I suspect the typewriter thing is partly self-romanticisation by the writers, partly the reason I bought and occasionally use an old manual: no distractions as you can’t go online, and it’s hard to fiddle with wording, you just have to plough on. Great for actually getting that first draft out and having something to change.
Right on. The power of no distraction is greatly undervalued. That’s partly why the old Greek literature is better then almost anything produced today. They had no distractions! No TV, No Freud, No computer, and so on and on. They were forced to look inside themselves and that’s where the genius dwells.
The NY Times’ excellent Paper Cuts blog ( papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/ - may require free registration) has a weekly “Stray Questions” feature that I never miss. Question 2 to a given writer is always:
How much time - if any - do you spend on the Web? Is it a distraction or a blessing?
The answers are always interesting (to me, anyway). My favorite answer was from “Julie & Julia” author Julie Powell, who sounds like my kind of woman:
“Oy. I am sad to say that I’m a total Internet junkie. I check e-mail a million times a day, dawdle on every manner of silly gossip blog. Lately, I’ve even been keeping up my MySpace page. I mean, MySpace. It’s all so sordid and sad. I’d say that the Internet is probably my biggest impediment to writing. Well, that and the booze. But mostly the Internet.”
A bit like the Alien in John Hurt.
When I bring up Scriv to work for the day, I’m never tempted to kick over to the browser or email. I’m hardly a disciplined person, but I find the writing to be more fun and adventurous than anything on the web.
I’d hate to not be able to read over some work from the last week and make edits. But mainly, if you type the whole first draft on a typewriter, then you’re stuck with getting the thing into a computer for editing later.
(As for the Hurt/Alien thing, by coincidence I watched the first half of the movie last night. I still have to skip over the chest burster bit. I don’t mind suspense, but things coming out of things…eewwww!)
I have one of those chestbursters.
It sits on top of my bookcase, waiting, till that moment I get distracted enough, procrastinate too much, and then…!
Luckily I also have a small dog that bites everything that attacks me.
I feel much safer now.
I should watch that movie again.
Ow! I think I’d rather that it be a bit like the Greek goddess Athena, springing full-grown out of Zeus’ head.
Alien is the metaphor for resistance (read the post ‘No resistance to what is’) which like genius also dwells within us.
Take care and watch out
Typical daughter! Caused her Dad a splitting headache!! Was probably a pain in the arse as well
Distraction is a cousin to creativity alongside curiosity.
It had to being something of interest in order to gain your attention.