I’m a writer with bad habits.
I know this isn’t a shock to hear, I think the archetypal image of a writer in most people’s mind includes some bad habits. I don’t necessarily mean in my personal life, but more in a fundamental way that I have gone through my journey, there are some major ways in which I thought I could get by where I am now hitting a wall.
I’m forced now to look at the thing I have been suffering from most recently which is a lack of engagement as I’m working. I know that I have good ideas and could really get out a piece of art or a story that I can be proud of if I could have the same fundamental engagement as I find myself having with movies and video games, things I often label as distractions. It’s no secret that I don’t enjoy being endlessly distracted. Why then, if I love creating and coming up with ideas and organizing thought, do I lack the ability to get as carried away with it as other diversions. Why would I put off something that I love?
There is the fact that other forms of entertainment are engineered to draw attention and require only the effort of sitting down in front of a screen, where writing requires considerable effort and steeling one’s mind from their own discouragement in order to continue. However, I am left to think on what I can do to control this? What can I do to be more engaged with the words rather than just pounding out ideas in my head as though they are individual bricks?
SO my bad habit:
I still look at my hands as I type. I can get into some blinding speeds this way, but it comes to my attention that on a fundamental level, I require a visual to be represented in front of me to stay engaged and become less distracted. The bad typing habit reduces my experience to a purely mental game, where my theory is that if I simply make the practice to look up as the words are coming out, I will get the same, or perhaps a heightened, sensory engagement from my eyes that have for so long subdued.
People have been telling me to type the proper way from most of my life, and I flatly ignored them, I type faster when I look at my hands, I feel as though I make less simple mistakes when I do this. However I can’t ignore that a fundamental problem may have a fundamental solution!
The issue at hand is that I am now rewriting my brain to be able to do this.
It’s like how writing on a page with one’s off hand brings them back to elementary school. Sure with training and diligence you can learn to write with your off hand, but after years of only using one hand, going back to learn with the other seems only useful for someone expecting to have an accident…maybe someone who feeds alligators.
For my part, typing in this stultified method of spurts and sputters and mistakes on nearly every word feels like a regression to such a primordial stage of my life. I am met with a sense of shame for putting this off for so long, but also a sense of excitement to be learning that which I have put off for so long. It’s exciting to think that there is something I have been missing for so long, now being realized.
The idea is not to just be good or decent at typing while looking at the screen, but to make it second nature and even surpass my previous abilities.
So in an effort to train myself and learn about how this might make me a better writer, I’m going to be posting this to inform you that I’m going to try my damnedest to make at least one post a day in this style for the rest of the month. I’m hoping such a regimen will be the rigor I need to shake out of a bad habit and become better at what I do.
What I end up posting daily will likely be some kind of stream of consciousness with a time limit, probably about a page in length, and made with no intention of continuing unless there happens to be some kind of public outcry for more of some post or another.
I typed all of the above without looking at my hands for more than a few cursory adjustments of my hands and I feel pretty good about this….
it took me an hour (0__0)