Writing, Then and Now

Hi, SEers! You’re with Mae today, and I’ve got nothing heavy on tap—just some reminiscing which hopefully you’ll find enjoyable. Depending how long you’ve been putting pen to paper (an old expression that works for this post), you may remember some of the “technology” I’ve highlighted below.

I started writing early. I was six when I scribbled my first story on yellow tablet paper with a pencil. Scratchings eventually grew into story collections and ideas as I got older, jotted down in spiral-bound notebooks. Writing longhand was my go-to method of creating until my parents bought me a typewriter. Seriously, what fifteen-year-old asks for a typewriter for a birthday gift? Was I alone here?

small blue manual typewriter with paper in platen
Image from Deposit Photos

I was in writer heaven! Some of you may recall the old manual machines that only functioned if you pushed the platen back after each line. If you made a mistake—trauma!—you gobbed Wite-Out over it and hoped it didn’t clump.

I vividly remember that typewriter—baby blue with a lid that snapped over the base and a handle for easy carrying. It was hot stuff back in the day. I pounded out my first full-length novel on that small machine—310 pages, single spaced—over weeks (months?) at our dining room table.

Shortly after I got married, my husband bought me an electric typewriter. With auto correct! There was no greater joy. Not only did the platen return with the push of a button, but I didn’t have to fiddle with messy Wite-Out or correction tape.

5.25" black floppy disk
Image courtesy of Pixabay

That wonderful Smith-Corona was my go-to method of writing until the advent of computers. I still remember my first PC with its putty-colored base and chunky monochrome monitor. In those days (yeah, it was ancient back then), there was no Windows or mouse for navigating. Everything was done through DOS commands and keyboarding. I used an early version of Word Perfect to write my manuscripts and swore to my husband I would never need another writing “gizmo” because my snazzy IBM clone ran at a blistering 2 MHz, and I had a dot-matrix printer to print out my masterpieces. If that wasn’t enough, it came with 5.25″ floppy disks for back-up.

From there it was on to 3.25 floppies, then zip disks. When first introduced in 1994, a zip could hold a whopping 100 MB. So mind-blowing, I once wrote a novel centered around data on a zip disk.

I can’t tell you how many computers I went through over the years… erm, decades. Eventually, I embraced laptops, and all-in-one desktops. When I got my first iPhone, I became smitten with Mac and now use an iMac for my desktop and a MacBook for my laptop.  

That’s a lot of change in how a story is crafted. I can type far faster than I can write, but there are still instances—though rare—when I reach for pen and paper. Maybe it takes me back to that six-year-old or the tween and teen, who scribbled stories in notebooks. Now and then, when I don’t want the formality of sitting at my desk, and truly want to unplug, I’ll grab a tablet to write a scene in longhand. Isn’t it odd how even the words “tablet” and “notebook” are more associated with tech, then with bound paper today?

I have a composition book filled with pages of random scenes, ideas, and blog snippets. It’s my catch-all for longhand writing, sort of like a junk drawer. When it’s filled, I break out a new one. I don’t think there is any writer in existence who can resist the allure of a fresh, clean notebook and a blank page.

What do you remember about your first venture(s) into writing? What medium did you use to create your first story? Whether it was last week, a few short years ago, or decades past, I’d love for you to reminisce in the comments. Maybe you even remember–gasp!–blue carbon paper!

Ready, set, go!

bio box for author, Mae Clair

128 thoughts on “Writing, Then and Now

  1. Gosh, you post brought back memories for me. I had a blue typewriter just like the one in the picture for my birthday as a child. You had to turn the ribbon round once it reached the end, before you could type again. Once the ribbon dried out my mother couldn’t afford to buy me another one.

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  2. Pingback: Writing, Then and Now – Nelsapy

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Blogger Weekly July 15th 2022 – #Writing Mae Clair, #Kindness John Howell, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape, #Nostalgia Darlene Foster, #Tafftrail Judith Barrow | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  4. Hi Mae, South Africa in the 80s and 90s was quite behind the USA and the UK. I remember typewriters and typex (wite out). I went to secretarial college after shool because that’s what most young girls did in SA in the 90s. I hated secretarial work and applied to Uni a few years later. Being what I perceived as a ‘doormat’ for men, never sat well with me. I’ve spent my whole career fighting for equality and acknowledgement of my transaction creating abilities. I do have that now and have had it for about a decade although I still fight the men all the time. I wrote the first two pages of a novel at 18 on an electronic typewriter and I still have those pages glued into my diary from that year. I always write poetry by hand because I write it outside in nature. I enjoyed your post and the memories it brought back.

