I have been decluttering (procrastinating) again! This time I uncovered my first ever Brother AX100 electronic typewriter. It looks so modern compared to an old style Hermes typewriter I bought at a bric n brac shop in the early 90’s ─ for decorative purposes only ─ at a time when I flirted with the romanticized version of a writer’s life. Now I know it’s nothing but hard graft with a ‘bum on seat’ mentality ─ the ultimate test for any procrastinator.
Even though decluttering means clearing out (or in my case procrastinating) I couldn’t throw it away. After dusting it down it stirred up some sweet memories. Painful memories too. Regrettably, I do not have the poems and stories that I created on my much-loved electronic device. Did I throw them out? Are they in my mother’s attic? I have no idea. Remnants of an odd line or title still tease and tuck at me. Perhaps I should jot down the bits I can remember. They may spark a little creativity on the days I find myself rummaging cupboards used for hoarding purposes and reminiscing on how it used to be.
I’m not sure if I would be able to get a ribbon replacement for my old typewriter but I’m thinking of giving it a whirl. The experience might be refreshing. I shall lay it bare, the first draft at least and resist purchasing tipp-ex. No more editing and re-editing until I have nothing left. Full pages shall be composed without spell checking and essential research.
That’s the problem with computers. There are too many distractions and it is so easy to be lead astray by the internet. I mean, how much research does one need to do? How did Charles Dickens, Jane Austen or George Eliot complete their research without computers and Wikipedia? Never mind the 19th century writers, how did William Shakespeare or Chaucer manage and our writers before that? Imagine having the burning desire to write and getting up every morning to make your mark on stone tablets, clay tablets, Papyrus, wax tablets, vellum, leather, parchment, copperplate, before paper styluses, quills, ink brushes, pencils, pens was invented.
Apparently, Incas employed knotted threads known as quipu (or khipu) as a writing system. At least they were using knots for writing, not tying themselves in knots with unnecessary research and too many choices. Will I write or research? Will I research or will I write? Will I read? Will I blog or write a column or another chapter? Will I edit? Will I use the computer or my new-found typewriter? Will I have another cup of caffeine? Will I or won’t I? That is the question. The answer? Writers and ‘would-be if they got on with it writers’ of the 21st century are just plain spoilt. Seems to me if you have got something to say just write. Now I’m away to heed my own advice!
For more on Procrastination check out Beware: Procrastination by iPhone here