Being confronted by a large, white faux sheet of typing paper is daunting. Almost as bad as being faced with the real sheet of paper on an actual typewriter. Am I showing my age that I even remember such things? I remember loading a sheet of paper into a typewriter, and clickity-clacking my way through page after page of onion skin paper until I finished. Do
you remember onion skin paper? Do you remember carbon paper? Hell, do you
remember white-out? Do they even still make white-out?
Maybe I’m romanticizing this a bit, but I think staring at the computer screen– in its own way– may be more difficult than writing used to be. I’m more inclined to be put into a hypnotic trance by that obnoxious little blinking vertical cursor than I ever was by a blank sheet of paper. Is it because I know that I’ll just type, then delete, then type, then delete? Then again, it could be that the last time I
used a typewriter– I mean really used one, it was 1993. In case you’re wondering, it was a research paper on Lord Alfred Tennyson for my senior English class. And I know you were wondering. That paper had footnotes. On a typewriter. Seriously.
I also walked uphill in the snow to and from school.
Okay, so not really about the snow thing. There was a hill, though. And that paper did have footnotes. It was a pivotal paper.
I suppose what I’m saying here is that back in the day what I wrote seemed to have a little more permanence. Yeah, I had to do my own spell-checking, and
my fingers were generally covered in white-out– at least until I got the self-correcting tape replaced on my electric typewriter– but I was far less likely to crinkle those hard-earned pages into a little ball than I am to click the little x in the upper right hand corner of my flat-screened computer monitor without hitting the save button first.
That’s it. Or maybe it isn’t.