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    • Thanks for sharing, Robbie. It does sound that SA was different in many respects, but I too remember the days when I started my career and having to deal with a “man’s world.” Thankfully, I didn’t have too many bad experiences that way.
      I love the idea that you have those pages you wrote at 18 in your diary. Early writings are a pleasure to look back on.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and shared your own memories!

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  5. Great nostalgia Mae. I learned typing in school, probably the most useful thing I could have done. It took me through many a secretarial temp job to office manager positions. When I was an executive secretary I was intimidated by the new electric typewriter at first then loved it. As for my writing, I still prefer pen to paper. 🙂

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  6. Wow, you really took me down memory lane with this post, Mae. Incredible. I think my first written story was in third grade, but according to my sibs, I scared them with my campfire stories even before this. My teachers acknowledged my writing skills throughout the years, but I didn’t think seriously about writing until I neared retirement. What a journey we writers have — blessed in so many ways. 😊

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    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane, Gwen. I used to enjoy creating spooky stories for my friends and telling them on summer nights when the moon rose. I loved that you shared with your sibs and started writing at such a young age. Maybe you didn’t pursue writing seriously until nearing retirement, but creativity and the love of stories and writing has clearly always been part of your life.
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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  7. When I started writing, it was tablet and pencil/pen. I progressed to an Atari (that was basically only good for games). When I went to college, I bought with graduation money a Commodore 64 with a dial up modem. Times certainly have changed. I also had a manual typewriter, and a friend just bought a manual typewriter at a garage sale for five dollars.

    I still have notebooks scattered everywhere, car, bedroom, purse, work, desk, I think all writers do. As you said, there is just something about a notebook and a pen. Sometimes, I sit outside and write notes in it, or I use it as a passenger when riding with my husband. It’s something I simply cannot give up.

    I also love using my computer. I have both Mac and PC, but prefer my Mac when writing. I realize that I type much faster, but who doesn’t love the nostalgia of a notebook and pen?

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    • Michelle, I completely forgot about Commodore computers, LOL. That, and Atari, bring back memories (we had an Intellivision for games).
      Whenever my husband and I go on long trips, I always have a pad notebook and paper handy, too. In addition to jotting down ideas that strike me, I love recording the names of interesting roads and towns we pass through.

      And that’s great abut your friend. I didn’t know typewriters were still kicking around, but it would be fun to type on one now, just to bring back memories. 🙂

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  8. I think we must be close-ish in age, Mae, because my writing equipment was almost identical to yours through the ages. I think about how labor-intensive those old machines were, especially when needing to make corrections. But at the time, it was all we knew. A fun post. 🙂

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    • Diana, doesn’t it make you wonder if somewhere far in the future, writers will look back at our computers today and think of them as being labor intensive? A lot has happened during the decades when you and I were growing up, but tech seems to be moving faster and faster. I hope I can keep up with it as I age, LOL!

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    • Hi. Thank you for visiting, but if you really want to connect and make friends in the blogosphere, the way to do that is by visiting other blogs and commenting on the content they post. Don’t include links to your own blog. That’s considered spamming.

      Visit and comment. Others in turn, will visit and comment on your content. Remember, it’s a two way street. That’s how you gain support.
      Good luck!

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      • Great! I’m glad I could help you. I was new to blogging and writing once too. It was through the direction of others that I was able to learn and grow. You’ll find the blogosphere is a great place, very friendly and supportive. 🙂

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    • Hi! I have fond memories of using a typewriter, but fell in love with computers once tech moved in that direction. I wouldn’t, however, mind giving a typewriter a whirl for old time’s sake. If you’ve never used one, it would be a fun experience for you to test one out—-if you can find one!

