A writer needs good tools. There’s no two ways about it. Some can be quite simple: a good desk, a comfortable chair… that sort of thing. It gets more complicated when it comes to writing instruments, because questions proliferate. Do you like to work longhand, or with a keyboard? Do you like notebooks or journals? Do you prefer a laptop? And setting has a bearing on this, depending on where and how and when you prefer to work.
For some years I used a MacBook Pro, and I was perfectly happy with it. Eventually I switched to the iMac I currently use, though I liked the freedom of movement afforded by the MacBook. However, here’s the thing: I don’t really need a backup machine so much as I need a well-designed and portable writing platform. The barer-bones MacBooks are attractive, but they’re too small for my hands, and even then they’re really more device than I require.
I looked at Chromebooks, which people seem to like. I wasn’t impressed. They’re okay, and I suppose it would be all right to use one, but I’m not one hundred percent thrilled with the experience I had when testing them out. I started seriously looking for a vintage Royal Quiet De Luxe, because all I really, really need is something for recording text.
But then I found Freewrite, and got curious.
Freewrite (link) is a mobile writing platform from Astrohaus. Apparently it was originally called Hemingwrite — a name I love, by the way — and was a successful Kickstarter. They’re selling it under the new name directly to the public, and I’m definitely taken by its promise. It’s essentially a typewriter for the modern age, storing data instead of using reams of paper, and stripping things down to the basics of an e-ink screen. I absolutely adore the idea of it. But there are two problems: one, I have no way to physically touch such a device and, two, the $500 price point makes it unlikely I’ll take the plunge without that hands-on experience.
I’m an author of some modest success, but I never ask for anything free. I don’t even ask for my publisher’s new releases for free. I buy them. So let this be clear: I am not asking Astrohaus for something for nothing. What I am asking is whether they’d consider letting one go for a reduced price so I can find out if this really is the answer to my writing prayers.
If you happen to read this, Astrohaus, drop me a line at talktosam[at]samhawken[dot]com and let’s have a discussion. I’m happy to evangelize for a product I’m pleased with. I think Freewrite and I would get along.