I don’t actually write anymore. It’s probably been months since I literally wrote anything more involved than a grocery list or quick note to a friend. I feel like that might be a mistake. There is a grand appeal to the quick trip between having a thought, opening the laptop, typing it out and blasting it off into the unknown and intangible world of the internets. Sharing creates a certain validation, it lends a bit of weight and responsibility to that things I write. An accountability. Yes, I can type almost as fast as I can think, and so that adds allure as all of the thoughts can spill forth without hesitation or filter. Mistakes don’t need to be crossed out, dictionaries and thesauri easily accessed. There are many reasons to switch over altogether to the keys. I could probably even argue it makes me a better piano player, all kinds of justification.
Here’s a difference. I have less attachment to things I type, I don’t remember them as clearly. The idea, yes. The content, not always. I wonder if part of the disconnect comes from not being able to actually touch the letters being etched. And the immaterial nature of them. Back in the day, if I wanted to erase or delete something I wrote, steps would have to be taken. Fire, water, burying of ashes, scattering them to the winds…all of the elements were involved! And now, overuse of backspace, the delete button, highlight and space bar. Efficient.
I don’t write incessantly anymore. I still carry writing books and pens around, I have them with me everywhere I go, but most often they’re used to store a list that may or may not be ripped out and discarded. Books filled with half written notes, dedicated to the memories of shopping trips and future plans that I forgotten about in lieu of the latest distraction. And even those are falling by the wayside, as I use my phone more often to jot down notes or text reminders to myself.
Perhaps it’s alright that pen and paper are an archaic habit, falling by the wayside more and more. But sometimes I get nostalgic for the written word to actually be that.
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