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23

Personally I switched to Dvorak about six years ago, and I've found it to have been a net positive over all. My typing speed is about the same as before, though oddly my error rate has gone down. On the other hand, I haven't had any serious wrist pain since I switched. There are some downsides to switching. It seems to make about two months to get back ...


18

Yes, for a very simple reason: If you can type blind, that means you have moved all the necessary control to move words from your brain into the computer into your backbone -- where it doesn't need conscious control anymore. This means your conscious is free to concentrate on your work instead of "Where is the letter w? Press w Where is ... o ... r ... d". ...


13

It's been a while since I've seen research on this, but the consensus that I hear from other programmers who have tried Dvorak (we tend to spend all days in front of keyboards and therefore tend to be picky about the keyboards we use) is that: There is little difference in speed, or if there is, it isn't enough to justify the cost in learning it in and of ...


10

It sounds like you are struggling between two possiblities: Fixing typos but having your concentration on the forward movement of your writing broken, or Moving on but facing a daunting task of catching all of your errors during editing and re-writing. Personally I would be driven crazy by not fixing a mistake I knew was there, and that would break my ...


8

It is important to be able to type fast enough to focus on the writing and not the keyboard. Being able to touch type is essential, in my opinion. I don't think I could keep my train of thought if I was constantly scanning the keyboard for the next letter.


7

I'm just starting to learn the Dvorak layout (I'm at about 15 WPM touch typing after around 5 hours of practice over the last few days), but have not yet decided whether or not I will stick with it permanently. (Edit: After 2 weeks of using Dvorak, I'm up to about 35 WPM). This site has a useful trainer for learning it. Here are my thoughts so far: The Bad ...


6

Having taken typing back in high school, I find it amazing when I encounter people who uses computers through out the day who can't touch type. I consider being able to touch type an example of efficiency. First, if you know how to touch type, you can spend less time transcribing things you've written down on paper. Second, it should reduce the amount of ...


6

I've had people suggest you write long-hand first drafts because it makes you slow down and think about your writing. I don't know if that's a plus. I like writing long-hand because I don't always have a computer and/or it's faster to just pick up a pen and get to work. I don't like then having to type legal-pads-worth of writing into the computer. But I ...


4

This is one of those questions where everybody just has to go with their own personal preferences. My last choice would be trying to dictate. I tried Dragon Diction as well, but as you have already noticed, the pauses and the less than stellar word conversion rate make it too tedious. I have done almost all of my writing by hand and then transferred to ...


4

I'm pretty sure Shakespeare was terrible at typing. I hope that was helpful, because it took me ten minutes to write this response.


4

I switched to Dvorak about 4 years ago due to some pain in my wrists. It took me less than a month to regain my old speed, maybe three weeks. This was the same for everyone I knew who switched cold turkey; people who went back and forth with QWERTY during the transition period took two or three months to become proficient (or gave up). After less than six ...


3

In all honesty it could only help your ability to write. Don't under estimate the ability to be able to type without thinking about 'how' to type. When you can get it down it's like the keyboard isn't even then. You can see the same thing in a car, you just decide to turn left, you don't think about how to do it. If you want to learn there are a number of ...


3

Look, like most of these things, the answer is "what works for you". Personally, I have to keep pushing on -- if I look back, my Inner Critic starts asking for other changes, and as Satchel Paige said "never look back; something might be gaining on you." On the other hand, I know people who practice the shitabrick method, and have to get each paragraph ...


3

I fix as I type if I notice them. I've also heard that it's helpful to read the manuscript outloud when you're coming down to the final edit, because that will help catch the vast majority of spelling mistakes.


3

Typing Well is more important than typing Fast. That is, you need to be able to type the words as they form in your mind, as you think them, without thinking about the actual typing. Bruce is correct. If you can touch-type, you are mostly there.


2

The rule I vaguely stick to is that if I actually spot a typo while writing, I'll fix it. Otherwise, I'll (hopefully, but in practice it seems not) spot the typo when re-reading whatever I wrote (be it after the next typing break, the next day or whenever). Then, when I have a sufficiently-substantial chunk, I run a spell-checker (with the ability to use a ...


2

Touch typing is a good skill to have, but it's not essential for being a good writer. If you're writing a novel on the computer, chances are that after a small while, with all the practice you're getting, your typing speed will improve. It may not become lightning fast touch typing, but it won't need to be to keep up with your train of thought. Most people ...


2

Yes, it is influencing the speed only. Do you know the case where the speed of doing something delicate were reflecting well on the quality of work? Touch typing will make you a faster writer, not a good one. Neither it will make you a bad one. I know people who think of touch-typing as a useless skill. "I'm thinking slower", — they say. But the key moment ...


2

Well, I've already answered this question here. But again, tell me, if you never had this scenario: You have this sentence in your mind: "I have always stood up at 4 o'clock after starting my job at the bakery." You start typing: "I have alwas stoo..." darn, typo! It's "always" not "alwas". Hit the left cursor key till you are at the right position, hit ...


2

I used to be a big fan of just write it out and spell check later, the problem is that 'later' turned out to be a few months down the line when I'm getting ready to edit a story. Suddenly spell checking became a large time investment just so I could get into editing the story proper. It got in the way of getting the job done. When I started writing in Word ...


2

I oscillate between handwriting and typing. I find handwriting preferable for first drafts or for getting ideas out, as I can simply scribble on the nearest piece of paper or notebook, have arrows going everywhere - it's beautifully unstructured. I like it for first drafts as well for the same reason as Steven - it slows down my thought processes, which I ...


2

The simple approach is to give all of your subsection text a left indent, and possibly a right indent, to set it off slightly from the main section text. Any text starting at the normal left margin would then be identifiable as belonging to the main section.


2

I prefer a buckling-spring keyboard like the old IBM Model M or the ones made by Clicky Keyboards. I only wish I could find that feature in a more ergonomic layout. Buckling-spring keys provide better tactile feedback than bubble keyboards, and I find that causes me to type faster and more lightly (rather than mashing the keys), easing strain on my hands ...


2

See Dean Wesley Smith's recent article about writing speed: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=3204 As Smith says, "I don’t type faster with my little four-finger typing, I just write more hours than most... I am considered a fast writer because I spend more hours writing. Nothing more."


2

The answer depends upon what type of work you are getting into. Just because you can type fast, doesn't mean you can write well. But writing fast does have the added benefits of allowing you to quickly lay down a rough draft, tweak the hell out of it, clean it up during editing, and publish the final piece. Also, if you are going to be writing for a ...


2

In my case, the answer was: not very important at all. I'm the author of 40 books and hundreds of magazine articles. I've made a living as a writer since about 1990. I never learned to touch type well; my typing speed is about 30 wpm now. As my writing needs and output increased, I turned to voice recognition using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which also saved ...


2

I don't think that FAST typing is important, but I do think it's important to know how to type. Not to be able to touch-type is a handicap, not just in writing but in the job market overall. With the internet it's easy to learn to type or get better at typing--there are LOTS of sites for typing help. Typing qualifies as a communication skill; writing is ...


1

I had terrible tendonitis in both arms for a while, and I had to get a mega-customizable ergo keyboard. http://www.comfortkeyboard.com/ They are not cheap, but I didn't have to get CTS surgery either. :) You can rotate each of the three pieces to the point where you can almost type vertically. It takes a while to get used to, and most of my coworkers ...


1

My keyboard has to be hard (I want to feel typing) and heavy (not to fly away when I cough). It is enough.



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