The Typing Sound

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!



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5 thoughts on “The Typing Sound

  1. I really like this idea! Since I constantly want to edit as I write, I often stall with the writing process itself. This would be a good way for me to get the words down onto the page. Hmm . . . maybe I should start looking for a typewriter.

    1. I wonder if foregoing editing while writing may help keep the writing process smooth and uninterrupted? I always find my train of thought broken by a sentence that needs to be immediately fixed on the computer.

  2. I wonder if this is part of the reason I prefer writing in notebooks over writing on a computer. There are a lot of reasons I like notebooks (portability, the actual physical act of creating the words, etc, etc), but this is one I’ve never thought of before. Granted, you don’t have to be as careful on a notebook as with a typewriter, since pages are easily corrected or torn out or crossed out, but I hate, hate, HATE when I have too many things crossed out on a paper and it just looks messy.

    Some really interesting thoughts here. If anything, I’d like the typewriters if only because I love the sound of those keys! 🙂

    1. Thanks, I thought so too. I used to alternate between writing in notebooks, and then on the computer, but I found myself procrastinating when it came to transcribing my thoughts from one to the other. I still carry a notebook with me, but now its more for spontaneous inspiration 😉

  3. I’m really bad about editing as I write. And even when I’m trying not to, I edit it in my head before I type it out. Maybe that’s why my daily word counts are so low? But I can’t do a paper notebook. My OCD kicks in. It must be neat and clean otherwise it drives me crazy.

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