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  9. I still write longhand, especially during my brainstorming phase, but I find myself typing even my rough drafts whereas I used to write them by hand before. It’s just faster to type (and edit). I remember my first computer, an Apple IIC. I was ten years old, and my father bought a floppy disk game called Sticky Bear Typing so I could learn how to type without looking at my hands. I, too, learned all the DOS commands because we had no choice back then. Great memories! Great post, Mae! 🙂

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    • Yvette, the ease of editing is one of the reasons I like using a typewriter over writing long hand. For brainstorming and ideas, I don’t mind the cross outs—it’s part of the process–but when it comes to actual composing, then like you, I prefer the speed and ease of a computer.

      That’s great about your father purchasing a computer for you with a game that taught you how to type. I learned in school, on an old manual typewriter, and I still remember thinking I’d never learn the keys, LOL.

      So glad you enjoyed the post, and many thanks for sharing your thoughts today!

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  10. A wonderful jog down memory lane, Mae. I wrote many a short story on an old portable typewriter. I actually wrote the first draft of Jazz Baby by hand (pen and paper). The second draft was on a laptop using Word. I haven’t looked back. However, I recall losing the first four chapters of a current WIP some years ago. Word just somehow made the file disappear. Thankfully, I had those early chapters written with pen and paper. The need for whiteout was always dreaded. I’m glad the times have changed! Thanks for the trip.

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    • Hi, Beem. I’m glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane! I find it amazing that you wrote the entire first draft of Jazz Baby longhand. I think the last time I wrote a full manuscript with pen and paper I was in high school. I do, however, still have a very slight bump on the inside of my index finger from the days when I was constantly holding a pen. It used to be much more pronounced from all the writing I did.

      You are really fortunate to have had a “back up” of those lost chapters. Not many would have them in paper form. There is something to be said for Old School even in the face of New Tech! 🙂

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  11. Too bad you didn’t hang onto your first typewriter, Mae, it would make a wonderful keepsake. I started writing-well, more printing than writing (I’m a leftie, it’s the only way I could read it, lol) back in grade 7-8 in a duo-tang with lined paper. I still have those scribblings, including a story I wrote called Count Daffodil 🙂 thqt earned me accolades from my teacher and started my dream of publishing.
    Unlike most in the comments, I’m a slow typer- the old one-finger stab, lol, but it doesn’t stop me from loving the craft.

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    • I do miss that old powder blue typewriter, Jacquie. It would have been fun to give it a go-round now.
      I wish I had kept my early writings like you did with Count Daffodil. I hung onto them for years and would occasionally dig them out for a chuckle, then I finally got rid of them. I’m not a leftie, but I print as well. My cursive is atrocious, LOL.

      I’m shocked to learn you are a slow typer. I figured all writers were speed demons. In the end though, it isn’t how we produce, just that our love of the craft keeps us going. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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  12. This was a trip down memory lane, Mae. My first typewriting class was the old manual typewriters that you had to press the keys really hard to make them work. And changing the ribbon was always a messy job. 🙂 Carbon paper was the only way to make a copy and mistakes were a nightmare. My first piece of writing was with a pencil on paper. It was a song and I was maybe 8 or 9. We have sure come a long way with technology! I’ll never forget the first IBM Selectric I got to use. I was in typing heaven and a speed demon! Great memories.

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    • Jan, I love that your first creative piece of writing was a song. That says oodles about your love of music.
      I hated changing the ribbons in typewriters. Remember how wonderful it was they advanced to cartridges, and it was a simple pop-out and pop-in? And the blue that would transfer onto your fingers from handling carbon paper–not. good idea to wear white in those days, LOL.

      I loved hearing your memories. I’m smiling just thinking about the past. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  13. Oh the nostalgic feel of this post, Mae! I was close to that same age when I began writing. And typewriters, is there anything better? I believe I’ve used every item you’ve named here except for the Apple products. Only because I love my Android & Google. And let’s talk about the dot-matrix printer and the aggravation of having your words split between pages. I was a kid and had no clue about formatting and such. But I printed those stories off like they were gold. Thank you so much, Mae, for the trip down memory lane. It’s fun to look back.

