Friday, September 3, 2010

Typewriter Thought

I recently stopped writing on computers because the digital thought process is too fast and doesn't allow for reflection during the process of thought due to the ease and speed of digital keyboards. I find that I type at the speed that I think and think at the speed I type and type without thinking and think without thinking, which interferes with my ability to think about what I am writing while I am writing it.

On the contrary, the movement, the physicality, required for working on a manual typewriter forces me to slow my thoughts, to consider the words as they are being pounded out. With the movement of the hands and arms, the mind enters into the body's space and hears its thoughts as they pass onto the paper. This results in work that is more visceral and less clever. Remnants of the body are pounded into the ink and the presence of the writer lurks in those words.

The pieces I write on a computer are very clever, ever so witty as they move three or four thoughts ahead of themselves into a state of constant meta reflection and it is no coincidence this era of high irony is also the age of a totally full fledged embrace of any and all things digital. To put it succinctly, work done on a computer seems to be a little less soulful, a little more contrived, too much brain, too little spirit.