24 Feb

What I unearthed when finally learning to touch type.

Time for something new

I’ve been in hibernation over the winter, which has given me time to try something I’ve been wanting to learn for a while.
Touch typing.
Yes, of all the things that could’ve captured my attention!
I realised that I type a lot; emails; notes; research etc etc. So, to learn how to type more efficiently would be handy. I’ve tried to learn to touch type a few times over the years, but recently I found https://www.typingclub.com/ a great free training website.

Start at the Beginning

I let myself become a total beginner again, and start at lesson 1. It meant I only typed with my index fingers on ‘f’ and ‘j’, aligned to the little notches on those keys. I let myself go along with the training programme the site offered, not trying to second guess what level I thought I should start on. It felt a bit silly, as I was saying to myself that I can already type, so I should be starting somewhere else, but I wasn’t clear where, of course. Over the years I developed my own special way of typing, using the classic index finger technique, poking and prodding the keys, moving on to my ‘non-standard’ touch typing style.

Let something else happen
This time I put my pride to the side and just followed each lesson, with new keys being progressively introduced. Interestingly, a few lessons in, I realised that I didn’t have to move my fingers or hands (or shoulders!) very much to type. I noticed my fingers were tapping away at the exercise and I wasn’t really thinking about what I was doing with my fingers, they were almost doing it themselves! Other times though I’d crash and burn and get in a right mess.

Where am I in this?
What I also started to notice was how I ‘d tense up and become slightly contorted when I was struggling. I’d get frustrated and started to consider giving up. But then other times it flowed easily and I’d stay more balanced and less stressed.
I was getting to know how I habitually react to stress. Now I must come clean, I teach the Alexander Technique and it has some great tools to unearth some little nuggets of information. I can  bring awareness to myself, start noticing my habitual patterns and begin to develop new more beneficial habits.

Bringing it into the everyday.
Now, I wouldn’t say I’m a touch typist, but I’m much further down that road. When I’m typing notes, emails and blog posts! I can bring this awareness to the activity and sprinkle some Alexander ideas, and notice how things change – if they change. Using the touch typing site was a handy way to just practise typing, without worrying about what I was writing, so it was a bit easier to pay attention to what I was doing with my mind and body in that activity. Which brings me to the disclaimer: Touch typing isn’t essential to having a happy and successful life. But it was something I was into learning and in the process I opened up some space to learn about myself. And that’s a handy thing.

Come to a workshop
I’m running a new short course in Tottenham starting on the 8th March exploring the basic ideas of Alexander’s discovery, through games and fun experiments.

If you’d like to come, you can book a place here. Or contact me for more information.

Give the Typing Club a go, and let me know how you get on, or feel free to write a comment below.


The image used has a Creative Commons License