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Writing in the dark
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torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2007-08-01, 22:41

I was poking around scrivener's forums yesterday just to see how people were using it and I came across a thread about turning off your left brain. Someone suggested using full screen mode and dimming the screen entirely and just typing. No correcting, no editing, no re-reading. Just typing.

I tried it for the first time last night, and I was amazed at what came out. I started writing this story. I have no idea where the ideas were coming from and I have no idea where the story is going but I can't wait to start again. It's like reading a good book!

In general, I don't think I'm a very good writer but this story is not the usual "me" writing. It's almost as if it's someone else doing the typing. I love it!

Anyone else ever try this? It seems to work for me.
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Wrao
Yarp
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
 
2007-08-01, 22:44

I've written emails this way. On a plane, in an effort to save battery life. I found that the emails tended to go a lot longer than I normally would have written. Partially out of boredom, but also, because after a short while, I stopped thinking about what I was typing and just sort of kept typing.
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709
Damned
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2007-08-01, 22:59

I can't type to save my life. I *feel* like I'm quick (the interweb tests tells me I'm about 50 wpm), but I'm sure that has to do with me honing my 'hunt and peck' style over the last years.

Although, when I initially read your post I thought you were asking if there were any other people that wrote without looking. I do this all the time at meetings and whatnot, and I can tell you honestly...it freaks people out.

I'll be asking a question while my hands are finishing up taking notes from the last conversation and...well, let's just leave it at that. People gape.

Fucking primates.

So it goes.
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2007-08-01, 23:02

Are there seriously that many people out there that can't type without looking?

I guess I just take it for granted that everyone my age can type pretty much without looking. We've been raised on the computer our whole lives, so I guess it just makes it a comfort issue with being able to type without looking.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2007-08-01, 23:02

I'm writing this message with my screen turned off and with my eyes closed. What I fing funny is that I'm actually hitting the delete key when I realize that I acciidentally hit the wrong key. Now, ley's see how it turns out...

*screen on*

Eh, not too bad.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-08-01, 23:04

Okay, I'm gonna give it a try now. Just typing along, not really thinking about it...I'm fast. A monkey on a keyboard, that's me. I've not looked or thought, really. Just starging at my Lucinda poster...

This is boring.



Screen back on...NOW.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-08-01, 23:05

Ha...one typo (and no, "starging" isn't a euphemism for masturbating). It's an extra "g"...
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2007-08-01, 23:09

Huh, cool idea for stream of consciousness writing - of course, I pretty much do that anyway... *spew*
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709
Damned
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2007-08-01, 23:11

Bra p0s le b04di' _4 efqo3d/ 'wie3/
UTWG. p
. uk3t032 PIM3.
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FFL
Fishhead Family Reunited
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Slightly Off Center
 
2007-08-01, 23:13

Hmm... seems kinda silly to me, but I'll give it a try.

Kind of a stream of consciousness thing I suppose. It's definitely a strange sensation....


that's all I got right now :/
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2007-08-01, 23:13

I've had a few people ask me how I'm able to type without looking at the keyboard, and more than that ask me how I type without looking at the screen. It certainly comes in handy when I need to type and look at, say, a whiteboard at the same time.

I've also had people ask how I can write without looking at the paper.
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zsummers
Avast!
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New York?
 
2007-08-01, 23:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
Bra p0s le b04di' _4 efqo3d/ 'wie3/
UTWG. p
. uk3t032 PIM3.
Drewprops?
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709
Damned
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2007-08-01, 23:13

Wow. I totally suck.

There's something in there about Paul and Brad being my bitches, and I am indeed their pimp....but, well...that's not quite how things turned out.

So it goes.
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ghoti
owner for sale by house
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
2007-08-01, 23:16

I believe drewprops also experimented with this last night.

But seriously, this is perhaps like artists and architects drawing blindly to come up with interesting shapes for inspiration, or brainstorming where you're also not supposed to criticize or evaluate, but just shout out ideas. Sounds like a cool way to translate these techniques to writing.
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Wrao
Yarp
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
 
2007-08-01, 23:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
I'm writing this message with my screen turned off and with my eyes closed. What I fing funny is that I'm actually hitting the delete key when I realize that I acciidentally hit the wrong key. Now, ley's see how it turns out...
.
Yeah, I do that too whenever I type with the screen off.
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709
Damned
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2007-08-01, 23:21

Christ on a stick.

I'm going to be looking at how I might of actually created this nonsense for the rest of the night.
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Kickaha
Likes his boobies blue.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2007-08-01, 23:27

Seizure?
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2007-08-01, 23:27

I always subconsciously hit the delete key when I'm typing and I know I made a mistake without even looking down at it. i have my pinky finger just trained and used to where it is and how to use it.
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World Leader Pretend
Ruling teh World
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston, MA
 
2007-08-01, 23:42

How the hell do I turn off my iMac's screen?

I guess I'll just look away. Here it goes!

BRand and scates were haveing fun together in a tree when all of a sudden this dude in a mittored outfit with a chew toy was machining a set of twenty two inch rims.

omg freaky!
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-08-01, 23:46

The spider bite is obviously affecting you in ways you're not aware of. I'd go get it looked at again.
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Wrao
Yarp
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
 
2007-08-02, 00:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by World Leader Pretend View Post
How the hell do I turn off my iMac's screen?
:
f13-f15 control brightness on my iMac, maybe they do on yours as well.
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RowdyScot
Ice Arrow Sniper
 
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2007-08-02, 00:16

I suppose thid could ne a bit better, but whatecer. Hooray for typing in the dark.


