We were both old enough to have done significant writing on a typewriter and we felt we were more productive on a typewriter because we had to keep moving forward. We missed that. If we made a mistake, we kept typing. If we wanted to rearrange the information, we had to start over. With the word processor we’ve lost some of the immediacy. It’s too easy to delete, to cut and paste. Sometimes that means we get bogged down when the key to finishing is so often to just keep going.
What if we turned the iPad into a typewriter, I said?
So The Rumpus teamed up with the McSweeney‘s kids who created The Silent History.
Typing Writer is about getting words on the page. It comes loaded with first drafts from some of your favorite writers: Jim Shepard, Melissa Febos, Amy Brill, Tao Lin, Rick Moody, Eli Horowitz, and Stephen Elliott (that’s me).
It works just like your old typewriter. When you type over something you still see the original letter underneath. When you reach the end of a line, if you don’t manually go to the next line, the typewriter will go to the next line for you, even in the middle of a word! Press your finger on the page and a white-out brush appears. Brush over a letter or a word. There will still be a white splotch, of course. That’s how white-out works!
Typewriter sounds are included, but you can turn them off if you prefer. But using the Typing Writer I realized I liked leaving them on, just to hear the bell letting you know you’re coming to the end of a line. After you’ve typed your draft it’s easy to export and open in any word-processing software.
We hope you like it. It’s the first Rumpus app. Really, it was just an idea. It’s fun bringing ideas to life.
Typing Writer shows that we don’t have to sacrifice the benefits and enjoyment of old systems every time we improve them. You can check it out in the iTunes store here (it’s crazy cheap).
Here’s Typing Writer at TechCrunch.
Here are some screenshots: