Notes From the Wasteland No. 35 ‘Do You Remember Learning to Drive?’

I think I type too fast. In fact, I know I type too fast. Way too fast. So fast that without fail almost every sentence I type I end up typing twice, once riddled full of errors and then once having corrected all the errors.

Does this happen to you?

I’m sure it does and when it does, do you find it irritating? I know I do. I find it incredibly irritating. I find it breaks my flow and makes me stutter and pause and that’s because every time I see a red line I have to attend to it, I can’t just leave and go back. I wish I could, that would be far simpler but I can’t, and because I can’t, it feels like I’m doubling my effort for half as much.

Do you feel this way too?

Should I have more control of my digits? Should I type slower? The answer to both questions is always of course I should have more control and of course I should type slower but if I do then would I lose out on some kind of spontaneity? Does slower and more controlled mean that my writing would suffer? As I sit and type this I have to say that I don’t have an answer. Maybe I don’t need an answer? Perhaps what I’m doing is actually writing and editing at the same time?

Is this even a thing?

If it is then I may have stumbled upon some kind of cosmic truth, like rolling back a stone and finding something valuable and lost to the world, something important, rare, even. But that’s not likely and in all honesty what I think is much more probable is that I have simply spent so much time typing that I am now over-sensitive to the whole process, acutely aware of every single, solitary tap of the keyboard. Its all a bit like driving a car. When I was learning to drive I was conscious of every single action and movement and decision I made as I was driving. That’s fine, that how you learn, by being hyper-aware, and, of course, once I passed my test this pattern continued for a while longer. I was careful, cautious and considered – the way all drivers should be. Over time, however, I noticed that I wasn’t remembering so much of the journey. I would get in the car, start it up, head off and arrive at my destination; the thinking-everything-through part of driving faded somewhat as I became more experienced and driving became more automatic.

Did this happen to you too?

Perhaps, then, with all hype aside, my returning to focussing on every single aspect of the writing process, and despite the grumblings above, is a good thing? Why would I say that? Perhaps it means that I am learning to write, again, differently, more effectively? Or, perhaps even more simply, I am still learning to write – I just had forgotten that simple fact.

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