I pre-ordered a Freewrite Traveler.
In the spirit of transparency, I must admit:
- I am ashamed that I spent this much on what may essentially turn out to be a wireless keyboard (although I was excited to catch it on discounted pre-sale and to also find an additonal savings coupon code on Reddit that worked, so it wasn’t as expensive).
- I am ashamed that I spent this much less than 5 days after resolving to adhere to a budget.
- I am ashamed that I am purchasing a product marketed as a “distraction-free writing tool” (what real writer needs such a tool?)
Let’s lean in together on this last source of my shame.
First, writers write. Right? That’s what they do. Successful writers discipline themselves to write in any circumstance. To need a distraction-free writing tool to assist you is really asinine and likey a sign you aren’t even a real writer. At least that’s what I tell myself. And even though there’s the Reasonable Rachel Me who always replies:
No, Courtney, that’s not true! Look at Maya Angelou, who rented a hotel room to write in.”
the Negative Nancy Me still manages to get the last word by reminding all of my Me’s that Toni Morrison produced her early works by writing at the crack of dawn, before prepping her kids for school and then heading off to work. So, there’s that.
Then, too, I am well aware that there are cheaper options. Like the original distraction-free writing tools — paper, pen, and solitude. But, can I just say that my writerly brain processes thoughts differently when I write by hand? For the past year, I have journaled by hand consistently almost every weekday morning and it’s been a great way to start my days. But those are the musings of a mad woman: those are rants, complaints, wonderings. Very self-centered notes to either God or myself. They lack creativity. One day, years after I have become a reknowned author, maybe someone will find these journals which, by then, would be archived at the Schomburg. Maybe this someone will pore over them and maybe even feel inspired to compare them to my published works. They may note what I am already certain — my handwritten writings are different.
And then, there’s the suggestions of turning off Wifi, using distraction-free apps, etc. To that I must argue that I pay my bills by spending 10+ hours a day glued to my computer. Most evenings, I want nothing to do with a screen. Plus I have heard too much screen-time could be bad for your eyes. And the Freewrite Traveler uses cool e-ink technology — so much better on the eye (says the marketing)!
What ultimately ended with me doing a thing began with me searching for a typewriter, because I really am tired of computer screens after work. I want to type but the thought of sitting in front of another screen causes something to clench inside me, often shutting the idea down completely. So, I thought I could find a typewriter — I remember one in elementary school. I also didn’t expect typewriters to be an “It” item. But apparently there’s a resurgence of interest in typewriters both as a collectors item and as a work machine (probably people like me, thirsty for a distraction-free writing tool that clacks!). And also apparently, good work-machine typewriters can be pricey. And also apparently it is best to to find a reputable store where you are able to touch and examine a typewriter yourself, as opposed to ordering it alone.
Basically, the more I researched typewriters, the more I learned finding a decent one to travel with me in this next leg of my writing journey would be a task. So I reached out to my creative writing freind Amber, who’s wife had gifted her a typewriter, if she could help. Turns out, she didn’t have much insight on the typewriter front — but she did let me know she was looking into the Freewrite. And boy, did that send me down a rabbit hole.
Simply put, the Freewrite is the nexus of typewriters and keyboards. Nothing I could say could do it justice, you’re better off reading this Atlantic review and watching this video:
I dare you to get lost on Youtube or Reddit. The Freewrite is a fascinating product that is has a lot of interesting reviews and commentary.
The Freewrite Traveler, as the video shows, is the transportable new version. It’s slated to hit the market this June (I haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact date). Of course, I am worried. Worried primarily that I may not like it, and then suffer from writer’s remorse. But then, there’s also the worry that it hasn’t been my screen fatigue that has caused this somewhat newfound aversion to typing. I could discover that it is actually just, well, me. Which, I mean, I know it is me. But I am hopeful that this distracting-free writing tool will spark a change. It would be disheartening if it did not inspire use.
But I’m also excited!
An update to come once it arrives.