Wednesday, November 6, 2013

17194--A Must Have

As a citizen of modern society, there are certain skills you should possess as a part of your repertoire.  If you're a writer, there are some specific overlaps that should be included.  My focus is on just one, but that one is so important that I'm using it even now.  That's right, touch typing.

For most, the ubiquitous presence of computers that has developed over the last few decades should be motivation enough to learn it if you haven't already.  Even if you're transitioning to finger swiping or electronic pens or optical control, learn it.  You may be anticipating the advent of effective neural feedback or thought control, but learn it anyway.  One of the great things touch typing teaches you is how to read and type simultaneously.  The aid this brings to your ability to split focus effectively is invaluable.  Even though I learned to type many years ago, to this day, I'm usually aware enough of what my fingers are doing that even if I make a typo, I'm aware of it when it's happening and can catch it immediately.

If you're not everybody else and happen to be a writer, the ability to touch type will be a boost to your speed and efficiency that you should not disregard.  Not only will it help you with the aforementioned splitting of focus, but allow you shift focus more smoothly.  All this will help you with not only writing, but rewriting.  Yay!  Not to brag, but spelling errors are rare finds in my edits and I never use spell check.  Typing proficiency lets you think about what those fingers are doing without having to watch them every second.

As a child, typing was one of the skills my mom always reminded me to learn.  She made a lot of money in college typing people's papers for them, so she figured I could at least benefit by not paying someone else to type for me.  Even if I wrote everything out with a pen, I wouldn't want to have someone else type for me (which admittedly means I'm stuck with doing my own typing no matter how successful I become at selling novels) because there are a lot of great things that come to me in the process of typing.  It's part of my creative process, apparently, that my imagination keeps on developing while I'm writing.  That may have been inevitable or it may have been because I used to write science fiction chapters on the fly in typing class, then turn them in as English homework in the following period.  Bonus: rapid critique feedback.

For those among you who also find yourself developing ideas while typing, there are probably also many of you who end up with the tone of your output changing from your original intent.  Again, this is just another reason you should be typing.  If you haven't already, make it a part of your creative process.  I won't deny that there's one particular brand of pen I enjoy the feel of writing with (so I buy many of them), but learn to type.  It's not a party trick.  We've taken ourselves to a point where it's practically ridiculous not to have it as a basic computer skill.

Get to it.


  1. No comments: I read a little bit about the Superman article, and need some help on my website.

    I am looking … and it appears you have already established this … some new friends to visit my website. I to, love to discuss different types of writings, books, movies, t.v. shows, and games. But, I also offer two small projects that I wish to be big some day. I have two stories from personal history that I would like “the World” to be the authors of. You see … I can’t write myself, believe me I have tried. Please, log-in to my forum and visit with me … and brings some friends.

  2. My other half is always impressed that I can look at my notes and type without looking at the screen. It's a very useful skill!