Monday, February 25, 2013

Back to Basics

     I love to write with a pen and paper.  For some reason I really seem to be able to keep my thoughts flowing when I write long hand.  It also feels like I'm really accomplishing something.  I like the way the letters form on the page and the feel of the words flowing together in ink.

     I think we're losing an art with the loss of teaching cursive handwriting.  It used to be valued so much that you could actually buy a typewriter that had a cursive font.  The first electric typewriter my parents owned was such a machine.

     This typewriter was a two tone blue Smith-Corona machine that came in a hard black case.  It smelled of hot ink and had such a gratifying hum when it was running.  This was before the days of the round ball typewriters.  It was the type of apparatus where the mechanisms could still get stuck together if you got over zealous and hit more than one key at a time.  You could feel the vibrations of the letter arms smacking the paper as you typed out each letter of each word.

     There was no back space key.  There was no cutting and pasting to rearrange what you had written.  You could not go back and insert a more developed thought.  If you made a mistake or needed to edit in any way you had to use correction fluid or tape or start over and retype the whole document.  Your editing had to be done before you began retyping.

     I brought that very heavy, beautiful blue machine with me into my marriage.  At some point it was given away during a house purge along with my husband's manual typewriter.  I kind of miss it.  I'd like to hear the hum, smack, smack, ding, buzz of an old electric typewriter again.

     I'm not sure if you could still buy the ink ribbon for those machines anymore, but it would be fun to work on one again once in a while if for no other reason than to have another option to just get my thoughts down as with writing by hand.

     Somewhere around here I still have some of the poems, papers and stories I typed with that cursive typewriter.  I have to wonder if my improved typing skills that have come with years of working with computers would translate to an electric typewriter.  It would probably get hard to get used to the fact that I cannot just backspace when I make a spelling or other typo error.

     The thing is there is just a strong type of satisfaction that comes from hand writing or old fashioned typing that doesn't come with word processing.  It just seems to take more care, more thought, more concentration.  It seems to create more of an atmosphere for deep thought.

     I may not have a typewriter to use anymore, but I did hand write this post before I typed it.  It gave me time to really think about what I wanted to say and to switch things up and develop thoughts a little more while I was transcribing my written words to word processed words.

     The thing is I had no idea really what I was going to write about when I first sat down with my pen and notebook.  but once I started putting pen to paper it just started flowing out of me.  This doesn't happen as often when I directly type on the computer as it does when I sit down with a writing utensil and paper.

     Maybe it has something to do with the lines on the paper.  Or maybe it is just the feel of the pen gliding across the paper.  In any case I feel more gratified in what I've created today than I have in anything else I've written in a while.

     I just really think it is important that sometimes we go back to the basics in some things.  I feel it helps us to reconnect with our creative side.  It slows us down so we can really put ourselves into what we are creating.

I'm joining in on the gossip blog hop this week!




  1. Replies
    1. They are important in just about anything. Thanks for the comment! :-)

  2. I didn't know typewriters used to have cursive - cool fact!

    I love writing on paper as well, much more than typing. I write things out whenever I can. And I do it in cursive :)

    Sorry I'm so late on commenting. Thanks for linking up for Monday Morning Gossip!!

  3. Thank you so much for the comment! I enjoyed writing this. I enjoyed sharing it, too. : -)


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