Monday, February 23, 2015

From Hunt-and-Peck to Proficient

I stepped into the 7th grade typing classroom with its rows of Underwood manual typewriters and the huge keyboard diagram above the blackboard. My days of hunt-and-peck typing would soon be a thing of the past, and I'd be closer to my chosen profession of secretary.

The glamor soon wore off as the teacher put us through endless drills. Finally, we began typing blocks of text. Looking down at our hands brought a sharp reprimand. This was a touch-typing class. In 8th grade we encountered more drills, more challenges, and built our speed.

Five years of typing classes taught me some important lessons:

1.  A strong foundation prepares you for bigger and better things.

2.  Repetition embeds needed principles in your brain.

3.  Practice promotes manual dexterity for typing and promotes what I call "muscle memory." After awhile, your fingers respond to the brain's commands with lightning speed.

We all want to be experts overnight, but it takes time and hard work. Instead of moaning about the learning curve, I've embraced it. Those halting initial steps toward our goals - whether writing or some other endeavor - will have a reward if we don't give up.

Writers:  How did you build your writing foundation?

Readers:  Learning how to read takes time and effort. What gave you the most difficulty with acquiring that skill?

Proverbs 13:4 (KJV): " The soul of the sluggard desireth, and [hath] nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat."

Photo Credit:  andreweld


Linda O'Connell said...

Hi Susan,
I began by submitting to my local neighborhood newspaper, and met with success. I then submitted outside my neighborhood and learned to accept rejection :) but did not stop writing and submitting.

Anonymous said...

When I think of strong foundation, I think of building my house on a rock. Daily in His word is building my foundation of my identity in Him which transpires to using my gifts wisely, including communication through writing.

Karen Lange said...

The things that have been a big help to my writing journey have been continued learning and actual writing. Then there are the friends I've met along the way, like you, who have been a help and inspiration! :)

quietspirit said...

I took a summer school class in typing. I took it as a non-credit class. (Good thing, I didn't do very well.

When I became interested in computers, I eventually took time to take Mavis -Beacon and tried to build up my speed. One day it told me I was too nervous.

Most of my 'foundation' has been self-taught. I am not a speedy typist. I once saw a friend who was our church secretary as she typed something. Her fingers were a blur as she touched those keys. Seeing that discouraged me. But I had to get over it.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda - Perseverance is necessary in the writing life and other pursuits.

Hi Lynn - Yes, I could never do what I'm doing without His guidance and favor.

Hi Karen - Aww, thanks!

Hi Quiet Spirit - It takes time to build speed and confidence with typing. All those years in school and decades in the business world have made it second nature to me. Don't give up. By the inch, it's a cinch. By the yard, it's hard!

God bless,
Susan :)