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Fun Things to Do with a Typewriter

Fun Things to Do with a Typewriter

Fun Things to Do with a Typewriter

Some people collect rare books, others accumulate guitars—I have a penchant for collecting vintage typewriters.  It began six years ago when I created a vision board of images to inspire me for the upcoming year. I noticed that I had glued several pictures of typewriters all over that poster board. I took this as a sign that my creative muse meant business, so I promptly bought my first typewriter on E-bay for $250. A beautiful 1967 Smith Corona Blue Sterling arrived in its original case in almost mint condition, with the exception that it puts a space after the ‘r’ (but only after every 6th time). 

Today, I am the proud owner of seven vintage typewriters circa 1929 to 1974. Each one has its own personality, font and odd quirk. Clearly, I am in love with typewriters. I encourage my friends and family to type away on my blue Sears typewriter that I keep on my kitchen counter. Though no one really “needs” a typewriter these days, I do believe that having one on hand is a wonderful tool for creativity and connecting with others. Plus, people are fascinated by them, especially folks under 40—typewriters don’t need electricity, they have no delete button and they make the most wonderful click-clack sounds.

Curious about how you’d use one in your life? Here’s a list of my favorite things to do with a typewriter:

  1. Leave messages and love notes: Put a typewriter in your kitchen or entrance and invite your family or roommates to leave notes or write random philosophical musings, or even the menu for tonight’s dinner….
  2. Let your typewriter be a venting station: There’s nothing like clacking out some pent-up feelings with your fingers, and that sound of the ding and pulling the paper out…so satisfactory! Tip: take that typewritten venom and burn or shred to fully release the stuck energy.
  3. Typewrite letters and thank you notes and snail mail them. They are a joy to receive and cause one to pause, unlike email. 
  4. Free write on your typewriter…no delete button here, just let it flow, let it be messy, let it be stream of consciousness. This is a very different act than typing on the computer and it will open new creative channels. 
  5. Use your typewriter for communal poetry—put in a central location in your home or office. Start with one line and invite others to add on…by the end of the day or the week, you’ll have a colorful poem.
  6. Use the typewriter font to create art or add personal messages to ordinary cards. Typing “Happy Birthday, [insert personal name]”–and glue stick on a store-bought card takes your sentiment to the next level.
  7. Set out your typewriter out at a dinner or holiday party for guests to write notes, deep thoughts and appreciations.
  8. Set up your typewriter as a gratitude station–Use it to keep a running list of things and moments that make you happy–add something each time you walk by your typewriter. Invite everyone in your home to join in…
  9. Go back in time–give yourself the gift of an hour alone with just you and your typewriter. You’ll experience what life was like when emails, texts and social media didn’t interrupt your every creative thought.

I would love to hear if you try any of these ideas or if you have ideas of your own to share. And, feel free to reach out to me if you want help on where to buy or repair your typewriter. Happy Typewriting!

Allison Fragakis is a personal poet and facilitator of creative writing circles in Marin County, CA. She sometimes can be found at the San Rafael Sunday Farmer’s Market typing free poems. Her retreats blend writing with just about anything from hiking to painting to collaging to horses to music to typewriters and more.
Join her next writing retreat –Writing with Horses on October 5-6, 2019. Learn more about her offerings at /https://writingallison.com/workshops/

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