Share your love of typewriters or try out the old-school machine for the first time at the New Hampshire Writers’ Project’s first Type-In on Thursday, Dec. 4, at Cafe la Reine in Manchester.
The Type-In is one in a series of events put on by the New Hampshire Writers’ Project in honor of New Hampshire Writers’ Week, Sunday, Nov. 30, to Saturday, Dec. 6.
Rob Greene, event organizer and vice president of the board of trustees for New Hampshire Writers’ Project, will set up a dozen of his own typewriters to encourage people to participate.
Greene, a self-described typewriter evangelist, started collecting a few years ago and has no plans to stop.
“My wife says I have 30, I say 20, so it’s probably 25,” he said. “Once you get the bug, you get the bug. It’s hard not to get more.”
He decided to bring the “celebration of old technology” to New Hampshire after going to type-in events in other states.
“People who are interested in typewriters, who use typewriters ... get together and type,” Greene said in a phone interview. “They talk about typewriters and share interests in typing.”
Typewriting aficionados can bring in their own machines to use, display and share, or both. “Some people ... really love and want to bring [them] in and show them off,” Greene said. “Some want to bring theirs and try out others because every one is different.”
He equated the experience as one similar to a car show. Owners want to show off their car (or typewriter), but also see what else is out there.
Don’t own a typewriter? No problem. The format for the Type-In is very casual, and Greene has plenty of machines. People can stay the entire time or stop by to grab a quick cup of coffee and write a poem.
Greene teaches creative writing and journalism at Nashua High School South and strongly believes in the benefit of typewriters within the writing process.
“There’s a lot to be learned about the writing process from using a typewriter,” he said. “When you’re on a typewriter, you’re [only] writing. It makes sounds, it dings, it clicks and clacks; it allows you to work it like a machine.”
A computer has myriad ways to distract you from writing, whether it’s scrolling through your Facebook wall or watching a cat dance around on YouTube.
“Suddenly hours have gone by … and you’re out of the zone or process,” Greene said.
As a teacher, he likes that “the crutch of spell check or grammar check” is taken away when using a typewriter, forcing students to improve their skills.
“You write differently,” he said. “When you write on a typewriter, you’re committing to it and have to have a complete sentence in your head. You write more in your head than on the screen.”
Greene anticipates that a wide variety of people will come to the Type-In: writers looking for a creative environment, older folks who remember typewriters from years past, and kids interested in seeing what they’re all about.
“It’s good to be reminded to slow down and find a device meant for that one thing that does that one thing very well,” said Greene. “They still work. They’re not obsolete.”
As seen in the November 27, 2014 issue of the Hippo.