This was originally posted over at the Interchange Project.
This is my second day using the Das Keyboard full time. I can’t tell if this is on account of me being just a massive tech nerd or if it really is about the keyboard itself, but I couldn’t wait to wake up this morning and start typing on this keyboard. It was like Christmas for a writer.
Wanting to write — anything at all — is every writer’s dream. We don’t dread verbal diarrhea. There is no such thing as too many words. Those can be edited away.
We dread those lonely, days, weeks, months and even years when we feel like we have nothing to write, nothing to say. I suppose how much the physical act of writing is enjoyable plays into that equation as well. I don’t enjoy writing with pens and pencils for anything beyond short note taking and brainstorm.
I’d never be a writer if I had to write everything by hand. My hand writing is atrocious. I don’t write particularly fast, and I find that when I truly get on a writing tear — and all writers know what a writing tear feels like emotionally — my hand begins to give out long before my mind and muse do.
I suppose that if I lived in a different time with different societal norms, someone would have really impressed into me the importance of good hand writing, and I would have had to work at it relentlessly or I wouldn’t have been able to get an education. As it is, I had to take extra hand writing lessons as a kid growing up. Perhaps, this is why I’m such a good typist and why I love keyboards and computers.
With pen and paper, I’m behind the curve as a writer. I’m someone whose teachers deemed his hand writing unworthy, and by extension, given the times, his very writing unworthy. To live in a world where hand writing matters is to live in a world where hand writing is the core of writing, and the ideas and the words themselves fade into the background.
As I methodically strike these keys, and as they click and clack back at me, my words are appearing for anyone to clearly read, to judge on their very merits as words and ideas. And my words can be shared with anyone all over the world — hardly something that I could have dreamed of when sitting in extra sessions during lunch in grade school to learn how to make my writing easier to read.
The only thing holding back my writing now is my mind. I can be as wild and free as I want to be, and I can share my thoughts with anyone that wants to read them.
It’s hard to say why I couldn’t wait to wake up this mourning and start writing, but I do know this: Without a good keyboard, I wouldn’t be sharing these thoughts with you. For me, a keyboard and computer are much more than tools; they’re my voice to the world.