Thursday, August 16, 2012

Writing 101: Learn How to Type

It struck me today while I was working with my eyes closed that, in all the many Writing 101 topics I've posted, I've been neglecting perhaps the most important of all: proper typing. If you don't know how to do it and you're hunting and pecking your way across the keyboard, you've got to stop. Don't write another word. Before you ever create a book, or even think about creating a book, you need to learn how to type -- the right way. 

Getting Back to Basics

Everybody's got their own way of doing things, and it's important for every writer to develop their own writing style and their own habits. You need to feel comfortable when you're writing. All of this is very true. But it's also true that, no matter what, you'd better be typing the right way whenever you're writing. You might have your own system that works for you, and that's great...but you still need to learn the proper, tried-and-true method of typing.

Why? Carpal tunnel, for one, and that's just the beginning. If you're not typing the right way, you could be doing yourself severe wrist damage. The longer you type improperly, the bigger the problem is going to get. It is possible to do permanent damage, the type of damage that can make it all but impossible for you to type in the future. This is not a joke. You can also be doing damage to your back if you're siting strangely at your keyboard. You may end up with hunched-in shoulders and a sloped back if you keep it up for a few decades. 

Maybe the way you type won't cause these problems, what do I know? Maybe your wrists are well-supported, your posture's great and your fingers are flying across the keyboard. You still need to learn how to type properly. Improper typing is going to lead to more mistakes, and it's going to make it more difficult for you to keep writing without looking at your hands. If you can't type your books with your eyes closed, it's time to re-learn how to type. And yes, it is possible to write books with your eyes closed. I know because I do it all the time. 

Proper Typing

It's incredibly easy to learn proper typing, and all you have to invest is time. You can find ten free exercises online that help you master the basics, very in-depth text-based lessons that will walk you through learning how to type and really good interactive lessons that virtually teach you how to type step-by-step. When you're all done learning, take a typing test to see how well you've mastered all your lessons.

When you know how to type properly, you won't have to look at the keyboard or at your hands. You won't have to worry about doing damage to yourself. You can simply write your books, and that's what it's all about.

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