I can touch type

It is a shame but I could­n’t touch type until recent­ly.

One day in July 2013 my boss was pass­ing by my desk. It was not the first time he was pass­ing by me or noticed me typ­ing with two fin­gers. But that day he stopped by my desk and encour­aged me to learn touch typ­ing so I could type at the speed of my thought. He told a lit­tle sto­ry about how he learned touch typ­ing when he was in high school. A lit­tle lat­er that after­noon, he returned to his desk, which is at the far end of mine, skyped me to turn to him and smil­ing­ly skyped some­thing which I can’t remem­ber. In that chat he also shared the web­site he used to learn to touch type: http://www.typeonline.co.uk/index.html

Lat­er that evening, I checked this web­site at home. This is not the fan­ci­est web­site to learn touch typ­ing but I liked its sim­plic­i­ty. I clicked around on the links to see how the lessons are struc­tured. On one of the pages, I noticed a mes­sage that struck chord with me:

Typ­ing is learned by prac­tice.

Expert typ­ists are not born with an innate affin­i­ty for key­boards. They have not tak­en a mag­ic typ­ing pill. Nor do they rely on enchant­ed key­boards for their skill. They prac­tice.

So this sound­ed like a per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to put the delib­er­ate prac­tice the­o­ry to prac­tice.

751 days of prac­tic­ing as lit­tle as 20 min­utes a day, I can now touch type. I am yet to prac­tice num­bers row but I mas­tered the oth­er three rows. How­ev­er, it was­n’t easy in the begin­ning. I strug­gled a lot while start­ing to learn. But I accept­ed that as a part of learn­ing and put up patient­ly with each les­son. Every new les­son and new row was a strug­gle. Many a time, I used to prac­tice the pre­vi­ous les­son or row just to get going and not give in. Even­tu­al­ly I mas­tered all the three rows and then moved on to copy prac­tice lessons.

Anoth­er thing that got me going was the feel­ing of mas­ter­ing the key­board. Deep inside me I felt very hap­py to be able to type with­out look­ing at the key­board. One day I turned to my boss, pinged him in skype to look at me, and while smil­ing at him, I skyped and thanked him for nudg­ing me to learn to touch type. He was impressed that I took his feed­back pos­i­tive­ly and worked on it delib­er­ate­ly.

I con­tin­ued to prac­tice even after I learned ful­ly because I only need­ed fif­teen min­utes a day. I nev­er missed a day of prac­tice in the last 180 days. Now typ­ing has become my new nor­mal that I see no point in track­ing this habit. So today is the last fif­teen min­utes of prac­tice. I archived the habit in Lift and am not going to waste any more time track­ing this habit. I any­way type a lot as part of my job and hob­bies. 

For the records, here are the Lift stats:

TouchTyping Stats

My boss was not the first per­son to encour­age me to learn touch typ­ing. Dur­ing the first year of col­lege in the year 2000, one of my com­put­er sci­ence pro­fes­sors encour­aged our class to learn typ­ing. I took his mes­sage and in the ensu­ing semes­ter hol­i­days, went to near­by town to learn typ­ing on a mechan­i­cal type writer. I learned for about two weeks and even­tu­al­ly gave up and set­tled with two fin­ger typ­ing. 

Fif­teen years lat­er, I am glad I final­ly learned it.

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