Saturday, January 5, 2013

Typewriter/Modern Writer

"The more space I get the better I write," Jay-Z

I often wonder what it would have been like to be a writer in the time before computers. Maybe I was in a past life, but I don’t recall, so I’m left to wonder. Surely a typewriter would have replaced the computer, or before that a fountain pen.

I have to imagine the distractions were less. As a writer in this modern world I simply try to minimize my distractions, I know I’m going to end up checking various web sites over the course of my morning writing. What does that do for the flow of the mindstate? I would never check my email in the middle of a yoga class, that would be wrong. Good writing sessions are like meditation, surely the flow of thought was just different when one wrote without a portal to the endless world of the interweb.

Maybe some day I’ll have the discipline to take on that experiment. Buy a typewriter and write with it every morning. I imagine it would be different. I don’t know how, just different.

I feel blessed to be a writer in the modern age, especially as I’m entering the world of publishing books. I was able to publish my first book as soon as it was done, as an e-book, but still published nonetheless. I can’t imagine having written a book, and not being able to get it out there to the people. Computers and technology make getting your own work out there easier than ever. This is a gift for sure. The power of the word is in the hands of the people!

Recently in an email conversation with a woman I met through The Climbing Zine, she proposed that the meditation gained through the act writing is the greatest gift of the art. This suggestion implies the timeless benefit of being a writer, that we can bask in a similar that writers have been for thousands of years. Further contemplation made me realize that lately my favorite part of the writing craft is sharing my writing in a public setting; interacting with people by reading my work out loud.

While I love the solitary meditation of being a writer, I am not the type of artist who wishes to only write; I crave interaction.

Winter is here, the most solitary season for me. I’m submitting to the flow of winter, but planning for spring and summer. My first book, Climbing Out of Bed, is about to be printed, and I want to do a book tour to celebrate this; get out on the road, go places I’ve never been and read my work; meet new people, and get out of my comfort zone. I’m thinking of first doing presentations in my home state of Colorado, and possibly branching off into Utah and beyond. In the fall I want to visit the Southeast, to sample their climbing and culture, to expand what I know about my country. And maybe when I’ve done all this I’ll get myself a typewriter, just to see what it is like.



Lisa said...

I love it! Can't wait to sit down and hear of your plans to come.

Al said...

Mmm, indeed Lisa! I'm excited for the future,'s just so unknown! The life we are privileged to live is always changing and interjecting us into new and beautiful things. Certainly writing is a meditative things as well. I almost write differently knowing that what I cast will be viewed by some or many.

Thanks for your words brother; keep on spiraling!

Dave said...

So true. I read this, was going to comment, and then went off to buy an airline ticket.

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