Whilst transcribing some of my first novels in Croatian, which is what I currently do because I don't have them stored in my computer from a simple reason that they had been written old-school – on a typewriter, I wanted to draw a parallel between the time then and now. Now it is all much easier; you can make as many typos as you want and correct them with just a few clicks of a mouse, or you can feed your computer with whatever you want and rewrite the sentences and whole paragraphs with ease and without fear that it will take too much of your time or nerves. Back then, though, when computers were still a luxury and notebooks something from a distant future, available to just a few, your best friend was a typewriter (if you were lucky to have it) or just a pen and paper.
I must admit, I used both old-school “techniques” (more a typewriter than a pen and paper), and I am grateful for the opportunity to experience and cherish that painstaking work. There were tears and there were frustration and I remember them both well. But I also remember enormous relief and satisfaction when the work was finally done, when I have pushed my chair away from the table with a deep sigh and a huge grin on my face.
Those were my trial times and trial novels. And though I have been shaped and sharpened as a writer then more than ever – the process still continues today but in a much easier way – I recall with nostalgia and melancholy the romance of it. It wasn't just hard labor, it was crafting each sentence in your mind before putting it down on a paper and, one must admit, there is some romance in it.