It appears a couple of weeks ago I bought another typewriter. My third in a month. I assure you (and my better half) that this is where my typewriter purchasing ends, at least until I can afford one of these.

My new acquisition is this Smith Corona Zephyr:

It’s a proper portable in that it has an easy to remove and replace case and weighs surprisingly little for a metal machine for hammering out type. It is, as of today, my take-out-of-the-house-and-write typewriter. I used it off-site today, taking it with me when I went off to do some writing while waiting for my eldest’s summer club activities to end for the day. I wrote the first third of a short story on it and the following typecast pondering why I have been drawn back into using such an outdated and some might say cumbersome piece of tech in my writing process:

The Will Self quote I paraphrase in the typecast is from Phillip Hensher’s article on Cormac McCarthy’s typewriter: “I think the computer user does their thinking on the screen, and the non-computer user is compelled… to do a lot more thinking in the head.” I am certainly finding that the typewriter requires different muscles to be used in the first draft process, both mental and physical, and, for me at least, certain stories seem to fit being hammered directly onto paper rather than tippy-tapped onto a screen.

I know some will see using a typewriter as pure writerly affectation but I would argue that, while I fit the hipster stereotype in some ways (the thick glasses, the coffee drinking, the book cover t-shirts) my typewriters are more than the ultimate hipster accessory.