Freewrite

Giveaway: Win a Freewrite Smart Typewriter!

Win Goodies for Writers! GiveawayThe modern writer is constantly facing distractions unlike any other time in history. Web companies are spending billions of dollars for our attention. We are all part of the attention economy now. The fight for our attention means the only chance to maintain control is for each of us to take active steps in disconnecting.

The Freewrite was conceived in the fall of 2014 to combat the digital distractions we all experience every day. Like other creatives, writers deserve their own professional tools! At least, we think so.

How the Freewrite (the World’s First Smart Typewriter) Was Born

In the beginning, the Freewrite was a tool that co-creator Patrick Paul and I wanted for our own writing. We needed a way to write that wasn’t on our distraction-laden computer but didn’t require us to handwrite, which is too slow, or use vintage analog gadgets.

Freewrite

The discussion that led to the Freewrite started simply enough. Patrick was telling me about distraction-free writing software that he used while journaling and essay writing. I was intrigued by one peculiarity of the software: it disabled the backspace key. “Ridiculous! That seems awfully masochistic. Why would you do that to yourself?” I was the first skeptic.

The conversation continued, and I tried to keep an open mind. Patrick explained how he was his worst enemy while writing, and removing the ability to backspace pushed his writing forward. Drafting first and then editing later is a well-established method for writing and is commonly taught in MFA programs. “Interesting!”

This specific software Patrick used was quite draconian, but it was just one out of many writers use to stay focused while at the computer. Just knowing there were all these different types of software out there and so many writers were using them successfully was enough for me to start thinking creatively.

“What if we created a piece of hardware that takes the distraction-free concept even further?” Everyone knows you can just wiggle out of distraction-free software and get back to the distractions in a click or two. A dedicated device would alleviate that mental burden while also providing hardware specifically crafted for writing.

How the Freewrite Works

In that very first conversation, we established the vision for the eventual product: simple software, mechanical keyboard, E Ink screen, seamless cloud syncing and, most importantly, no distractions! Yes, there is a backspace key, but we did everything we could to keep the writer moving forward including leaving arrow keys off the keyboard. Forward!

Freewrite Cafe

  • The Freewrite offers a high-contrast, E-Ink screen that’s easy on the eyes.
  • It’s ePaper, which means it doesn’t have the harsh backlight of a traditional LCD and looks a lot like real paper.
  • The ePaper screen also allows writers to write in direct sunlight. Take your writing outdoors!
  • Unlike a mechanical typewriter, the Freewrite has a desktop style keyboard with real key-switches that offer an incredible tactile experience.
  • The best part: everything syncs to Dropbox, Evernote, or Google Drive, so you never have to worry about juggling USB keys again.

Freewrite Outside

After a successful Kickstarter in 2015 and multiple production runs, the Freewrite is now available to all writers worldwide, who are looking for more productivity in their workflow. There is a vibrant owner community with thousands sharing writing tips and how they use their Freewrite. Many of our writers see their daily word counts doubling after using the Freewrite. The power of going distraction-free is undeniable.

Freewrite Community

Win Your Own Freewrite!

Today, we’re excited to offer you a chance to win your very own Freewrite typewriter. Just enter, using the options on the Rafflecopter widget below. Winners will be announced next Friday. Good luck and happy writing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more info about the Freewrite, check out their website and the unboxing video below:

Wordplayers, tell me your opinion! What is your greatest challenge in staying away from distractions while writing? Tell us in the comments!

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About Adam Leeb | @Astrohaus

Adam Leeb is a Cofounder at Astrohaus and one of the inventors of the Freewrite. He is a graduate of MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering and a focus on product design. He is a constant tinkerer and loves to develop unique consumer products.

Comments

  1. The thing that intrigues me the most is the keyboard. I’m a “touchy-feely” kind of gal and I like the feel of a real “clicker” keyboard. That is what I miss the most with my iPad or other keyboards. The internet is always a distraction – pop-ups for messages, statuses, email, etc. I understand not having “major” editing (like paragraph or scene reworks) type tools…. but as someone with dyslexic-finger-syndrome, being able to click back and fix a quick typo would be of immeasurable service. It is far quicker to fix those little things right away than to try to remember or find and fix them all later. You do lose some portability with this big boy… I know a lot of it is the lovely keyboard, but I’ve been continually downsizing for weight, amount, and size of stuff – even my art go-to stuff. It would be a bigger (pun intended) commitment.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Adam! And for sponsoring just an awesome giveaway. 🙂

    • Thank you for having me! Also, thank you for arranging this giveaway. The entire Astrohas Freewrite team and I are excited to be here. 😁

      • Adam, Thanks for the great invention! Also for the generosity of your giveaway, what a nice thing to do! Thanks Astrohas Freewrite team!

