June 24, 2010 | By: Tracy

What if We had to Write in the Snow? Uphill? Both Ways?

Would you still want to be a writer if the technology we use didn’t exist?

Be honest. Serious.

Think about it. William Shakespeare – one of the most renowned writers ever – had to craft his plays (wordy, Olde English suckers that they were) by hand. He had to dip a feather quill into ink every other word. How the hell did he manage to keep his thoughts flowing? Not to mention, if Shakey (that’s what I call him) accidently spilled wine on his pages, they were ruined and he had to start all over again! *gasp*

That would make my recent soda incident an accident of suicidal proportions.

How about this: Stephen King’s prolific career began with a typewriter.

A typewriter. Keep in mind this was before correction tape was invented even. No wonder the publishing world was accustomed to 2-5 years between author releases!

I’m fairly certain I would never have been able to come up with a single clean, editor-worthy page of manuscript using a typewriter. EVER. The kerclack sound with each and every letter alone would have been enough to send me postal.

Knowing myself, I would not have had the patience or drive to complete 5+ revisions of a manuscript (heck, I’m on #7 now), using either the quill pen or typewriter methods. I’m soft, I’ll admit it.

And I wonder how many of my favorite current authors would have survived to become what they are.

What about you? Do you honestly think you could have done it in the old days? Do you think receiving rejections hurt even more after having to go through all those extra hoops?

8 witty remarks:

Terry Towery said...

No way. I'm a computer guy through and through. I haven't used a typewriter in years and I can't read my own handwriting, so I have no choice. ;)

arlee bird said...

When I was in college all of my papers were done on a typewriter or handwritten. Electric typewriters helped a lot, but I still made lots of mistakes and had lots of erasures and type overs. My papers did not look pristine by any means. Likewise, with stories I wrote. It was what we had, but I sure wouldn't want to go back. Wordprocessing programs on a computer with a good printer are great.

Tossing It Out

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

LOL no way. I'd have committed suicide by now!

Misty Waters said...

OMG, when I first came up with my book idea in like . . . 1996 (the Dark Ages, I know) all I had was a Word Processor, which is just a fancy typewriter. Being that I'm a perfectionist, that didn't last long. I can't imagine how anyone EVER did it.

Misty Waters said...

Come visit me . . . I have a little something for you!


Sadako said...

The idea of doing it on a typewriter is too, too painful. You can take my computer FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS.

Matthew Rush said...

I'd LIKE to think I could do it - I wrote a lot by hand back when I was young - but to be honest I probably would not have had the patience for an entire novel. Maybe if I already had a writing career of some kind and KNEW I was going to get it published.

Tracy said...

Matthew- I think your hand may have fallen off if you'd had to write your last one by hand. I agree with you. It would have been something I could have forced myself through, but only if I was guaranteed it would get to the publishing phase of its life!

Misty - I will stop by tonight or tomorrow night when I get home and check it out. Thanks for the heads up!

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