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    • Mar, I forgot about the trauma inherent with dot-matrix. It took me a while to figure out formatting in those early days, and even then it was a struggle. And let’s not forget the paper jams, misfeeds, and the paper tears that resulted when you didn’t rip the edges off just right. I went through so much paper, LOL.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Right now I’m feeling kind of nostalgic for a Smith-Corona, an IBM Selectric or even an old manual. It would be fun to pound out a few pages the way we did in the old days. 🙂

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  14. I asked Santa for a typewriter in (I think) first grade. I know I was very young. And he complied. It was light blue on top with a darker (kind of cornflower) base.

    My first computer (in college) required a system disk to start. It did use 3.5 discs, though I did use the bigger floppies when I used friends’ computers for high school papers.

    I type much faster than I write, too, but I begin every book by brainstorming with pen and paper. I think it uses a different part of my brain.

    Fun walk down memory lane, Mae.

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    • Staci, I had no idea typewriters even existed when I was in first grade. How nice that Santa gifted you with one so young! Blue seems to have been the predominant color for most home typewriters in the early days judging by comments. I wonder why.

      I didn’t start typing until I was 12 when I took my first typing class in school. I remember thinking I would never learn the keyboard. Of course those big clunky manual machines made them much harder to work with. Like you, I begin every new book by brainstorming on pen and paper. Some things are just classic 🙂

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  15. We went down the very same path, Mae. It was exciting to move from manual to electric. Then when auto credit came out I was just as thrilled. That first word processor was like magic had come to my house. I have no idea how many computers and laptops followed either, but they are as necessary to me now as that first pen and paper were. Great post!

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    • I agree about the need for those computers and laptops, Denise. I just cringe when I think of what I’ve spent over the years on technology, especially when you consider how expensive computers were in the early days. Even so, I’d do it all over again. As writers, how could we ever say “no” to such amazing advancements? 🤩

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  16. LOL. Fun memories! And, yes, I do remember blue carbon paper–always messy. When I finally got my Smith-Corona with little tape cartridges to save my work, I thought I was in heaven. So many books and stories on so many different sized disks! What a journey!

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    • Which makes me wonder what will be next, Judi. Maybe just bigger and bigger clouds.
      Isn’t it amazing how far technology has come?
      And when life changed from carbon paper (pure magic in it’s day) to NCR paper, I thought we had reached the pinnacle, LOL!

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  17. Yep, my outrageous request for a high school graduation present was… an electric typewriter. I used it for writing and college papers, but I was deeply jealous of the high-schoolers who had desktop computers to work on.

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    • I would be jealous of high-schoolers with desktop computers, too, Deby, but I bet you loved that electric typewriter! Thinking about them even now still makes me smile! 🙂

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  18. I followed a similar path, Mae. In fact, for over 40 years, I was the guy introducing people to the next new thing. At my retirement party in 2019, one of my soon-to-be-former coworkers reminded me that I had taken away her precious Word Perfect (in favor of Word) and that she never forgave me. This comment posted from a laptop running Windows 10. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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    • Dan, after having finished Knuckleheads this past weekend (which BTW, I LOVED), I wondered about your background with computers.
      Regarding your soon-to-be-former coworker, I still mourn the loss of Reveal Codes in Word Perfect. I will never forgive Word for not having something similar (the stupid paragraph thing doesn’t come close, LOL). I cried buckets when I had to make the transition to Word. 🙂

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      • I’m glad you liked Knuckleheads and thank you so much for sharing that lovely review.

        Reveal Codes was the feature missed by most people. I had no choice, as we had to have access to Word, Excel and Powerpoint to work with other companies, and I couldn’t afford to run both office suites. In addition to the writers, I made the accountants angry when I took away Lotus 123. There are plenty of times when I can’t figure out what Word is doing that I would love to click on Reveal Codes.

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      • Dan, I had forgotten about Lotus 123! I used to use that program too, though not as much as Word Perfect.
        WP just couldn’t keep us with Word, and eventually all offices did the same as yours—they couldn’t run two office suites and Microsoft became the standard. Oh, how I wish they would have Reveal Codes though. You could figure anything out with that!

