I love typewriters. In fact anything with a keyboard on it, for as long as I remember. I asked for an electric daisy wheel typewriter (fancy!) for my 10th or 11th birthday. My mum taught me how to type on it (of course with two spaces after full stops). I think this was the one

Factors that influence the writing process

We write differently when we use different writing tech, eg pen on paper, stick in sand, typing on a manual typewriter, tapping on the small screen of a phone, etc. Just how different, and what are the factors? Are we talking about the simultaneous processes of ‘generating a stream of ideas’ and ‘committing those ideas in letters words sentences and paragraphs’ and the physicality of ‘producing the marks that represent language on a substrate’ or ‘preserving ideas represented by linguistic symbols through digital codes in a memory location’?

Here is a tentative list of factors

  • speed
  • accuracy
  • ability or ease of correcting mistakes
  • congruency or fluency between thought (ideation) and action (preservation, or production)
  • genre (and the associated conventions), formality (this does have to do with tech if the writing tech itself is the actual medium of consumption, but a text written can always be transferred into another medium or context)
  • permanence
  • ability to see part–whole relationships as one writes
  • scale (visibility to the writer in terms of viewport size mainly but could also have something to do with consumption)
  • time constraints (?)
  • resources available for differentiating (emphasis for example) and structuring (separating thoughts into units in some sort of fashion) the text
  • stake or risk involved (this has to do with ease of correction perhaps, but I’m thinking things like exams, forms, etc. where once one commits it’s done – the stake or risk might be high. Does this have to do with writing tech?)
  • private or public, audience

(started writing in the bathroom with the Notes app on an iPhone SE, then finished in the Notes app on an iMac)


What if we take some text that’s obviously not finished and not coherently edited and present it in a way that looks as if it were proverbially ‘published’, or to actually get it published? What happens then? Does it still constitute a ‘work’?