The Mischievous Imp Between My Thoughts and My Writing — Technology


When I type at my laptop I often have the feeling that a mischievous imp interferes between my thoughts and my writing. He misplaces punctuation marks, misspells words, lengthens sentences, creates an unpleasant sense of urgency, lessens my concentration, tempts me to write faster, in short, distracts me with his mischief. Strangely enough, this imp doesn’t play his tricks on me when I handwrite.

I have always stared at the part of my laptop under the keyboard as at a curious thing, wondering what marvels are in there and how they work, and I suspect that’s where the mischievous imp hides. Like an evil genie he is, and the laptop case is his lamp, and the power button conjures him…

I love technology but I also hate it. It’s distracting. It’s impersonal. It’s too fast. It’s like the middleman that you dislike – the broker, the librarian, the priest. But you always have to put up with this intermediary because without him you are overwhelmed. It’s hard to give up technology once you got used to it.

“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.” ― Pablo Picasso

I dream of the day when I can lock my laptop and my modem in a shadowy chest and forget about them. But for me to do that I need to procure a typewriter.

I don’t have the courage to buy a typewriter yet. I’m not yet good enough a writer for such a feat. But later this year, after I finish writing Oliver Colors’ biography maybe I will become good enough. Until then I must tolerate this mischievous imp… (digital) technology.


Do you think you would you be a better writer if you didn’t have a laptop?

(I sometimes fear to answer my questions.)

43 thoughts on “The Mischievous Imp Between My Thoughts and My Writing — Technology

  1. The mischievous imp irritates me. I wish I knew how to turn all these auto-fill features off. But I would say hand writing is good sometimes but not always. Editing and copying has become so integral to my writing process using a computer that I don’t think I could go back to hand writing.

  2. LOL I do much of my writing with pencil and paper before transferring it to keyboard, but the imp still reigns

  3. I’ve never thought much about it. My hand gets tired when I hand-write…and my mind is always the same—the imp reigning or not, depending on the day. So I find it easier to type.

    Of all the blogs I follow, yours is the one I most closely read. I love your thoughts. Just thought you should know.

  4. No. The laptop is irrelevant. It just makes editing easier. I hand write almost everything first,’anyway – that’s where the ideas are. You shouldn’t type anything up until you are ready to take stuff away from it

      1. Who says we don’t write paragraphs? Lines are just editing. You put them in afterwards. A poem can be 5,000 words long and cut down to 60. That’s the art of it.

  5. I find myself writing better when I type, (although that may be due to instant access to thesauruses and spell-checkers!) however, I do agree that computers can often create little punctuation imps from time to time. 🙂

    1. Hello! I haven’t seen you around lately Daniel.

      Dictionaries on the computer are really convenient and I must admit that they do improve my writing. 🙂

  6. I have a strange dislike for technology, it always seems so impersonal. And I too have always wished for a type writter, it just seems like the ultimate writing tool.

  7. I like to do first drafts and and brainstorming with pen and paper. Word-processing (how’s that phrase for cold and impersonal?) is for editing and Facebook. That is all.

  8. I love typewriters. I love the clickety clackety of them, but for me, they have all the impish problems and none of the facility of computers. They are fun and they make me feel like I’m writing something really important….which I’m not.

  9. Can you borrow a typewriter, Vincent? I think they’d drive you crazy. And there I was, thinking I was so revolutionary by handwriting first. Seems like the rest of the world discovered the imp (love that description – another is evil, purse-lipped pedant) who resides inside my computer. Love your little snippets, Vincent.

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