I was stopping by my office the other day looking for something, and then I saw it for the first time in years. It was my old typewriter.
I do remember, however, my first typewriter. I was so excited to get it and start writing with it. I wrote a lot of poems on that typewriter and I wish I had copies of those poems.
Until I got my typewriter, I was typing everything by hand, which can be very tiring after a while. There were typewriters at my school, and I went to a class to learn how to use a typewriter. However, he did not have a typewriter at home.
That Christmas, my parents surprised me with my own typewriter. I was so excited about it, and I spent a lot of time writing nonsense. I used that typewriter for many years, and it was a great partner with me.
So I decided to upgrade to an electric typewriter. That was a significant improvement for me. An afterthought: I wish I had saved that first typewriter. When I got the electric typewriter, I was able to type faster than I ever could before. I couldn’t keep enough paper in the typewriter while I was writing.
Using those typewriters, you put one sheet at a time, but since I didn’t know any better, it was a wonderful thing. I checked a lot of paper.
On those old typewriters, what you wrote was exactly what you got. If you misspelled a word, it was misspelled. I don’t remember how many times I took the paper out of the typewriter, put on a new piece, and started writing again.
The exciting thing was that if you wanted multiple copies of what you were writing, you could use carbon paper between each page. What I wrote on the first page was written on the second and third pages. That was really exciting because I now had copies of what I was writing.
The problem was that when I made a typo on the first page, it was down to the last page. You couldn’t fool those carbon copies. What was in one was precisely in the other.
I was thinking about it the other day and wondering how I used a forest of trees to learn to write.
That typewriter was a friend of mine, and we worked like a well-oiled machine. What happens with that typewriter, never tried to correct me. He always agreed with what I said and wrote, and never answered me. He was actually in charge.
I could always tell where my typewriter was because it was where I put it, and it never moved. Moving that typewriter would have been a great job, so it always stayed on my desk in my room exactly where I put it. I couldn’t bear it traveling with me; I had to use it where it was.
At the time, I thought I had no better friend than that old typewriter of mine. To look at it now, I smile as I remember how things have changed.
I was writing my first book, writing every page, when I found out about this new thing called a computer. Well, I wasn’t going to get anything modern. I was going to do things the old-fashioned way. After all, Ernest Hemingway wrote everything on a typewriter.
The more I learned about these computers, the more interested I became. According to the people I was talking to, I could increase my production 100 times faster. At first I didn’t believe that.
Finally, halfway through that first book, I decided to switch to a computer. Those early computers didn’t have a hard drive, so he had to put a floppy disk to run whatever program he might be using. I also had to save what I was writing on a floppy disk.
I installed that new computer in my office and started playing around with it to try to understand how it worked. To my surprise, the more I played around, the more I liked the music I listened to.
I did not have to use paper until the manuscript was completed and I was able to print it on a printer. If I made a typo, I could correct it right there on the screen, no problem.
Getting used to it was difficult for me. I remember the first chapter I made and worked very hard to complete it, but forgot to save it to disk and lost the whole chapter. I was kind of provoked that my old typewriter would never have done that!
Over the years, I’ve regularly updated my computers to the point where I don’t have to write much anymore. I can dictate on my computer and see words appear on the screen.