Entry #19: So, I got a typewriter

Date: May 20, 2019
Time: 12:22pm
Location: Bale at UH Manoa


Last week in paradise.

It’s a moderate day here in the restaurant. People eating, conversations going, the usual kind of lunch. The crunching of the parchment paper wraps for banh mi and silent low hum refrigerator makes the whole experience.

I had just finished my meeting for another side job, since I was getting paid, I thought I would treat myself. So, let’s introduce my typewriter 🙂

I really do like writing

Writing has been something for me to express my thoughts and feelings as I was thinking about those thoughts and feelings. I couldn’t really find a way to turn outward, per se, so I was felt inclined to start writing. The quietude and physical sensation of writing, by putting ink down on paper or typing on a laptop, it was all an immediate experience that allowed me to just think.

I actually hated writing when I was a student because I was never good at it writing for other people, however, t’s probably one of the best things that I could do for myself. This is where having a daily writing goal was set in place. While I can’t make it every single day, I try not to skip more than one day, unless the days were too busy for me to have time to myself. That’s usually the case, I’m not a professional quite yet. I haven’t found a way to consistently stick to this thing EVERY day, but I will always return to it when I start making the time again.

So, a typewriter?

It’s the middle ground to the manual labor of writing on pen and paper and the hyper-convenience of computers. I didn’t really give much thought to using a typewriter since I had the same kind of thought everyone else did: “why in the world would I use a typewriter???”

It’s old. It’s out of date. It’s heavy and inconvenient. It’s unreasonably expensive in comparison to having a computer because typing is already a function of the computer, it’s built-in. It’s free. But between these other two options to write, the major setback the two major things that I considered was speed and environment.

Obviously with a computer with a keyboard, it’s fast. Being able to write out every single character with the push of a button, versus writing each letter does get a bit tedious when you are writing 500-700 words a day. In this view, I would choose a computer. But with pen and paper, you are distraction-free.

Pen and paper offers the benefit of being more present with your writing. You have to physically put in the focus to write out each letter. Each word becomes a physical representation of your words. You can hold it, touch it, and feel it on the spot. It’s incredibly different from printing a Word document and printing that out, because in honesty, who would go through that extra step to print their work, reread and then edit from there. The majority of people wouldn’t be doing this anyways.

The typewriter is the happy medium in between these two options. Relatively fast. Immediate feedback. And a powerful secondary function as a tool to protect whack people in the face, if they annoy you. Or not.

I got a typewriter because I can live with my work.

Being able to be physically present and for me to be able to hold my work gives me ownership. This is something that I lose when working with computers. Every line of code only exists in its virtual form. There is no “physical” version of code, unless I had it printed it of course. Code only works in its virtual form! Therefore I needed something to supplement this feeling.

It’s pretty absurd. I recognize that. But it makes me happy, that’s all 🙂

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