Why do am I writing on a vintage typewriter? It’s been a long time since I don’t write using a typewriter. I think maybe 20 years, and I realize I cannot type as fluently as I could. I’m making a lot of mistakes, and my fingers do not hit the keys as strong as they should. Typewriters are less tolerant to mistakes. I’m not talking just about spelling mistakes, but about the strength of my fingers: I’m quite less accurate than before.
When I’m writing using my laptop, mistakes are less important, for I can go backward and fix them. Then, you may ask: why the hell does a 21 st person want to write using an old piece of technology?
Actually, this post has been writing on my old Olivetti Lettera 40, bought in the 80’s. I’m used to taking notes on a notepad with my fountain pen. I will transcribe these notes to my laptop using Wordperfect for DOS.
So, I wonder why I’m using such a vintage technology. I’ve been collecting some notes on this issue, and I would like to share with you.
First of all, the main reason put forward by typewriters enthusiasts is that this technology helps them to avoid distractions. When one is typing a manuscript, Facebook notifications, open tabs in a browser or even the temptations to watch any kitten videos on Youtube are enough to lose concentration.
However, while it is reasonable to consider a typewriter as a mean to avoid such distractions, this is the objective I’m looking for when I use Wordperfect for DOS. Its modest, humble appearance, in contrast with MS Office or LibreOffice make it ideal for being focused on my task.
Another reason would be that the writer has his one writing space. This is particularly important, for one uses the computer to surf the Internet, to edit videos, to answer emails and so on. Typing is the moment and space where typists may concentrate just on writing.
Typewriters don’t allow editing. Although they have a backward key, fixing mistakes is not easy, so the typewriters make you move on and not be aware of mistakes. Maybe this is an advantage, for we must revise the whole text when we transcribe it to a computer file. By doing so, ideas flow freely from our brain to our fingers.
By having a single sheet of paper, we can have physically what we write, I mean, you write it and you have it. This feature is difficult to achieve if we are typing on a laptop keyboard. Oh, well, you can have a printer and print the manuscript, but who does it, nowadays?
Having said that, I must confess that none of the above reasons suit for me. The truth is that I love the look and feel of writing on a typewriter, using my fountain pen and using Wordperfect for DOS to transcribe any document. My last manuscripts have been written in Wordperfect for DOS, and I’ve been so happy with such as experience.
I’m enjoying a lot while I’m writing using such obsolete technology.
Thank you for reading.