Muscle memory is yet another cool thing your brain does – it learns to group things together so that you can do them without thinking. For example, think about how you shift gears in a car (foot off gas, clutch in, shift, release clutch, press on the gas). If you try to think about each step as you do it, you’ll stall the car out in a heartbeat. Eventually, though, you just do it without thinking – your brain does it all for you as one complete movement. It’s how athletes, dancers, and musicians have their bodies in the right positions at the right moment.
It’s how you type.
I’m forcefully reminded of this at the moment because I have a new keyboard, and IT’S DRIVING ME INSANE. It’s bad enough when I have to use someone else’s keyboard and I realize that not all keyboards are exactly the same. The difference in where the keys are may only be millimeters, but that millimeter is enough to throw me off and litter anything I type with typos. And, dog help me when I’m at the in-laws and I’m using a UK keyboard: some of the keys are in a completely different place and it totally screws me up.
Because I’m suffering from wrist problems (ergonomics is something I’m now forced to explore if I don’t want to suffer for my art), I have a new ergonomic keyboard. It’s curvy and has the split in the middle, and I’m having a really hard time learning to type on it. It’s hard enough to adjust to a new keyboard with the millimeter spacing differences, or the difference in pressure it requires to hit the space bar, but this is insane.
The main problem I’m discovering is that I don’t use the “correct” fingers to hit the keys. The B key is on the left side of the split, but (and this is news to me) I use my right index finger to type the B. That’s not working out so well for me (and since there’s a B in the middle of my name, it’s coming up a lot). Those letters in the middle of the keyboard (T, Y, G, H, B, N) never messed me up before, but that was before I discovered that my dominant right hand obviously likes to take over some of the keys that belong to the left hand. And because those keys aren’t where I expect them to be, I’m messing up all the other letters as well. ARGH!
You don’t want to know how long it’s taken me to get this far on the post or how many errors I’ve corrected already.
And the space bar is sticky, requiring me to hit it harder than I usually do. (I think that might just be a fault of this keyboard, and Staples and I will be having a conversation about that.) I’m not the happiest of campers at the moment. (And this is why I suffered through with the old, non-ergonomic keyboard until the book was done. There’s no way I would have been able to write while dealing with keyboard issues. I’m hoping I’ll adjust before it’s time to start on the new book in earnest.)
I’m downright grumpy about the whole thing.
So, is it just me? Am I the only one who gets tripped up by the millimeter of difference between keyboards or the only one who has trouble adjusting to an ergonomic split keyboard because I forgot everything I learned in Ms. Router’s 9th grade typing class? Do you type properly? Correct fingers on the proper keys, wrists properly arched?
Or is this just a typical Problem Child problem?
Tomorrow we welcome Harlequin Romance author Donna Alward to the blog!