    • Thank you K.M. for bringing this to our attention!

  3. Pamela Reese says:

    This looks so amazing! I love the feel of a ‘real’ keyboard, being ‘cut off’ from distractions is awesome, but I am really thrilled at the E-ink and ‘paper’ appearance of the screen. I spend a lot of time writing at the beach and park, and this would be SO perfect.
    What a wonderful idea! and thanks so much for sharing it with us, Katie

  4. Stacey Riley says:

    Is the giveaway US only?

  5. The perfect invention for the creative writer!

  6. Ah, like the old Alphasmarts, but better. Thanks for creating this and for the giveaway!

  7. Sabrina C Howard says:

    This would be a great travel companion if it allows you to write without have to sync to a cloud to do it. Does it have an internal memory as well, or is the internet connection required. If not, I’d love one to take on trips with me where my computer just won’t cut it.

    • Hi, Sabrina!

      The Freewrite does not require an internet connection. The device itself has enough internal memory for over one million standard pages of text. We do reccomend, when traveling, to try and find a WiFi connection for periodic backups to the internet. You can also connect the Freewrite directly to any computer to save drafts that way.

      Best regards!

      Adam

  8. Hmm reminds me of the alphasmart.

  9. A new wrinkle in my writing world – sounds like a good one.

  10. Kaycee C says:

    Oh goodness, I didn’t even know this existed! I am easily distracted. This thing is right up my alley!

  11. My highest distractions are the pings and bells when email or Facebook posts ring out to tell me I’ve got a message. It’s interesting, when I hand write a scene or chapter on a pad with pen, I’m much happier writing because I’m isolated from all electronic communications. I’m often looking to write away from the computer or ipad. I would love the FreeWrite and use it while sitting outside on my deck, beneath the trees for maximum creativity.

  12. Does it sync to OneDrive? That’s where all my work is.

  13. John Chalinder says:

    I think this is a great, innovative invention.
    I only hope I can win one; as I live on a sub-poverty income and would never be able to afford one.
    Congrats!

  14. I loved my alphasmart in its time, but this seems so much easier to see and sync!

  15. Linda Burrell says:

    I love the paper look and the more responsive keyboard; maybe because I learned to type back in the pre-electric age on an old fashioned Olympia portable and and number of huge bone breaker uprights, Royals, Underwoods and the like.

  16. PennyJM says:

    This would be great for me. It looks lighter than a laptop for hauling around and I really like the keyboard.

  17. Marie McNeill says:

    Because of an eye condition, I tire easily at the computer. This would be ideal for me and I could use it outside on my newly refinished deck. That would certainly speed up my writing.

  18. The keyboard worries me. I like a real keyboard, but I hate clicky sound keyboards – I prefer them as quiet as possible. From that video, the keyboard sounds LOUD. However, that said, I like the idea of a distraction-free device to write with AND the ability to sync to my machine and not having to deal with cloud storage which I don’t trust.

  19. My butterfly mind and love of tangents and trivia. Social media or email isn’t a problem, but I am always looking things up. Or (worse) clicking on links within articles on writing aspects that were links within other articles on writing aspects that were links with… well, you get the idea.

    Then my brain gets tired, and I’m done for a while. It’s a terrible habit.

    • Hi, Marya,

      Ah, the good old “research” downward spiral. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there. I find the Pomodoro Technique useful, where you commit to 25 minutes of work followed by a five-minute break. After a three to four of these 25-minute blocks, you then take a much longer break. This method helps me stay focused. (Also, put your internet router in the microwave!)

      All the best,

      Adam

  20. I love the look of this typewriter! Yes it’s hard to be distraction free when on the computer, because even if I close Facebook and emails, I know they’re lurking in the background. My biggest problems though is first thing in the morning. Living in Australia I wake up to around 80 emails. all screaming for attention. Aaaarrrggghhh!!

