August 23, 2010
While I’ve written four novels, dozens of short stories, probably thousands of ads, as well as maintained three blogs, I’ve done it all with basically one finger: the index on my right hand. Yes, I use the left index finger to mark punctuation but the other digit taps out all the words.
Crazy, huh? It’s not that I prefer longhand; I don’t. Though I wrote the initial drafts of my first two novels with pen and pencil I quickly migrated to laptops when those became available.
In college I wrote in notebooks or on a typewriter nicked from my father. Back then I was a drinker and a smoker and I used my left hand to do that and my right hand to work. God knows what my brain was doing but that’s how I functioned.
As time went by I stopped drinking and smoking cigarettes (though I still puff cheap cigars) but I never learned to type properly. That’s not to say I didn’t evolve; I did. I certainly memorized the keyboard. Subsequently, my finger tapping became faster and faster. I never timed it but when I’m in the zone I can probably hammer out forty or fifty words a minute, maybe more.
As cell phones became more versatile I began using them the same way. Though Blackberry’s keyboard is made for traditional typing I use the one-finger approach there as well.
This likely is stupid behavior but it won’t change. I’ve gotten too competent in my dysfunctional approach to bother learning the proper method.
Oddly, I don’t know a single person who types like I do. All of you seem to engage your keyboards properly. Even you non-professional writers. Am I wrong about this? If so, let me know. I’m curious: Am I the only one-fingered typist who is not a child or a monkey?