Tangent — Have Hanx Writer, Will?

tom-hanks-hanx-writer-app

For the last couple of days I’ve been reading up on an iPad app that was prompted by Tom Hanks. He wanted it to mimic a typewriter, so he approached some app developers to build one. It does sound and act very much like a typewriter but a little too much for my taste. Perhaps the sensory attributes of this app will provoke someone’s creativity. I don’t know, but after trying it out, I’m hard pressed to think I would use it much to aid in my drafting.

The sound and feel of a typewriter never did help in spurring my thoughts. I never needed any help with that. My head has always been crammed with them and racing with them at that. The typewriter did nothing but create frustration for me. Perhaps not as frustrating as pencil and paper, but still a level of frustration that was a big, fat turn off. I turned to a cassette recorder to get out my thoughts, and many remained in that format until I discovered something life changing — word processing software.

When at the age of 20 I had the privilege to use what was then a newfangled machine called a word processor, I felt I had made an exodus out of the land of blank pages. The racing thoughts that had always been a curse became a blessing overnight. And I have no desire to move back to Egypt however majestic the ruins may look. They are only for visiting and not dwelling in, which is what I suspect will be the reaction of many to Hanx Writer. A fun thing to experience and observe, but I doubt anyone serious about writing will want to live there for long.

More thoughts on the Hanx writer from a recently discovered writer whom I’ve come to really enjoy and appreciate his cleverness:


Tom’s typewriter – thanks Hanks but no
by David Hewson

Tom Hanks loves typewriters. So much that he’s put his name to an app for the iPad that recreates his beloved machine. Hanx Writer is yours for free though there are in-app options including a ‘Writer’s Block’ bundle whatever that is.

I spent the first twenty five years of my life using a typewriter every working day… and quite a few when I wasn’t supposed to be working too. I wrote my first unpublished book on one of the things. Never again.

Each to their own. Some people still love typewriters and paper. Some enjoy writing out their work longhand (and then handing it over to someone to type into a computer I imagine).

Not me. Here are my reasons.

read them here

During all of my reading on this app, I also read Tom Hanks has or had a collection of near 2,000 typewriters.

And now I know where Nora Ephron came up with one of the quirks for Frank Navasky.

3 Comments

  1. Couldn’t imagine anything worse – I even find the sound of typing on my Macbook Air a bit too loud! Ambient noise like waves or birds in the garden is my thing.
    And I’m one of those super-ancient writers who write whole novels in longhand first. It flows better for me. I transcribe each chapter onto the computer myself (please note David Hewson) and that becomes the first edit. The system works well for me.
    But every writer, including Tom Hanks, has their idiosyncacies – there’s no right or wrong way in method. It’s what makes one comfortable and prompt the creative juices to flow after all…

  2. Reblogged this on Prue Batten's Blog and commented:
    Now this i didn’t know. A typewriter-sounding app? Goodness…

  3. Two writers – two ends of the spectrum. Love it! ;-)


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