I used a typewriter for about twenty years, from my college days until the personal computer came along in the 1980s. I remember well writing a paper longhand, and saying to classmates, "It's all written. I just have to type it up."
Eventually I skipped the longhand and began typing my first drafts. When revising, I then cut the pages with scissors and taped them back together in a different order. If you see the movie Trumbo, you can watch the screenwriter work this way.
I was thrilled when the personal computer came along---no more having to re-type the entire piece after cutting and pasting. Just move things around and click "Print."
I sold the only typewriter I ever owned in 2005 after it had sat unused for twenty years. But I've begun to wonder if the convenience of word-processing has a cost.
Lawrence Block's Writing the Novel from Plot to Print was written just before the advent of the personal computer. In his chapter on revising, he notes, "It's virtually impossible for me to retype a page of my own work without changing something." Therefore he recommends typing one's own final draft.
To support his argument, he cites the experience of a friend who started making more money from her books, and "decided she could afford the luxury of hiring somebody to type her final drafts for her. She works very hard over them, . . . but her style's not as polished in her latest books because she's not doing her own typing. She's omitting what was always a set stage in her personal process of revision . . . ."
Would my work be more polished if I had to type every page one more time after revising? Am I curious enough to get myself a typewriter and try writing a book with it instead of my laptop?
I'll keep you posted.