Posted by: Jodi | August 6, 2012

The #1 Essential Writing Skill

Like any craft, writing has its own unique set of required skills.  If I was to ask my fellow writing buddies what the most essential skill for writing is they would most likely list things like plotting, story arcs, character development, world building, and pacing, to name a few.

I’m thinking on a different level.  The Absolute #1 Skill that a writer must have is, wait for it…

Image Attribution: KaterBegemot http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html via Wikimedia commons

Touch Typing.

There, I said it.

Think about it.  A carpenter who has mastered the technique of hammering nails will work far faster and better than one who misses half the time and either damages the wood or bends the nail.  With the time saved not having to make repairs the carpenter can devote more time to the finishing details.

A writer is much the same.  One who can touch type, or type without looking at the keys, can get their thoughts out on the page faster than one who has to fight to find the letters.  This is especially important when the story starts flowing.  A touch typist can ride this wave of inspiration faster and further before distraction comes along to break the train of thought.

The less time spent inputting our ideas onto the page means more time to revise, edit, and make them shine.

It’s never too late to learn to touch type.  There are dozens of great sites online that teach this valuable skill.

If you don’t mind the ads one of the top free typing tutor sites is Typing Web – it tracks progress and drills the different areas of the keyboard.  The premium version removes the ads and unlocks additional levels.

Another site is Power Typing – although not as well designed as Typing Web, it’s ad free and has other useful features.

Happy typing!

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Responses

  1. ‘ere, ‘ere, chum! I’ve often waxed reflectively about the good choice I made way back when. I took typing because I thought I might want to be a writer one day… and it made my years of work in computers by far more simple.

    • Nowadays they only require a typing course in middle school, so that’s all I got. I wish I had more. Thank heavens for free online programs!

  2. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

    Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.

    • Bravo! Well done. There is a delightful book called “Ella Minnow Pea” by Mark Dunn, I think you would like it. The reason I mention it is that it centers around those two phrases.

    • Just checked it out on Amazon and Wikipedia. Sounds like a fascinating book, Jodi. Thanks.

  3. [...] Quest, mentioned an intriguing book ~ Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn ~ in conjunction with her post, The #1 Essential Writing Skill, written to extol the value and virtue of typing skills to [...]


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