Typewriters: Nostalgia or good discipline?

I’ve been looking at typewriters recently as some research took me in that direction. I’m quite taken with them and they bring back memories of using my mum’s clunky thing when I was young. A couple of examples:


There was a news report on the BBC showing the last ever production of  a typewriter in the UK. Linked to this story was nice piece called Five reasons to still use a typewriter, in which it referenced an interview with Will Self where he said he’d started using a typewriter for first drafts. Then I remembered reading writer and blogger extraordinaire Dan Powell’s post about buying and using typewriters.

Now I’m wondering if there is something in all this in terms of writerly discipline, or if I’m just looking for an excuse to roam the Aladdin’s caves of house clearance and charity shops around here, or worse, get embroiled in an eBay fest, both with the end result of picking up something I really don’t have the space for.

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Typewriters: Nostalgia or good discipline?

  1. I’d recommend every writer get one. It does, as Will Self asserts, force you to think more about your writing before committing words to the page. And it need not cost a fortune, my two typewriters (one portable, one desktop) cost less than £50 all in all, and that’s with postage and new ribbons. There are some real bargains to be had on eBay, particularly if you can collect the machine. Good hunting.

    • I know what you mean Dan. I had hoped to get more of my novel written ahead of all the assessed work this academic year, but I’m still cautiously optimistic at this stage. Thanks for your feedback on typewriters – more food for thought.

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