Mechanical Keyboards: Because EVERYBODY Should Hear You Writing

In the last year I’ve bought four wireless keyboards. I have broken all of them. I write hard, motherfuckers. So I finally figured I’d make the switch and try a mechanical keyboard. I bought a CM Storm Rapid Fire Tenkeyless with Cherry MX Brown switches. That’s all fucking gibberish. Somebody dosed a room full of copywriters with mescaline and then let loose a rabid squirrel. That product description was the result of their frenzied swatting.

I’ll break it down in car terms: CM is the make, Storm is the model and Rapid Fire is the trim. Tenkeyless means it doesn’t come with the complete numberpad on the site, which I find kills me during long spells. The mouse is too far away, and it sets my shoulder at the wrong angle. I bought a separate numberpad for about ten bucks, when I need it. I far prefer this set up. Cherry MX is the manufacturer of the mechanical switches beneath the keys, and they make different types designated by color. In short, Blue and Green are very tactile and very loud, Red and Black are not tactile at all, and completely quiet. They feel more like a regular keyboard. Brown occupies that sweet space between pneumatic-feeling bliss and not deafening everybody else in the house with your robot woodpecker noises.

The CM feels great for now, but durability is a primary factor for me. And I haven’t had it long enough to attest for that. But if you write for a living, you need to give some type of mechanical keyboard a shot. Just the simple act of hefting something that solid and weighty makes every sentence feel more authoritative. Tactile feedback on every keystroke makes you feel like you’re writing with a machinegun; spelling out words in bulletholes on a brick wall with your Tommygun. I’m making far fewer mistakes, too — presumably because this shit feels real now. There are no mistakes in war, son.

I could never get with typewriters. They removed functionality in the name of nostalgia. But I totally see the appeal now: Back in the day, you banged out a manuscript on some gargantuan kinetic machine that literally hammered letters onto the page. It is hard to compete with that sense of completion by tapping on a rubber mat. But writing a page on a mechanical keyboard feels like you just built a shed. You need a beer and a woman after that kind of work.

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