writers tell you over and over that you should do? 

I don't know.  For me, the obvious answer is to give it a go.  But should I fan this passion?  Type first, edit on a computer afterwards?  Yes!  No.  Maybe...

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