Truth: In the past few years, I purchased a typewriter—in lieu of my laptop—to write.
As pretentious as it seems, I thought the 8-pound contraption I found at a yard sale, replete with a carrying case and extra ribbons, would help with the writing block I was going through.
(I also listen to Beethoven and Mozart when I write. So in regards to pretentiousness: WHATEVER, MAN.)
My relationship with that typewriter came to a halt when I realized manually deleting, editing, and then ultimately transferring my pieces onto my laptop was a total pain in the ass.
Every writer wants to take our time with our ‘process.’ But when you get paid to publish stuff on the Internet, quickness is key. I abandoned the typewriter after two weeks.
Sure, I’ve found some tools that’ve helped me focus and write on my Macbook. I still get frustrated with staring at a fucking screen all day, though, which led me to stumbling upon—and then falling in love—with Hemingwrite.
Here are the reasons why I’m convinced I (and maybe you, too) need one:
1) OK, so the thing has a screen. But it’s not like your average computer screen.
The Hemingway has an E-ink display, kind of like a Kindle. So it’s easier on your eyes, and a nice break from gawking at your bright computer for six hours a day—typical when I’m in a digital consulting gig.
2) Other than the real, outside world, Hemingwrite doesn’t come equipped with any means for distraction.
You can’t check your email, or Facebook, or xoJane, or Twitter, or whatever other site you’re prone to head to when you ‘need a break.’ With Hemingwrite, it’s just you and your writing.
3) I type fast while in my flow.
Even though I can pound out, on average, 75-80 words per minute (WPM) (the typist in the general population hits about 40 WPM), I go between line-editing every sentence and stream-of-consciousness.
That means: So very many typos to fix. A whole bunch of omitting and moving around sentences. And an ultimate dependency on my ‘Delete’ button. Using a typewriter or a pen-and-paper is too time consuming.
4) Speaking of: I hold my pen like a freak.
Now, I write with a notebook when I feel like my eyeballs are going to fall out. Despite the re-training my kindergarten teacher tried with having me hold a pencil the ‘normal’ way (I re-formed every grip, pssh), I still hold my pens with my pinky on the point of the pen, and the rest of the hand cupped around it.
I scoffed at my teacher’s insistence that I needed to change my physical writing style—my penmanship has always been neat. I get it now, though: The pressure on my fingers hurts after like, two minutes of writing.
Curse 5-year-old me.
5) Aside from that quirk: Hemingway has Wifi, and syncs with cloud.
So you don’t have to take time transferring your words to the CMS or Word doc you need to send to your editor.
It’s also 4 lbs, and super portable (but so is my laptop and pen-and-paper), has 6+ weeks of projected battery life (perfect for my monthly writing trips to Big Sur—although I’m always able to find an outlet) and has a 1 million+ page memory (even though I like to keep my documents pared down and organized).
BUT WHAT A TEASE! Hemingwrite isn’t available to buy yet.
So get to it, Hemingwrite creators Adam and Patrick! I need this device in my life. And I’m sure many other people do, too.
[Image via Hemingwrite.com]