The era of the typewriter and the future of writing

Typewriter vintage

We live in a new era. A modern era of technology, connected tools – the Internet of Things – phones smarter than their users and definitely a time of numerous and fast changes.

Still, having a quick look through the window of my Mac, the world seems to be going backwards on some specific matters.

Writing on billboards

I do write. Using various tools and even a pen and paper. Which does create an awesome amount of frustration when I have to then type the whole 2000 or so words I have hand-written … .

But, at the same time, computers do offer less and less appeal for writing.

From a crashing Word to a WordPress interface, the dedicated writer has to cope with either bugs or noise. And that goes without mentioning the many keeping a Facebook or a Twitter open.

In the end, the writing world found itself longing for the old times of the white, blank, page.

Novelty or re-invention ? 

The wish for an old-fashion white page has driven various developers and entrepreneurs to develop an answer to these new needs, the back-to-basics digital white page.

The writer in me can now benefit from a digital haven while giving birth to new stories or just putting a few bits together to create this post.

Is it the new vintage ? WordPress offering a “distraction-free” interface, the likes of Blogo boasting a “blank” design and so on. The latest tool, Desk, being the tool I am using to write down this piece.

I want a typewriter

I do actually would like to use a typewriter. Why ? In order to ensure using a tool only fit for one task – but also a tool dedicated to this one task. Further than the point about avoiding distraction (it is mainly a matter of turning off notifications and not get struck by a sudden Twitter FOMO) just for the sake of benefiting from a free mind.

I started writing with a pen and a notebook. This encompasses writing in the sense that not only was it quick to take notes, add memos or just write a wee piece while stopping at a terrace for a few minutes but also because it was a relaxing experience.

And now, I want a typewriter. Not that I fancy having to type and retype (later, on my Mac) but for the sake of using a dedicated tool. And halfway between the laptop and the typewriter, I came across the Hemingwrite. I now want a typewriter.

The essence of writing 

Writing is more than a job, a duty or a constraint. At least, it has to be.

Content or inbound arketing, Growth hacking, and the next one(s); regardless of names, the current trend implies the creation of an awful amount of content. Hence writing as an industrial process.

However, writing should remain an experience, a pleasure and not a cold, almost mathematical, process of putting together a set of 5, 7 or 10 tips for startups or social media marketers.

A university teacher told me once that language is music. If the music does not sound right then the sentence is wrong. The same goes with writing.

So, with a trend to seek this old fashion notebook quietness, may we also hear some old fashion writing music.


I am not writing because I am busy writing

Goals and achievements

Time management and workload management. Overused buzzwords somehow but words which do not ring enough of a bell when people use – or just write – them. Managing time and workload, in other words priorities, has become key to being able to deliver both at work and in personal life. And this is the point of this post which I had not written before since I was busy writing … .

I am drowning!

That is somehow one of the most used sentences in the corporate world. With the “I have no bandwidth” motto.

Lol to that. Well tragically enough this has become some sort of norm. People are drowning so they can not answer requests. Especially as they need answers from people who are also drowning and who need answers too from people having drowned … .

Let me get my inflatable rubber duck out first and check this inability to work.

Startups versus the World.

Yes startups are cool so they are better for sure. Provocation aside, a job offer I saw (from a startup), for a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) position, did trigger this reflection.

CMOs – or people with random titles doing marketing as part of their day – actually end up doing half a dozen “normal” jobs. This job offer I read mentioned marketing indeed but also social media (e.g. community management) and content creation, still a given for a proper marketing job, but also having enough technical knowledge of the product to be able not only to market but also sell it. Oh and selling/business development being part of the role too. Plus a few added tasks.

(On a very personal note that is what I really call marketing. Being at the very center of the company, knowing every piece of information out there and being able to deliver it to any audience)

These startups “CMOs” have more than one job but they share another similarity, they are not drowning … .

Stop whining, start working!

Quoting my own self here – and certainly thousands of people out there.

But complaining usually serves only one purpose : wasting time. As well as not planning well nor focusing enough.

And that is the story of me not writing since I was busy writing. Like these CMOs I mentioned, I have various jobs in one and a few other activities as well. I recently took up an offer to write articles for a sports site. Because a writer needs to write. And because a day is not only 8 hours.

However, as much as I like writing (and that might be the issue), I did not make plans to write posts for this very blog or sports article. In the end, I got busy writing about sports and not completing my articles for my own blog. Not because of a lack of inspiration or will but just out of a lack of organization.

Stick to a plan.

And fix your day.

I came day to planning times to write for one platform and times to write for the other. On top of being a bit more organized – even if writing at anytime sure is permitted – it does force me to keep focused over a short period of time and ensure I complete a full post during that time. Hence leaving aside distraction and other ideas (which I just write down on the side for later) or any question arising about whichever blog or site I am writing for.

In a few words, just plan. Even if just to clear your mind, plan.

That makes a good lifeline for people used to drowning too.

[Image courtesy of HubSpot]