2008-04-08

Typing blind

Last week , on a flight to Reno, I struggled to rewrite some paragraphs about processor performance. I stared at the screen for a while. I typed some. I reread my reference material. I typed some more. I deleted some. But mostly I stared at the screen and grew progressively more annoyed with myself. I was stuck. Everything I did write was just terrible. And the words were flowing like dry asphalt.

So I closed my eyes.

I discovered this writer's block technique on another flight 6 years earlier. I close my eyes and type.

When I type with my eyes closed, the thoughts come faster and clearer. Perhaps it's because I have less sensory input to distract me. Maybe because I can't see what I'm writing, I'm not tempted to edit it. Or it could be that I'm fully engaged in the writing itself, and that frees the words.

Regardless, I finished my coffee, closed my eyes and typed out the five best paragraphs I wrote that day. After several minutes of this I opened my eyes and discovered my coffee mug was missing. A few moments later a puzzled flight attendant brought it back with more coffee.

So I took that blind writing, (eyes open now) cut it down a little, and I was done.

Typing without seeing makes it easier for me to write when I get stuck. And I even make fewer typos when I do it. Next time you're stuck, give it a try. Maybe I'm not the only weird one this works for.

9 comments:

Aerten said...

Very cool! I've been doing "blind typing" since I had to roll a piece of paper into a typewriter. :) It's a fabulous exercise!

Margaret said...

Thank goodness for touch-typing! If you were my husband, all you would have typed would have been gibberish because he is a multi-fingered hunt-and-pecker. I've tried (to no avail) to get him to take a typing course. You would think with all the reports he has to do with his job he would want to learn. I know he's an old dog, but you CAN teach them new tricks -- just have to have the right motivation for it.

I am much like you, and type really fast and fairly accurately with my eyes closed. I don't know if the ideas come any better with that method, but I'll try to pay attention the next time I use it.

M

Monique said...

Such an interesting idea.

I'll have to give it a try. :)

Erin said...

I've never tried that before, I will now though! It sounds neat.

haleyhughes said...

I'll have to try this. It seems like a really good way to turn off that internal editor.

Joey said...

That's a great idea! I have to try that the next time I get into writer's block!

J. C. said...

I appreciate this, thanks for sharing, I am going to give it a try the next time I'm in trouble.

savonara said...

That is a fabulous idea, I will pass it on to my writer friend!

SolReka said...

sdfgsdf bbcxv df4fasf

Did it work? :-)

As you can see, I'm not too good at this blind typing lol

Great idea - will certainly give it a go.

Regards
http://www.solreka.com/blog