I battled away with my mother’s little portable manual for a while there, but I hated that I had to pound the keys to make them strike, and the way they would bite at my fingers when I mis-placed them. And then there was the correction chalk strips, the backspacing, the way the last line would go wonky when I tried to squeeze too many on the page… How blessed was the day for all concerned — me creating and especially my teachers no longer battling with my handwriting — when I got my Commodore 64, a word processor and a dot matrix printer.
I don’t miss the typewriter, clunky and heavy and cumbersome, but I take note of this line from Paul Bailey’s article, even though I’m sure those who write longhand or with typewriter are just as capable of wanking on — though the editing process would be a lot more arduous:
Bad writing is always bad, but I have a feeling that the computer is there to make it worse. It encourages self-indulgence, the very worst literary sin.
So in celebration or memoriam, here’s a gratuitous YouTube clip of the Sisters of Mercy’s ‘Ribbons’: