Posted in Of Writingly

Of A Writer’s Tools


Hands and Eyes, that’s a given.

A man who works in my building hurt his left arm a couple of weeks ago. He has been wearing a cast. The same happened to the same man previously, except it was the right arm a couple of months ago. He said to me, “At least, my job does not require using hands most of the time.”

My blogging activities have decreased because I’ve been having problems with my eyes from Saturday before last. I have tried not to be affected too much by this, and am using my computer only for things that are absolutely necessary. The doctor said it isn’t anything to be alarmed by. I don’t have to wear glasses, but because I have very dry and sensitive eyes, I have to decrease concentrated activity as much as possible. This may have been possible to do a decade ago, but I am in my twenties and this is 2015. Our lives are behind electronic screens and I am a young person who is to offend the rest of the world (who also have their lives behind electronic screens) with her insatiable appetite for whatever is blinking on that bright square.

Also, I have a book to write. I am happy to report that progress was made over the weekend on ‘Of Opinions – The Book’, despite my awfully strained eyes. No ailment can prevent the writer’s inspiration. And Inspiration, along with Hands and Eyes, is another Writer’s Tool. However, I believe I have to shift the writing of the rest of the essays to a notebook. I actually have a giant, rather thick notebook just for writing Of Opinions posts. I have only written about 6 pages since I bought it over 6 months ago, but still. I also have a small journal that I always have with me to write in when inspiration strikes. I used to do that on the phone before, but this has been more productive. Every writer and blogger should have a pocket journal to write ideas in wherever they go. You will realise you get more ideas than you thought you did just because you started writing them down.

I sometimes wonder if I should get a typewriter. I know, I know, sentimentality overkill. I played with my father’s typewriter as a kid. I even remember typing out some letters for him. I have seen old ones being sold online, at a remarkably reasonable price, but I am a little wary because a) I wouldn’t know where to take it if something goes wrong. Someone else’s junk would become my junk, not treasure. b) I am not sure about the inking process. I remember there being a ribbon of some sort, but I am sure that must be quite expensive. However, the most effective and tempting aspects of using typewriters as a Writer’s Tool are – no electronic screens, direct physical copies and yet well-typed and professional looking.

And then, there are computers. Someone once told me there is some sort of software, in which you speak into a microphone and it directly transcribes into the word processor. Like a dictaphone, except you don’t have to manually transcribe later. If someone knows what this is and how it works, please let me know as a comment below. It would be of tremendous help in my current condition, as my babbling mouth is as active as ever. I suppose a babbling mouth is also a Writer’s Tool, for if you have a propensity to express yourself through linguistic means, words would want to come out from well-designated places as often as possible. As long as they do, all’s good.

And then, there were computers. I am writing this on one, though I am trying to look away and depend on my hands completely to do the typing dance to perfection. Every time I am like this, I feel grateful towards stenographers, especially female stenographers. They made it possible for me to do this, and much, much more. Just the ability to do this, a skill where my hands and unconscious brain are involved, taking signals from my conscious brain but not relying on it to do things right, is amazing. That is the biggest, most useful Writer’s Tool. To have full confidence in the fact that as long as you have something to write with and something to write on, you’re alright. As long as you have words and ideas you want to communicate, you don’t even need hands and eyes. All you need is Will. And Love too.

Hope I shall be able to write soon. Till then, I must rest and recover.


Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

6 thoughts on “Of A Writer’s Tools

  1. Take care of yourself, Amrita!
    I’d love to have a typewriter…a vintage one. I’m not sure if I’d really utilize it, but it would look cool and make me happy. In relation to the eye thing, I’m pondering Lasic surgery lately.It would be so incredible to be able to see without glasses or contacts.

    1. Thank you, Hollie!
      There are many reasonably priced vintage typewriters (do they still make new ones?) on ebay last time I checked. I don’t know if they’ll work though, but if you are not really going to use it, you might as well go for something you like the look of. I feel a little funny about typewriters after watching the film ‘Secretary’, which I’m guessing you must have seen and hence, will know what I’m talking about! If I got one, I’m sure I’d hear James Spader’s voice at the back of my head admonishing me!
      Is it really that difficult to just wear glasses and contacts? I don’t know, I feel very wary about any eye-related procedures. Be very careful and go through everything multiple times before going ahead with it. I am starting to worry already!

      1. Don’t worry yet, I have plenty of bills to take care of before actively pricing a surgery is an option! I have not seen that movie. My movie knowledge is severely lacking!

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