I am just learning to touch type in my early forties. Everybody else seems to know how to do it already, but I went to a girls’ school where it was a feminist issue. They expected us to find jobs that came with a secretary. Well, no one close to me has one of those any more, I’ve never had one of my own, and the last time I had access to anyone else’s was nine years ago.

I’ve never seen my four-fingered technique as a handicap. In fact I always assumed it helped me write fiction because it slowed me down to think about my words.  And I hate the idea of learning new things. The only reason I started in this case was because my eldest son finds writing really difficult and is allowed to use a laptop in school. I wanted him to learn so I tried too.

But now I find, in a good moment, I can type words almost as fast as I think them. How did I not see the advantage of this before? I am writing pieces in half the time I did. And I am feeling more inspired.

I recognise this feeling from the one time I did Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, but in April with self-set and, in my case, lower word count goals). If I didn’t write 1000 words a day, the line on my stats chart would drop- perish the thought. And as I dropped sentences on my page, in too much of a hurry to worry in the same way about punctuation and ‘great writing’, more came, with fresh ideas for my novel, new short stories and articles.

Soon my son will overtake me, and I’m not sorry about that. I’m just grateful he made me learn in the first place.



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