It’s strange. Every time we talk about typewriters our friends always bring up Hemingway. Why is it that Ernest Hemingway always evokes images of a typewriter? Is it because he published so many novels in an era when typewriting, carbon copies, and white-out were the standard for “word processing?” Why don’t we think of Agatha Christie or John Steinbeck instead? Whatever the reason, it is very true that the name Hemingway evokes the classic Corona typewriter. Which is where the Hemingwrite got its name…
Hemingwrite Typewriter / Via Hemingwrite/KickStarter
Using your computer for word processing is great! But how often are you writing a thrilling short story, a personal essay, or a languid poem when all of a sudden you find yourself checking social media (or reading articles from the Writer’s Circle). There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, some of our best ideas come from the strange, tangential connections that come from taking a break from immersive writing. But sometimes these distractions become too much.
The idea behind this new “typewriter” is that it is the best of multiple writing technologies. One thing that’s great about using a typewriter is that it is free from the distractions of the Internet. No pop-ups, no instant messages, just pure analog bliss. But when the creators of the Hemingwrite say “distraction free,” they don’t mean “Internet free.” The Hemingwrite is equipped with cloud back-up, so you can access your writing digitally as well. This would also allow for easier editing after you finish your masterpiece!
Ernest Hemingway with a Typewriter in London’s Dorchester Hotel / Via Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston
It also has an E Ink screen to give your work a more organic feel while using very little power. It has a six-week battery life too, so you don’t have to worry about plugging in all the time (for a road trip, Mr. Kerouac?)
The issue with this, for those of us who spend oodles of our free time writing, is how do we know which technology to use? When is a notebook more appropriate than a laptop? When do we use a pencil and when do we punch keys? We will never be certain of this and, as writers, we should never settle for only one medium for our work. In the words of Ernest Hemingway in A Moveable Feast, “‘Don’t fall in love with typewriting paper.’ ‘If I do, I’ll write with a pencil.” And if we fall in love with our laptops, we should try something new.