Tools of the Writing Trade

My current writing tool is a MacBook Pro 15″ with a SSD and I use BBEdit 10.x to author in. Other than the tapping of the keyboard and any ambient noise, it’s a dead silent piece of hardware to write on. BBEdit is a bit of a geeky choice, but it has some pretty nifty text wrangling capabilities that just don’t exist in other software tools I’ve used. It also makes conversion to Kindle format dead simple for me given it’s great markup tools.

It’s a great rig, but it doesn’t compare to the Underwood Standard #5 and SX-100 typewriters I inherited from my grandparents and that they used to write term papers in college and author a few books on. There’s just something about the thwack-thwack-thwack of the metal keys moving and impacting the rubber roller that you can’t get from computers. I love how you really have to focus on what you’re writing since it’s so hard to go back and fix stuff.

I’d do more writing on one of them, but there’s just so darn inefficient. Even given better output due to the concentration they enforce, everything has to be re-keyed back into the computer for editing and publication. I just don’t have time for that. Maybe someday when I have spare time and money I’ll rig up one of the typewriters to a computer so that what you type gets saved to a digital text file. My biggest concern would be ending up with one of these.

Or maybe I’ll just buy a kit.


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