[gallery link="file" orderby="rand"]
I hope the pictures show up right. That's my IBM Selectric II, all 40 lbs of her disco-era goodness. I got her for free on Craig's List from a guy who just wanted her out of his closet. This is very close to the kind of typewriter I learned to type on back in the 80s, but I think my high school's typewriters may have been Selectric IIIs. It uses a ball instead of a wheel or arms. What a blast from the past it was remembering how to take it apart for cleaning and re-install the ribbons.
I have to give a hat tip to Professor M for the idea. The typewriter was his solution to being distracted by the internet. It really does help. Feels weird to be physically unable to check Twitter while writing. Exhilarating in its freedom.
Nothing feels like a typewriter. I love how tangible the output is. I mean, on a computer your stories don't really exist. You always have to have that interface: a machine to view it on, electricity to run the machine, the correct software to open the "document," a printer to whisper out pages...
With a typewriter, you feel the creation of your words with your fingertips and in the vibration of the table. The volume of that creation announces to the world, "I AM WRITING NOW. DO YOU HEAR ME WRITING? Thinking... WRITING AGAIN." You can hug your pages to your chest or rip them up and throw them wadded against the wall. You can fold up your creation right away, put it in your pocket, and take it out to show someone later. Also, typewriter ribbon is way cheaper than printer ink.
There is only one con, as far as I can see, and that is the inability to easily correct a typo. But even that isn't a con to me. I have to type it into the computer later anyway, so I'll just mark my edits on the page and rewrite as I go. Or I could scan the pages into Word and do a spell check.
I wish I had gotten a typewriter long ago, and I recommend all writers do the same. Typos schmypos.