        And thanks for keeping me entertained with Knuckleheads. It made great pool side reading 🙂

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  19. What a fun post to read, Mae! It’s amazing how times have changed, isn’t it? I love how you’ve been dedicated to writing your entire life. (I was discouraged and told it was an impractical plan for my future, and I needed to take business courses in high school, and forget about college, even though I’d been offered a scholarship. 😢)

    What I remember is that at age 5, I would sit on the back porch steps with a yellow legal tablet and pencil, writing poems about cowboys and horses and cats. Some of them were several legal pages long, and I wish someone had thought to save them. I’d love to have them today. By the time I graduated high school, the idea of being a writer had been totally squashed, and I wasn’t a rebellious sort. But I WAS creative, so I channeled my spare time artistic thoughts into everything from crocheting and needlepoint to painting. Eventually, I taught painting classes for beginners at local craft stores and became good friends with several TV artists. (Even had the infamous Bob Ross as a guest at my house, once! I can attest to the fact that he was exactly the same in person as he was on TV.)

    I loved my years as a painter, but I was always, ALWAYS sad that I’d never pursued my writing, via ANY typewriter, notebook, or eventually, computer. I was a 69-year old grandmother, complaining that I’d never gotten to fulfill my dream of writing a book when I was ordered to “stop whining, go home, and start writing.” So I did. I wrote and published Wake-Robin Ridge on a computer that had all the bells and whistles available in 2013, and haven’t stopped writing since. Do I wish I’d done it years sooner, regardless of what I used as a writing implement? Yes!. But mostly, I’m just very grateful that I finally realized I could write anything I darn well wanted to, and no longer needed “permission” to do so. Writing has made me happier than anything I’ve ever done in my life, except raising two wonderful children who became equally wonderful adults, and are themselves raising even more wonderful grandkids for me to dote on.

    Thanks for such a fun trip down Memory Lane, and I have to say, I’m beyond impressed by the fact that you’ve written for your entire life, via whatever the technology gave you at the time. YOU ROCK, Mae Clair!!! And here’s to many more years of wonderful writing time ahead!! 🤗💖🤗

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    • It’s horrible that your love of writing was squashed earlier, Marcia. But I am SO THANKFUL you never gave up on that dream and pursed it later in life.

      I’m very fortunate that my parents and teachers encouraged me right from the get-go when it came to writing. They went above and beyond in telling me to pursue that dream. It took me a long time to finally reach the point of publication, but I consider the entire journey part of my growth, which makes me all the more appreciative of where I am now.

      So you knew Bob Ross? Amazing! That just makes me smile 🙂

      You know how much I love Rabbit (and all of your books). You are proof that it’s never too late to chase your dreams. You rock too, my friend! Thanks for sharing such awesome thoughts and experiences. And BTW, you are fortunate to gifted in so many different artistic areas. Most people are only blessed with one.

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      • Thanks for such a great response, Mae! I know I tend to leave lengthy comments, so I’m glad you stuck it through to the end! 😁 And yes, I met Bob Ross that one time. He actually came to see another TV artist (Brenda Harris who taught acrylics, and let me travel with her to various workshops, and became a great friend). Bob wanted to talk to her about some project or another, and he was a real treat to have visiting. He fell in love with all my parrots (at the time, I raised them), and called Brenda and I both “Little Lady,” though it was only accurate where Brenda was concerned. snort Those were some fun days, indeed! 😊❤️

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      • Oooh, my brother and his wife have parrots! They used to have cockateels too, but now only have an African Grey (Sidney) and a small….erm, Long-John Silver type parrot named Jack. You have quite a colorful background, Marcia. Funny about Bob Ross too, and his nickname for you and your friend 🙂

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  20. That’s taken me right back, Mae! I also started at age six on paper and I still own a blue typewriter with its clunky carriage return and two-tone ribbon. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to use an electric one – you only had to touch a key, not hit it with some force! My first computer was little short of miraculous – albeit with a tiny, tiny memory compared to the one I have now. Not that I needed much memory then! I jot ideas down on paper (especially the ones that come to me in the night that are written in the dark and hopefully decipherable later) but the actual writing is on laptop. Mistakes are so easily corrected, paragraphs moved around, etc and as long as I save each day’s work with a separate date, I’m less likely to overwrite my carefully amended work! I really enjoyed this! ♥♥

