I took this shot of the Royal in a consignment store here in Santa Fe.
Ernest Hemingway wrote on a Royal. Every time I see one I think of him. I also read he wrote standing up, not at the big desk we always see him at in pictures. And that he had a signature way to get past stuck–never empty the well when you stop, leave something to write when you start in the morning. He didn’t tire of editing, either. He stayed in the process, doodling with the words for as long as it took. He was once quoted in an interview as saying he rewrote the last page of ‘Farewell to Arms’ thirty-nine times before he was satisfied. When the interviewer asked what stumped him, if there was some technical problem, his response was,“Getting the words right.”
I have a shot of an old Remington, too. Seems vintage typewriters are everywhere here. A friend at the Santa Fe historic foundation El Zaguan was once discarding two. I knew author & actor Sam Shepherd was in town writing at the Santa Fe Institute. That he only works on a typewriter, never a computer. I asked him if he wanted them. He didn’t. But what I noticed when we spoke is he looked me in the eyes. Was completely present until we were done. One might say, observed with awareness, too. Two attributes of a good writer.
Both these authors modeled what I write about in my book, The Writer’s Block Myth.
- Focus on process.
- Observe with awareness.
- Doodle with words for as long as it takes (meaning, take as long as it takes!)
- Find the ways that work for you to succeed.
Pretty darned cool. Right?
btw, author Cormac McCarthy is a trustee at the Santa Fe Institute. He has a library named after him there where he writes on a typewriter, too. I love what he wrote about their mission. You can see his typewritten draft in the video:
And here, in my World: #1 Bestseller on Day One.
I’m pretty darned excited.
Tell me. . .what’s the one thing you know works for you to succeed.
I’ll tell you a secret. . .making Bestseller felt so surreal, I waited 2-1/2 hrs. before I shared it on Facebook.
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