If you’ve been reading my recent series on writing by hand and the pen vs. the keyboard, you may get the impression that I’m against typing or using a computer to write. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve been employed since the age of seventeen in some form of office work, all of which involve typing – with the possible exception of the job I had as a gardener, though I did do some freelancing for my client when he needed some office work done on the fly.
I love typing. I learned to type in my freshman year of high school on a manual typewriter, then graduated to the Selectric typewriter (a fancy electronic typewriter) and then onto the word processor. In fact, a bit of trivia that no one except my mom cares about anymore: in tenth grade, I was California state champion in keyboarding and won $500 from Bank of America for college. I even got a special certificate bound in leather when I graduated high school.
I didn’t want to be a secretary, though. I knew I’d need typing because of college, and had quite a chip on my shoulder about all the vocational training my high school offered. In hindsight, it was a very good thing they had it, since the first five or ten years of my working life involved skills I learned not at university, but in those vocational training classes. Since then, I’ve observed that others have also had a chip on their shoulders about not wanting to “waste time learning to type.”
This is silly, folks. If you’re one of the folks who doesn’t want to take the time, then put on your big girl or boy pants and sit down. You need to learn to type. You can’t afford not to.
Look. The internet is not going away. Keyboards are not going away. Maybe in twenty years, we’ll start to have more widespread voice-activated systems. But twenty years ago, they predicted that today we’d have paperless offices. How many of you actually have a paperless office? In the meantime, much time is wasted not knowing how to be efficient with the keyboard.
If you have no clue where to go to get better, check out the Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing program. You can also do it the old school way and get a typing book out of the library. Here’s a useful website that talks about typing and learning to do it.
In short, you can become a better writer if you know your tools better, and any practice with typing will serve you well.
Next time: “How To Use the Pen More Effectively – Suggestions”.
Looking for more reading material? Stop by Taurus and Taurus for Tasty Tuesday. Find out how the romance is in the mayonnaise.