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    • Trish, we sound so much alike in our techniques! I admit I don’t still have my blue typewriter (it’s so cool you do!), but I keep a tablet by my bed and will jot ideas in the dark when they wake me up from sleep. The next morning, I hope I can decipher them. And like you, I do all my writing on a computer (desktop or laptop) saving each day’s work with a separate date. It takes up more space that way, but it’s easy to go back if I need something I cut.
      Glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I love that we started writing at the same age and are still going strong! 🙂

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  21. I also had a powder blue typewriter, Mae – and I’d forgotten all about that auto correct button, lol. I wrote my first book (that no one on the face of the Earth will ever see) long hand at my son’s soccer/basketball/football practices. I still use spiral bound notebooks for planning and ideas – they just work better for me.

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    • Wasn’t auto correct great, Teri. In the day, that small bit of technology was jaw-dropping, LOL!
      Now I’m curious if you still have that first story tucked away somewhere, hidden from prying eyes. I cringe thinking about some of the stuff I wrote in my earlier days and how I guarded my work jealously, not letting others see it. Sharing for the first time was a huge step.

      I do like spiral bound notebooks for planning, ideas, and also research. I find them inspiring. So glad you do, too! Thanks for sharing today 🙂

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  22. These is a great remembrance, Mae! I also loved having a typewriter, in the same age of you, and i loved much more using my later automatic typewriter with an interface as a computer printer. It was so much fun using continuous paper with this daisy wheel typewriter, sounded like a machine gun. Lol In the meantime i always was gone for a snack. Best wishes, Michael

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    • Hi, Michael. Great memories! I forgot about the daisy wheels and the sounds they would make. It was fun to hear that noise and know you were creating something. And I remember the continuous fan-fold paper and how it would feed from a large box. Thanks for sharing YOUR memories. I’m really enjoying hearing from everyone. Have an awesome weekend, and happy writing!

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  23. I lived through all of this, Mae, but since I am a late comer to the writing scene, I’m 100% computer-centric. I did write one book on nights and weekends and had it on a 31/2 inch floppy. I thought it would be there forever. Well, it is all 110,000 words. It is so poorly done that I can’t imagine it ever seeing the light of day. Of course, finding a machine with a floppy drive might be a problem too. Thanks for this trip down memory lane. This was a fun post.

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    • Hi, John. Now you have me wondering if there are still computers out there that can read 3.5 floppies.
      I remember having my earliest manuscripts backed up to 5.25 floppies. I hung onto them for the longest time before finally cutting them up and throwing them in the trash. I still have the pages from 2.5 books of a trilogy that I printed out before getting rid of the floppies. The pages are so old they’re starting to yellow, but as bad as that series was, I have fond memories of writing it, and haven’t kicked it to the curb yet.

      BTW, I do all of my serious writing by computer. I love the ease of correction–probably because of all those decades spent juggling wipe-out and carbon paper! 🙂

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  24. I well remember all of those, Mae. I’m that old, too!
    Like you, my first story was written by hand in an old exercise book. I can’t remember how old I was, but I wasn’t very old. I remember being told that ‘of’ isn’t spelled ‘ov’!
    I didn’t have my own typewriter, though. Lucky you.
    Carbon paper, DOS, floppy disks, computers with the vast memory of 16 kilobytes. (Yes, that’s not a mistake. I do mean kilobytes.) And 16 was large for the time. But it was a great improvement with not having to either resort to correction fluid, or retyping the whole page. And do you remember the snarl-ups if you typed too fast?

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    • Now you’ve got me thinking…snarl-ups if you typed too fast. Was that on a typewriter? I’m not sure I remember but there had to be something if you typed too fast for the keys to keep up. Once electric typewriters came out, it was really easy to pick up typing speed. And I remember office jobs always made you take a typing test during the interview period.

      16 Kilobytes? I’m laughing thinking how impressive that was back in day. We’re definitely showing our age, LOL.
      I got a chuckle out of of/ov.
      When I wrote my first childish masterpiece I put all the dialogue tags in quotes, instead of around the dialogue…..It’s a nice day today “she said.” 😆

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  25. I remember writing little stories all the way back when I was a little kid. And my first real “book” was written when I was a teenager in high school, where I would write in a notebook. I still use a notebook often to jot down notes and ideas and sketch out scenes to type up later on the computer.

