Okay, so Sarah and I don't actually write our books
on a typewriter. But we kind of wish we could--just
Call it nostalgia, but I miss the days of clumsy,
clickety-clack writing. I miss White-Out and inky
finger smudges. I miss the satisfying thwack of the
keys striking paper and the whir of the return
carriage signalling the beginning of a new paragraph.
I also think future scholars will miss the messiness of typewritten manuscripts, how
they give away a little about the writer's thought process. Once upon a time
publishers received a first draft that included coffee stains and funny smells.
There were hastily dashed notes in the margins, slashes, hashes, and
self-deprecating remarks. For this reason, I am eternally disappointed to miss the
British Library's exhibition of manuscripts that coincides with the 2012 London
Olympics. These messy manuscripts are a reminder that even Chaucer, Dickens, and
Rowling scribbled over passages and angrily slashed great sections of their work.
It gives me hope. I'm not convinced that the e-manuscripts beamed to publishers in
modern times will do the same for future generations. -- Emily
If you're interested in taking a nostalgic trip to writing's past here's a great
website for vintage and antique typewriters and the ink to make them go: