Pages

Monday, November 21, 2011

To Type With Conviction

Friends, today I crossed off one of the items mentioned in my previous list of Christmas-gifts-I've-always-wanted-but-never-asked-for-for-obvious-reasons. Her name is Olive. She's my new Olivetti Underwood vintage manual typewriter.
She's used, but works well, according to the seller on Ebay, and I love her already. I've thought about why typewriters are so appealing to me. They're inconvenient, loud, and inconvenient again. Yet, there is a power in the stubborn keys that I've only recently articulated to myself.

First, there is the writing process that I'm adopting: As Stephen Tuttle says, every first draft is nothing more than an outline. And every time I rewrite a second draft, the result is exceedingly better than the first. So, why tempt myself with convenience? This typewriter will be my first draft writer, forcing me to really look at my work and only save what is excellent.

Second, renowned writer Barry Lopez visited BYU campus a few weeks ago and talked about his experience writing essays, fiction, and poetry. Lopez was very warm, eloquent, and passionate. I immediately grasped the depth of his love for his work and felt in turn a need for that depth. Lopez was asked after his reading about the fact that he still uses a typewriter. He replied that the typewriter is a comforting machine for him, not only because of his age, but because each key takes determination. Lopez writes every word, sentence, page, and story with passion and zeal at his typewriter, and he infuses his pieces with the most intense forms of truth.


Truth. I have thought much on this idea as of late. In my church, we are privileged to receive personal blessings that illuminate potential accomplishments in our lives if we live righteously. They are called patriarchal blessings, and I treasure my own greatly and often look to it to remind myself what I am capable of. In my blessing, I have been told that there will never be a time in my life where I am not searching for truth, and that I should take every opportunity to build my testimony; to share it and strengthen those around me. I am becoming more and more sure that this life of writing is my great testimony--my declaration of truth.

I strive to write emotional truth and to place my readers in situations they are initially unfamiliar with, but as the story continues, they find truths and insights that feel much closer to them than many common-place facts. This aspiration of mine is something I need reminding of every day. I can't forget that I write to transcend my experiences and help others do the same. I write to connect all of us through the Human Experience. I'm excited for Olive to come. I anticipate her heavy keys and obnoxious click, click-click, rrrring as I pound out my stories, holding the highest conviction to change the world with truth.

1 comment:

Sonja said...

We had an old Underwood typewriter I used through school and college. Once computers came along though, I got rid of it. I hope you enjoy your early Christmas gift!