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    • Hi, Jeanne. Isn’t it amazing how long we’ve been writing? Like you, I still love using a notebook to jot down story ideas and sketch out scenes. Especially when I’m on vacation and inspiration strikes. Pen and paper are invaluable then.
      I’m glad your love of writing was developed at a young age and has remained all this time. Thanks so much for sharing today!

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    • Thinking about typing our a manuscript on a typewriter today makes me cringe, Craig.
      I think I vaguely remember the name Wordstar but I never used it. I was, however, in love with Word Perfect. To this day, I mourn the loss of Reveal Codes. It’s just not the same in Word.

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  26. I remember playing with my parents’ typewriter as a kid. Too young to write, but I found the noise and way the letters ‘magically appear’ entertaining. Think it had the white-out function, which I used up quickly. After that, it was computers with various methods of storage devices. Floppies to hard disks to CDs to Zip drives to thumb drives and then the Cloud. Amazing how that all happened within 25-30 years.

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    • Hi, Charles. Those are great memories. It is kind of scary when you think of how far tech progressed in that time. All good stuff, but the speed at which it moved and continues to move really gives a person pause.
      BTW, when that white-out function appeared on typewriters, it was pure heaven. Especially when you worked in an office. Oh, how I fell in love with that function, LOL!

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      • I really wonder what will happen when tech advancements slow down. I mean, will people be okay with that or are we going to see riots in the streets? People get bored with things so easily and kind of expect new stuff every year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Personally, I would love for it to slow down. It seems that lately it’s rocketing far too fast, but I know many love that. I guess I’m feeling “older generation” these days!

        Like

  27. Pingback: Writing, Then and Now | Legends of Windemere

  28. Wonderful trip down memory lane, Mae! My family couldn’t keep me in enough paper, lols. I was always writing short stories and poems on any scrap of paper I could get my hands on. In junior school, ‘Black Beauty’ caught my heart and mind, and I filled an excercise book with my first full-length story … ‘Toby the Job Horse’. Like you, I migrated through the tech (or lack of it) over the decades. I remember those heavy typewriters with fondness. My typing teacher and her ruler to discipline lazy wrists … not so much fondness! 😂

    Thanks for sharing! 💕🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Harmony, you’re the second person to mention a lazy wrist. I never heard that term before, but I do remember my typing teacher always telling us to keep our wrists up. She also wanted us to put the form we were typing from on the right side of the desk but I always type from the left. That was a problem she was always trying to correct until I told her I have a lazy right eye and see better out of my left. She quickly allowed me to switch.

      Toby, the Job Horse sounds so cute! I was enamored of ponies as a kid and wrote many stories that involved them. Also dogs. Those early writings were so much fun no matter what they were scribbled on, 🙂

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. What fifteen year old asks for a typewriter? This one! My parents gave me one for Christmas that year. Like the one you had, it was manual and I used lots of Wite Out. When correction tape came along, I thought I was in Heaven. I also scribbled things on paper and wrote my first “novel” longhand on lavender colored notebook paper.

    And remember those early Windows computers when file names could only be something like eight characters long? Wow, we’ve come a long way.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You are a kindred spirit, Joan! My friends didn’t understand why I would ask for a typewriter. It felt so grown up.
      I loved those colored notebook papers, too. I always used them when writing longhand.
      Thanks for the reminder about file names. There was so much that was challenging in the “old days,” LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Is it bad that I want to try out a typewriter even though we have laptops and computers? A typewriter seems fun. I remember using my old school notebooks to write when I first started writing, and it was a lot of fun. Now, I only write on paper if I know I might not develop the story later. I like to keep everything in digital form, because I type better and faster than when I write with a pen. Not much can beat handwritten manuscripts though.

