The “Sound” of Writing

TypewriterWhile music is a major inspiration of my writing, simple sounds are as well. I can remember many times when I lived in the middle of a wide stretch of farmland that the sound of a winter storm whistling or summer thunder and rain would wake me. For hours later, I would lie in bed listening and composing stories in my head, some of which actually got written down later. Sometimes, the lure of imagination would make me get out of bed and write down the ideas right away. However, more often than not, I would be lulled to sleep in a cradle of characters and plot that lead me straight into my dreams.

The sound of the instruments I use is also a large factor. There is just something about the sound of a pen scratching paper that has always drawn the story out of me. However, I have little patience for how slowly my hands can ‘write’ with a pen, so I can only use this for my notes. There is also the sound of a typewriter, the old fashioned kind. There is just something about typing from your fingers to the paper, without a screen, by way of the keys that is so much more satisfying to my Muse. Alas, at present, I do not have a typewriter.

I used to. As a present for completing grade five with great marks, my parents bought me a typewriter (albeit an electric one). I spent that blissful summer surrounded by billowing lace curtains caught in the crosswind of my bedroom windows; the scent of wild flowers or wild rain, and what felt like the ghosts of all my characters danced with my senses. Over the years on that typewriter, I must have written I don’t know how many novels and short stories, all lost later to the artistic heartache of looking back.

Those two sounds, pen on paper, keys clacking, remain major inspirations to my writing, as much as listening to a song. Perhaps because there is tangible evidence of the story constantly piling up in ways a word and page count on a computer can’t seem to generate in me. There is just some magic lost along the way.

Of course, being that my favorite novel is Misery by Stephen King, I desire to have an office model Royal typewriter to work my first drafts on, since all I do is print them out and retype the edited draft in anyway. It would be, I imagine, an expensive piece to both find, and the ribbons have to be getting scarce, or would need to be specially ordered. I do what I can with my imagination and an old laptop at present.

But oh! How I desire that clacking sound of keys, and the knowledge that my thoughts are going straight to the paper without the electronic interference of a screen!

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