www.geoffmitchell.com

The Typewriting is on the Wall

I had a brief email exchange this week with one of my best and oldest friends, in which he humerously pointed out that we never talk or even exchange emails, but that instead I just refer him to my website. It was funny, and true, and therefore a bit sad as well.

I do miss the physical act of writing. I have some very fond memories of a time in my life during which I’d conclude a work day, arrive home to a hand written letter from a friend or loved one, pour myself a glass of sun-tea i’d set out to brew before leaving that morning, settle into a chair on the back patio with a pen and paper in hand, and begin to put my thoughts on paper. I miss that a great deal.

I’ve tried to find ways to ‘recapture’ that experience, or at least retain as much of it in my writing these days. For example, as I write this entry i’m actually using my emate, sitting on an outdoor balcony of a local restaurant and enjoying a cup of coffee and a light breakfast. I’d consider sitting on the patio with iced tea but doing so at home is less likely when there’s children about.

But this is still typing, not writing, and I completely agree with my friend about the loss of ‘personalization’ that occurs when something is communicated in a standardized typeface and not one’s own hand.

There is definitely a win in an exchange between two people which is the immediate access and easy of writing and receiving. But at the same time, i can recall writing letters to a girlfriend I had who lived in Phoenix, and there was always this underlying excitement and anticipation around completing an letter, addressing and mailing it, and knowing that somewhere in the course of a few days or so i’d come home to a response, completing and restarting the cycle.

For the purpose of maintaining this website, to me, it’s like writing a book that you publish page by page and chapter by chapter. The win is that this is not one physical copy that will go one place, for one set of eyes. It’s a mass communication. There was a time when i’d write a letter to many and photo copy it and mail it, which itself lost the personal touch; this is a huge improvement.

But for the written communication, yea, it’s a bit dry and removed, this is true. I guess, when it calls for it, something in hand writing is worth the effort. Hey, wait…I know … i’ll use a handwritten font and email the result as a PDF. :-)

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Written by gsm

10/04/2006 at 5:00 pm

Posted in  Journal 

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