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How typing on a manual typewriter can start the flow of your writing

August 11, 2017

hemingway typewriter

For writers, fear is not black…or dark. Fear is white… and blank – a blank white page…a blank screen…an intimidating white abyss.

One of the best writing tips I got to help me push through that white wall came from a movie “Finding Forrester” where the experienced writer (played by Sean Connery) advises a young writer to start typing someone else’s words to get a rhythm started. You generate momentum…a push and a pulse…and once you have started moving, the words you type change into your fresh and original words.

This simple technique helped me overcome the paralysis of starting that first sentence and write better and faster for news stories as a reporter. This was not on a manual typewriter, but on a computer – but ‘just get typing’ technique got me started.
These days, this technique even helps me when I need to get started and finish a ‘less exciting but more important and more urgent’ business document.

sirenia - OT back deck IMG_2324

That’s why Sirenia retreat has a portable typewriter you are welcome to use to get started. I write on my sleek and light Macbook after I get started on a typewriter. My Macbook is more efficient – but to get started, I love the more physical sensation of typing on a manual typewriter – the slap of the keys on paper, the ‘ping’ when you get to the end of a line and you have hit the carriage level return to physically scroll up the page to type the next line. It’s physical and more noisy than typing on a computer.

I have been a ‘consultant’ to help set up Sirenia as an Executive Escape and Writer’s Retreat and one of my (many) recommendations was to get a portable typewriter to help writers get started.
sirenia typewriter IMG_0947

Feel free to use the small portable typewriter (not the heavy 1930s Royal that’s too hard to move). Experience the physical joy of typing on a manual typewriter and you may even like to take a few photos that make you look like one of those old-time ‘typewriter’ authors like Ian Fleming or Ernest Hemingway.

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