I heard this great writing tip on CBC news the other day. Unfortunately I do not remember the exact details of the broadcast, but the tip stuck in my mind as something brilliant… or at least worth trying. There is a university out there (again, the name escapes my mind and my internet research has so far turned up nothing) that is using typewriters to help teach creative writing. A class of thirty students type away their ideas, their fingers careful in case they type the wrong letter, or wrong sentence.
The reason behind using a “obsolete” typing machine is relatively simple. You can not simply erase what you have written, it stays on the page until you can edit it out much, much later. Personally, I prefer to type on the computer because I find it easier to organize my thoughts, and then later organize my sentences. I simply move around paragraphs, until the order flows, or until I am happy with the result. BUT when you use the typewriter you don’t have this luxury. Thus, all the organization, the planning, the flow, must be carefully decided in the mind before being imprinted on the paper. Brilliant!
Thus, this method forces you to consider each word, each letter, carefully. It humbles the writer, makes them more aware of their sentences, and overall, in my opinion, will help one to grow. Although I am not actively searching at this moment for my own typewriter, this is definitely an exercise I will be trying sometime in the near future!