Writing by Candlelight


Photo Credit: Pubhist

Hopefully you read my last post in which I wrote about that old thing known as a typewriter. In writing that post I got to thinking about something else I’ve never had to do because of technology. Writing by candlelight. How cool would that be? To be sitting there at your desk writing away into the early morning hours with a small candle lighting your pages. I can’t even write out posts in dim lighting because I can barely see the keys of the keyboard.

I’m not going to sit here and say that I’d rather write with a typewriter or that I’d rather write by candlelight just because, but I do think I’d like to experience the difficulty of typing on an old typewriter and also that of writing in near darkness. Technology is fine and dandy, but it’s contributed to all the distractions that now exist, especially for writers. So why not write without any distractions for a little while? Even if it’s a bit more time consuming.

What do you think about writing by candlelight? Would you ever try it? I think I would, assuming I didn’t light my house on fire.

35 thoughts on “Writing by Candlelight

  1. I’ve done it plenty of times. I used to live on 10 acres and we get big windstorms. We would lose our power for hours on end, most of the time in the evening. No tv or computer so that left reading or writing by candle. Sorta fun 🙂 but it definitely does strain your eyes after some time.


  2. I would definitely write by candle! As it is right now, I do almost all of my writing with pen and paper. The computer is too distracting and I don’t want to lose anything because I delete it all. I find pen and paper has a magnificent charm about it, that the smell of the paper and ink gets me into another mindset entirely, so that I’m more productive. Writing my candlelight would just be another step of getting me into that special writing mind space!


  3. I don’t use candle light because the flickering is too hard on my eyes, but I have used kerosine lanterns several times. When you say you can’t see the keys on your computer, do you do the hunt and plunk? I ask only because I can type without seeing the keys including with my eyes closed. but that’s me. My father does the hunt and single finger plunk.


    • I don’t know what hunt and plunk even means. Typing with like two fingers or something? I don’t know. But no. I glance at the keys maybe once a sentence. I typed like 80 WPM in high school. Probably still about the same.


      • Oh well, then typewriters are a breeze. What I mean by hunt and plunk is the hunting for the letter, then hitting it with the index finger and only using that finger. I just tested my speed and it’s about 68 or so. I tend to make a fair amount of mistakes that thankfully the backspace fixes… (in a typewriter you have to have white-out to fix those mistakes…) and I type way faster when I’m not looking at something to type, but just thinking and typing.

        Anyways, typing buy candle is fun. When you live in an area where the power can and does go out at any given moment, you have to have backup methods to writing. And you have to be good at it. 😛


  4. I’ve done that a few times! It creates a really nice atmosphere for historical fiction and fantasy, especially when paired with some quiet instrumental music and late-night hours.


  5. In Nairobi, we sometimes have blackouts. And there I go, writing in candlelight. And you are right, John, especially in the morning, there is something magical to it.


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