Monday, 9 November 2009

The View From the Shoe: Busted Typewriter

Busted Typewriter is one of the most extraordinary sites I have ever come across through twitter. It combines the indie craft feel of an etsy site with some fascinating high art concepts - it is, essentially, just what it says - a site exploring different things you can do with broken typewriters - and other non-standard uses for writing-related implements, and musings thereon. It also incorporates Complete This Tweet, a rather fun daily writing exercise that is, again, exactly what it says

complete this tweet

Here are the words of the man behing Busted Typewriter

Thank you so much for your time. So, Louboutin or Converse?
I like to mix it up. Black dress shoes with slacks one day. Hoodie and sneakers the next. But my wife buys my shoes, so I don’t give it much thought.

What do you do?
My job is an advertising copywriter, so I write commercials and other pieces of marketing.
But on my own time, I experiment with projects like making Kindle covers out of old books – you can find them here
I also create websites like – which is a daily writing challenge I just started on Twitter.
Pretty much anything I can think of besides actually writing a short story – which is what I usually imagine myself doing.

Why is there no one in the world who does it quite like you?
At work, I’m willing to take on the projects other people turn their noses up at. It’s paying your dues and part love of the craft. But if you can turn a job everyone expects to stink into something great, you’ll earn respect. And when the next cool project comes along, they remember.
Outside of work, something I’ve gotten over in the past few years is my fear of failure. I used to scribble ideas down in a notebook and leave them there to die. Now whenever I come up with something, I just execute and let it go into the world.

What do you really, really love about it?
I love thinking about problems in different ways. In advertising, they call it “concepting.” Most folks know it as “brain storming.”

A bit more time in the day, or a bit more money in the bank?
I’m always feel more productive and challenged when I have less free time. So I’m trying to build up the nest egg.

Imagine you “make it”. You wake up, and imagine the day ahead. Tell us about breakfast.
A cinnamon bun from the street cart on the corner of 6th Ave and 24th St. It’s just heavily processed flour and sugar, but I have to stop myself from grabbing one everyday.

What’s your Jimmy Choo? And what’s just cobblers?
I really want to own my own home, but price of real estate in New York is still obscene.

Tell us about the last time a fan made you feel 100 feet tall.
Not to kiss up, but it was when you asked me to do this interview. You are a fan, right? [ed's note: I most definitely am!]

Independent and poor, or under contract and rich?
Not having to worry about paying the rent gives you the amazing freedom to think about other things.

Do you remember that bit on Play Away where Brian Cant stood behind people and did the actions whilst they spoke? If you could choose anyone to stand behind you and do the actions to your sales pitch, who would it be and why?
Not familiar with it. But I plan on playing myself in the movie.

Frocks or socks?
I’m toying with the idea of wearing mismatched socks on purpose. But my wife buys my clothes now too.


  1. A great interview Dan.
    Just been to see the book covers website - very funny and clever :)
    Now following Mr Typewriter on Twitter.

    Or may I call you Busted now I've visited you at your web home?

  2. That makes him sound like a boy band, doesn't it? Which may well be another rather suitable layer of irony. :)