A modest proposal for Astrohaus.

Freewrite, by AstrohausA 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.

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