Yesterday we found the coolest thing in the trunk of my boyfriend’s car- an IBM Selectric II typewriter!
Okay, so we didn’t just magically find it there; it’s been there for months, possibly enough for a full year. He works at a storage place, and someone had abandoned their things. While he was cleaning out the space, he came across this typewriter that was just too awesome to pass up. It even still had the dust jacket on it. He couldn’t just toss it. So instead he brought it home.
It was in such good shape, he figured maybe he could sell it. As a last resort, we thought we’d take it to the local thrift shop at the dump so that it could find a home with someone who’d probably appreciate it.
Then we completely forgot about it.
These past two weeks I’ve been sort of on autopilot. I kept trying to write up a blog post (not like I don’t have a million of them stashed away), and they were so all over the place that none of them felt right. Nothing I was doing felt right. And when I get in that mode it’s best to just back away and let the brain percolate. So I gave myself a week off. Last week was rent week, and I knew I’d be on edge. Something about coming in contact with at least 50% of the 100 or so tenants, usually with complaints that have been building for a month. I chose to let writing go.
Let me tell you, that was the wrong thing to do. A better way would be to just work on something else– something different and fun that is just for me and no one else– because it is tough to go back.
Monday I was determined to get back into it, and I couldn’t. I glanced at my notebooks and didn’t even pull out the thumb drive. Instead, I started to play a puzzle game on the 3DS. This avoidance was becoming a nightmare. By nature, I’m a procrastinator, like many others. I’d much rather tell myself that I’ll get to it tomorrow than actually get to it today. I may even mean it which is why I’m so persuasive when I tell myself these things. (“I’m honest, why would I lie to myself? Of course I’ll get to it tomorrow.”)
So yesterday, I woke up at some insane hour. I wasn’t quite present, but I’m sure it was 4:30 in the morning. What was on my mind? Writing. I couldn’t go back to sleep, and I couldn’t stay in bed, so I got up at a quarter to five and brought out my computer looking for some motivation and some inspiration. I went to Google (where else to find inspiration?) and I entered, “Asimov” and “typewriters.”
A highly unreliable source once said that Asimov had six typewriters with different projects on them at all times. I wanted to see if there was a basis for that. Instead, I got a lot of links talking about Asimov as a writer. The third link was for the IMB Selectric wikipedia article. I thought that was awesome. The man wrote so much that he’s linked to the tool of his trade.
Asimov is a huge source of inspiration for me. It’s not that I want to write like him or even that I think I can. What I admire is that he had a way of doing things and an intent behind the things he did. That’s what’s endeared him to fans like me. I wonder if he were alive today, what he’d think about how online and connected writers are, and I can imagine he’d probably mention something about how a lot of the writers like to talk about writing but never actually write. (Only what he’d have to say would be clever and probably make you laugh.)
So from here on out, as a writer, I’m going to just think, “What Would Asimov Do?” Because the answer to that is simple– he’d write. That would always be the answer. If I tired or get stuck on one thing, it’s going to be onto the next thing. I’m going to just write for me first, and I’m going to trust myself.
If you’d like to see a picture of Asimov with his Selectric typewriter (just like mine!) take a peek at this blog post: A humble tribute to Isaac Asimov. And while you’re there, read the post and see if you don’t get inspired too.
Also, anyone have any home decorating tips for how to display a huge hunk of typewriter like this? (Kidding! Mostly. I think I know where I’m going to put it, if it will fit and that shelving unit will actually hold it up.)