Typing for practice

Sometimes writing this blog is exhilarating and at other times, like right now, I can’t seem to figure out what to say. You could hazard a guess at writer’s block but I would disagree. Its not. Most of the time if you just sit down at the keyboard and start typing, the magic happens and one word follows another coherently. That’s all I usually aim for anyway. That and not making a complete fool of myself. I have been reminded many times that I have fallen short of that latter aim regularly. I’m not a picky or a proud man, I can live with that. As long as you are reading this, I am more than happy writing it for you.

Often I start out with a completely different topic than what I end up posting. Somewhere down the line, the words drift off on their own and with a will of their own and I am powerless to stop or interfere. I just let my fingers do the talking and see where it takes me. Most of the time I try to get in a page a day of anything that comes to mind. Sometimes I have to be more focused than at other times but the page a day demand I set for myself usually gets done. If nothing else, its just good typing practice. Though I am not a hunt-and-peck typist, I’m not really at any professional competency at typing. I know typists who get in well over a hundred words a minute, people in my line of work usually have a staff of typists like that, but they don’t engage themselves just for the fun of it. How sad.

There are many exceptional writers who, even now, write longhand and then take their work to a typist to get it typed. And I guess, we all started out writing longhand in my generation, computers didn’t enter the scene till much after I became lettered. For me writing longhand produces radically different output than typing on the computer. My prose is much more formal when I use longhand and I tend to use a more decorative speech. Whereas typing on the keyboard is much more informal with the prose all laid back. Maybe it’s the speed. Thoughts have to slow down when writing longhand so I suppose they age more gracefully before coming down on paper, hence the drama. On the keyboard, however, my brain is slow enough so that I can type almost as fast as I think. And that’s not a compliment on my typing.

I read somewhere that regular typing can also delay the onslaught of arthritis. Its supposed to keep the circulation going and the muscles exercised. That is if the MSDs don’t injure you first. I guess we all have to work out our own limits. I don’t think nature really designed our fingers and wrists for typing and operating the mouse all day. But computers generate so much employment that its really not practical to enforce limits on how much typing is safe for a person. Mine is about three typed pages at one sitting. Any more and hands are useless for days. If I take a break and do something else (away from the computer) then I can type another three pages without problems. I think its important for all of us to know the physical limits our bodies can endure. Its one of the better things we can do for ourselves to stay healthier.

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