My earliest memory of typewriters goes way back to before I can remember! Dad had one. Until my teens he was the only man I knew who did possess one at home. It was mainly men back then.
He set up his desk in the living room and each evening he typed. During the day he worked in a bank but at home he was a writer. Which I thought very exotic and exciting, if a trifle inconvenient when I wanted his attention. For help with homework we booked a time and then he was all ours:)
He tried his hand at novel writing but it wasn’t to be, what he made extra money, and his reputation, on were articles. Articles on banking, law and good English. He wrote for in-house journals and for The Plain English Society. He also had a stint in the 60s and 70s at writing for The Times about the industrial film industry. When he was established he produced two law books which needed updating every few years.
After age had crept up on him, and he suffered some TIAs, he found the burden of typing hard on his hands and, as I had treated myself to one of the early home computers, I taught him as I learnt, he took to it like a whole pond full of ducks.
Cut and Paste was the miracle of his declining days. He delivered his last updated copy of his books the day before he suffered the stroke which killed him two weeks later. The keyboard had been his friend for ever.
The typewriter ribbons were kept and used in the garden all through my lifetime. To mark out new lawns, to scare birds away from seeds and fruit.
The black and red tape fluttering all around, the muttered curses when he struggled to change them, the clack of keys in the evening, all punctuated my childhood. His pleasure in the computer keyboard which kept him writing my delight.
This quote is part of Silver Threading’s Writer’s Quote series. Writer’s who have helped inspire my writing.
To write one must engage with the world around. Imagination is not the everything, imagination needs feeding with experience and observation. Life is what feeds writers.