    • Hi Wendy, thank you for the kind words! We are total sticklers for good design.

      One idea to combat that “lurking in the background” sensation is to turn your WiFi off during writing time. Try it out for thirty minutes at a time, or go for an hour. You’ll really feel the urge to turn the WiFi back on, but fight through it! Most news can wait an hour and you’ll be able to better focus on your work.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Regards,

      Adam

  21. I’ve been thinking about trying an AlphaSmart, but I like that this syncs to Dropbox, so I don’t have to mess with trying to download what I wrote and convert it, etc. And my biggest struggle with time as writer? With so much fascinating news going on, constantly looking to see the latest development.

  22. You guys need to be a NaNoWriMo sponsor!!! This is amazing. I have an older AlphaSmart Neo2, but it’s no longer supported. This is just what myself and many of my easily distracted writer friends need. Thank you for hosting and sponsoring this give a way.

  23. Jay Hicks says:

    I. WANT.

  24. My family is my greatest distraction, they congregate in the room and talk away. But I love them and cherish the time I have with them. If I were to win, I’d take it to all of the sports practices where my laptop is not reasonable to go. I agree typing on the iPad is slow and not ideal. Great giveaway! Thank you for letting us know about this great device.

  25. Excellent idea! Much better than trying to write on the iPad or laptop (which are okay, but not purpose-built). Looking forward to trying one somewhere!

  26. Does it have a USB port, though? I am not fond of cloud storage, as I often work in places that are far from the Internet.
    And how long does it last on a full charge? Often I am far from the power grid too.

    • Hi, Biep!

      Yes, the Freewrite has a USB-C port. We also include a USB-C to Standard USB cable for easy sharing of files to your computer. The device charges through the USB as well. A typical charge should last you a few weeks, longer if you turn the WiFi off.

      Best regards!

      Adam

    • Mohan Nanjundan` says:

      1. Yes it does have a USB port.
      2. Charge stays up until 4+ week as per the manufacturer but it totally depends on you writing habit.
      3. Watch the review video on this page, its pretty straight forward.

  27. Michael Taylor says:

    Great idea, great invention. I can’t seem to read email on my phone without being redirected to some other unuseful bit of webtopia. Being able to pull everything together while sitting in a lounge chair unshackled and unplugged sounds like a perfect combination of portability and productivity. Now if I can just get past piecing together that second act…

  28. Polaris Northstar says:

    SO. COOL!!! I TOTALLY NEED THIS!!!!!!!!!

  29. Tim Seabrook says:

    It starts off with checking some details related to whatever I am writing, but usually digresses into other things that while tentatively related are more interesting than what I was looking up in the first place.

    It also provides a break from a long concentrated session to watching or reading something harmless but I have to take care not to let it engross me which is always a danger.

  30. Whoa! Definitely time to upgrade from my AlphaSmart. Yep.

  31. Betty Clemens says:

    I think, I thought I knew,
    But realilized lately how few
    If any computers
    Could back my neuters
    Like a two handed keyboard for two.

    I love it. I want it. I need it.

  32. Cmon, let me win! Pleeeeaaaaassse! I really need it

  33. This looks amazing! Right now I am writing the first draft of a memoir in notebooks longhand, but I need something better and faster. One question, is the USB cable how you get what you wrote into Scrivener? I admit to being pretty technologically challenged! Scrivener is something else I want to get very soon. 🙂 I find my biggest distractions a pinging phone, email, plus people around me so this would help alot!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says:

      My understanding is that the Freewrite syncs directly to the cloud, from which you can then download it into your computer and transfer it to Scrivener.

  34. The distractions I have…is mundane life events, others demanding time and effort of self. Space to focus and write what one understands..plus the pen to paper outlet, which isn’t always available..this would be a Godsend..

  35. For all those who recognize the writing distractions inherent to using laptop or a tablet, this represents the ultimate opportunity to work without distraction! Email is important, but–you and I both know– it probably can wait until you finish that next chapter or section of the plot. Discipline! We all know that Facebook or Twitter will still be on your laptop after you complete your significant written work. If you want to work outside, work outside in the sunshine where you can absorb the sounds of nature and be at peace as you write.

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