When I was on the road writing The Rucksack Letters, I had the good fortune to find a few manual typewriters when I needed them. I really loved the experience of writing on them. There is something so romantic and magical about that sound. I wrote quite a bit of my book with manual typewriters, wrote a screenplay on the bank of the Willamette River, and another one in Los Angeles. However, I was never thrilled about writing longhand.
To call my handwriting chicken scratch is putting it mildly. My handwriting gives new meaning to the word “illegible.” Nevertheless, in the days since it has become my only recourse, I have become quite enamored with the process again. There is a fluidity to it that seems almost spiritual.
I’ve often said what a great feeling it is to hold a completed type-written manuscript in my hands. Now, I’m finding a glimmer of that same satisfaction every time I reach the bottom of a page, and the pen still wants to write more.
My hope is that my handwriting will improve over time. Moreso, I hope it improves my writing.