Monday, September 02, 2013

Lightning Fingers

My fingers type at the speed of lighting, which is handy. My thoughts are quick, and to be able to get my ideas on paper as quickly as they rush through my head is quite a gift. It hasn’t always been like this. In secondary school, my typing teacher (Mrs Hoffman) used to hit my knuckles with a wooden ruler when she caught me looking at the keys. Cow!

It didn’t stop me, and eventually she put a bib over the keyboard so I could learn to type without looking at the keys. That didn’t work either, so she went back to the wooden ruler. Needless to say, I quit typing class. I valued my knuckles!

Several years later, I began work on my local newspaper as a reporter. Now, here’s the thing. You can not be a two-fingered typist if you want to survive in the world of journalism. Somewhere between day one of phoning the emergency services for news stories and the next Monday when my first story made the front page (whoop whoop!), my typing speed increased enormously.

I watch my husband, a slow, two-fingered typist, and it’s like watching a bull stuck in quick-sand. It’s painful. I feel ill. I’m desperate to help. 

Typing is my friend. As a writer, I'd be lost without it. 

The key to touch typing is to place your little fingers on the a and the colon buttons, ring fingers on s and l, middle fingers on d and k. Those fingers hit those keys AND the ones above and below. The pointer finger is king. He’s in charge of six keys (per finger). He’s The Power.

Left pointer finger is in charge of f, g, r, t, v and b. The right is in charge of j, h, u, y, m and n. 

If you make it a practice to keep your eight fingers sitting on the middle keys, and only use the right fingers on the correct keys, then in no time your typing speed will increase. Don’t be like Mrs Hoffman and get caught into believing you can’t look at the keyboard. In time, you won’t need to look at it because you’ll feel comfortable. Typing will be rote (like driving a car).

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