The keys sometimes stick on the best birthday gift I have ever received: a little turquoise typewriter. It was the early 1970s when my mother originally bought it, she wanted to be able to write letters from the bus she was living in. For how heavy it is compared to my laptop, it is difficult to imagine that back then it was considered travel-sized.
Running my fingers across elevated keys, I feel an energy. The smooth, plastic, white block letters radiate the words my mother used to write to friends, letters home and journal entries. There is life in this thing, more than I will ever come to know.
Watching as the keys trigger hammering motions that stamp each letter onto paper, I think about the incredible strides the world of communication has made since this device was no more than materials poured into molds. From a time when the margin of error was much greater for each letter punched to now with our inability to exist sans autocorrect.
The little-antiquated machine is a visual representation of humanity’s need for communication. While the world of communication has changed drastically, so too has the importance of it. In the Twitter age and a time of instantaneous messaging, as a writer, it is more important than ever to ensure that the information I put out there is powerful and factual.
I remember as a young girl standing behind my mother, leaning with small hands clasped around the back of her chair as she typed on the computer. I watched in limitless curiosity and fascination. Like watching her put on eyeliner, it was something I needed to understand and something I was completely memorized by.
On my 24th birthday, I was handed the dusty case that housed this piece of history. I was instantly filled with excitement for a new tool to write with. Creativity flows best for me when I am given a challenge and what better challenge is there than typing without a backspace key?
Whether it is from the mouth of Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King Jr. or taken from pages of Ayn Rand’s mind, words, written or spoken, have the power to incite wars, silence a nation, save a person’s life.
It is because of words that societies form and ideas are shared.
It is with great confidence that I contribute everything I am today to my love for words. Whether it is the recitation of Shakespeare, an inspiring TED talk, the writings of Maya Angelou and of course Tina Fey, inspiration is everywhere, often found in places commonly overlooked and in this little turquoise typewriter, I find infinite possibilities.