I’m a writing machine.
I not only write ezines and articles for my own websites (fredericpatenaude.com and the ezine you’re reading), but I also write full time for Renegade Health. I also write books, sales pages, and products.
I need to write at least 2000 words a day to keep up. But it only takes me 1 or 2 hours to do it.
What’s the secret to my productivity?
One is that I can type REALLY fast. I average 80 words per minute (wpm), but can type up to 100 wpm when I compose my own writing. Most secretaries only type 60 wpm, and the average “hunt and peck” writer will type 30-40 wpm, even when they have developed a decent technique.
It’s a no-brainer.
The faster you type, the more you can write. Also, typing fast allows you to essentially “stream your thoughts” onto the page. If you can type as fast as you can think, you will never lose a thought because you can type it immediately. But if you think much faster than you can type, you’ll lose your train of thought, and thus productivity, quickly.
How can I type so fast?
Years ago I learned Dvorak.
This is a special keyboard layout that’s been designed by a man named Dvorak. The layout is logical and meant to be effective with as few movements as possible. All of the most commonly used vowels in the English language are right under the fingers of your left hand. And all of the most commonly used consonants are under the fingers of the right hand.
The least used letters in the language happen to be the ones that are hardest to reach.
Now, the typical keyboard layout is called “QWERTY” because of the position of the letters on the first row. This keyboard was designed over 100 years ago with mechanical typewriters in mind, to avoid certain letters getting “stuck” together. It was basically designed to slow people down!
The QWERTY layout is an abomination. For example, the most common word in the English language, the word “the,” requires THREE extensions to type! In Dvorak, I can type this word in a burst—faster than I can think it or say it.
If you’re a “hunt and peck” typer, you should definitely learn Dvorak.
If you’re a trained QWERTY typist, it would be a good thing to switch. I know it sucks, but the Dvorak layout is much easier to learn. And once you get good at it, you’ll never go back. Furthermore, it’s much more ergonomic, so your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome will diminish dramatically. You will be able to type like a machine with economy of movement.
How do you learn it?
Google “Dvorak” to read more about it. Many websites have tutorials.
Initially I put plastic labels on my keyboard to learn the layout, but now I just change the settings of my computer. I never have to look at my keyboard, as long as I have the Dvorak in my head. On the Mac, at least, it’s pretty easy to do.
So there you have it, one of the secrets to my writing productivity!