    Lovely post, Mae 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hi, Reeydah. I’m going to take a guess that perhaps you have never used a typewriter? The old manual ones were an experience, especially the clunky sound they made when you pressed the keys. Even though I started by writing longhand, then graduated through various devices that made composing easier through the years, I’m with you 100% about digital. My fingers can fly over a keyboard, but only go so fast when writing longhand. I do, however, write all my research long hand because I retain it better. I jot story ideas on paper too, but some of those have actually been developed into novels. You never know when that germ of an idea will sprout into something much larger. 🙂

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, and thank you, as always for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

  31. I loved this, Mae! Your baby blue typewriter sounds like a beauty. I remember typing stories and long notes to my best friend on our family (silver) Smith-Corona. Since I’m on the computer at my day job, writing with a new journal or notebook is my favorite way to draft a story, brainstorm, journal my character’s thoughts, etc. Unfortunately, my publisher doesn’t accept handwritten manuscripts, but if they did I’d be overnighting my notebooks! Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Jill, I think Smith-Coronas were the be-all-end-all of typewriters. I know I was in love with mine.
      I find many writers still like composing long hand. It’s strange, but after keyboarding for so many years longhand writing can sometimes be a chore for me. It’s interesting how we each embrace what works best for us. I do love a fresh notebook, though. That blank page always inspires a ton of ideas.
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. It was lovely to read your recollections. I remember the first time I was drawn to writing. I was an elementary school first grader, and it was a winter day, and I had learned how to read and write that year. I grabbed a pencil and some crayons and started handwriting my first story while illustrating it. It was about a bunch of kids enjoying their winter vacation. They were playing in the snow, something that we didn’t have in my hometown at all. That’s when I realized I could “create” things, and that realization liberated a 7-year-old me. I’ve been writing off and on since then, but never once have I doubted writing and its power. Thanks for reminding me of it again with your post 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi, Bahanur. What a wonderful memory to have. I still get a thrill that I can “create” worlds, stories, and characters. Like you, I first discovered that joy in childhood, but it never goes away. And I love that you illustrated your story. I grew up and live in the northeast U.S. so snow and winter go hand in hand for me, but you let your imagination soar.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you, Mae, for your recollections. I started with pen and paper over fifty years ago and still do to this day. There is something about that connection between your thoughts and the movement of a pen. I acquired my first typewriter a couple of years ago. A 1960 Brother De Luxe. I can only use it for short bursts (my fingers keep getting stuck between the keys) and I’m up to around 10 words per minute. Like you, I have tried everything in between but keep being dragged back to where I started. Great post to take into the weekend.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi, Davy. You’ve proved that when you find something that works for you (pen and paper) you should still with it! 🙂
      You do, however, have me picturing that 1960 Brother De Luxe. It’s amazing it’s still around. Excuse me if I have to chuckle at the ten words per minute. My husband types about that speed on my computer keyboard, LOL.

      Thanks so much for visiting to share your thoughts and enjoy the weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  34. This is such a fun read. The memory that comes to mind is typing class. My teacher told me that I have lazy wrist. I think of her often because those lazy wrists haunt me to this day. It common for me to accidentally move my cursor around because my wrists rest on the mousepad. Lol

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi, there. So glad you enjoyed the post.
      I forgot about typing classes, but I remember them well. I’ve never heard of a lazy wrist before, but it sounds like it keeps things interesting with the cursor, LOL.
      Thanks so much for dropping by to share!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Thanks for this trip down memory lane, Mae. I had a typewriter similar to yours, but used it for writing papers for college courses. When I started writing fiction in 2000, I used pen on paper, mostly scrap paper (good one side) salvaged from my workplace. I still write my first drafts on paper, mainly because I find it less intimidating than the blank screen and blinking cursor. Once I type that draft into Word, however, I rarely look at the paper manuscript again. Except once.
    I used one of those thick grey laptops for my first novel, and saved each day’s work onto 3.25 floppies. Something went wrong once and I lost a whole important chapter. I reconstructed it from my handwritten draft, but because I had changed it as I typed it in, I was convinced the lost text was way better than the reconstructed one. Sort of like the fish that got away.
    Great topic! I’ll be back to see what others have to say.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Hi, Audrey! I feel your pain on that lost chapter. I had that happen to me once as well. I was sure I backed it up but couldn’t find the backup, and had to redo everything. Like you, I was convinced the original chapter was far better than my rework.
      It’s interesting that you still write first drafts on paper. I’m not sure I could do that for an entire novel, but I do all my research longhand. I retain everything better that way.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane and shared your own experiences. It’s fun hearing everyone’s thoughts—and oh, how times have changed! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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