*lights and screen back on*

Eh. Better than I expected.
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joveblue
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Melbourne
 
2007-08-02, 01:36

Once upon a time there was a squirrel and a monket and one day the squrrel decided to go to the fair so they went and bought some ice cream from a lady with no teeth who gave them a weird smile and kinda freaked them out and they ran away but it was no good, she was too fast for them and then they thought,"hey why is the weird toothless woman chasing us OH MY GOD IT'S SPIDER PIG OVER THERE" so they rushed over to where a group of people were stanging around spider pig and joined in with them singing "spider-pig spider-pig, does whatever a spider-pig does..." and then they noticed that spider pig had a peg leg and so they grabbed the peg leg and used it to attack toothless lady who they just remembered was chasing them coz they could hear her discusting breathing from 15 metres away and they wondered why she had slowed down and saw that she had stopped to get a showbag from the hard-candy stand and they laughed because she couldn't eat the hard candy and she was getting angry and they could see the rage in her eyes as she approached and so they swungt the peg leg at her and she grabbed a deck of cards out of the showbag and threw it at them and she said "now you have to play 52-pickup MWAHAHAHAHAHAHHA" so they did and then they took some multi-vitamins THE END.
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PB PM
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2007-08-02, 01:39

I find that I can write without looking, since like many others I have been using computers all of my life; we got our first Mac when I was 2 (Mac SE). That said I actually picked up my typing skills in grade 8 since my school had a typing class, and although I thought it was dumb at the time, I'm thankful for it today because I no longer hunt and peck unless for some reason I'm holding something, like a piece of pizza.

As for writing though, I don't look at all, because I write my first rough draft on paper, so I'm reading as I type.
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crazychester
Dick in the Abstentia, The
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-08-02, 03:43

Don't worry 709, I can't type without looking either. My attempts would either look like yours or I'd take 15 minutes to write 3 words because I can't even remember where all the keys are. We used pens when I was at school.

I've got a typing program. I used it once, found it fun and was quite pleased with my efforts at the end of my first practice session. Then I went back to using (approx.) 4 fingers and haven't practised touch typing since. Which, of course, isn't quite the idea. I have a lot of trouble adjusting when I go from the full size keyboard on the desktop to the 12" PBs too.

I'm really jealous of people who can touch type. It's something I really wish I could do.
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Koodari
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2007-08-02, 06:41

I learned the basics when I was about eight. We didn't have a computer at home but I got access to some computers for short periods of time provided I left them in working order. I found a cardboard chart that showed which key is meant for which finger. Then I just sat down with Notepad, put my fingers on the home row and started typing a copy of a random document page laying on the desk on my right side. Since I wanted to type without looking, I absolutely refused to look at the keyboard. When I had no clue where the key I wanted was, I would look at the chart on my left side, if necessary, and then attempt to find the key by touch and wait for it to show on the screen. Again and again, never lifting the fingers, never looking at the keyboard. It took a few hours each day of one weekend. I was awfully slow and made mistakes, of course, but by the third day the chart wasn't necessary.

Stubbornness ftw. If you want to learn to touch type, you will learn if you make the decision to never look at the letter keys again. It might help if you do like I did and start by typing something that has no function. Just duplicate some random page of a book or magazine you have on your desk. If you were doing actual work or posting on forums, you have secondary goals and that might cause impatience, a subsequent slip and looking at the keys.

I do the same thing as Brad - automatically deleting missed characters. I think conventional typing training would try to squelch that reflex because it interrupts the flow of typing, and would encourage a separate correction step instead. But it would make sense that reflexive correction is actually good when you're not typing a long text, but short, expressive commands, and you have to almost immediately correct them anyway before executing.

Otherwise my typing is pretty vanilla, but I reflexively switch between language layouts mid-sentence to reach native characters, then go back to US QWERTY. I use Cmd-Space for the toggle.
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torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
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2007-08-02, 07:01

I do the delete thing automatically, too. I've been trying to suppress it while I'm doing this writing exercise. It's not just writing without looking, it's writing without processing. It's pretty fascinating.

I think ghoti got it closest to what I'm shooting for. It's a really interesting experience.
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2007-08-02, 08:28

Seeing that my iMac can't reduce brightness sufficently to allow me to type in dark, I'll just have to look away.

When I first saw this thread, I thought it was about *actually* writing in the dark. You know, with a hand and a pencil. This would be more fun than typing, whichi is really supposed to be touch and go anyway.

I honestly don't know why 7-9 would be freaked out if he saw a person writing without looking down. I do that all times in mclases, taking notes. It's the only way to keeping taking notes and not miss out the information.

I'm afraid I'm failing miserably the objective Torifile described; writing without processing as even though I'm staring at my window to world outside, I'm still thinking about where I'm typing and hitting backspace when I have made wrong keystroke here and there.

Myaybe I'll do better with writing with my hand.
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InactionMan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2007-08-02, 08:51

I'm pretty sure that I suck at tuping without looking at the keyboard. Though I did take tuping in frade -. I think I usually tupe while glanncing away and only check the keys to make sure my hads are centred.


Jesus, that's pretty awful.
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Bryson
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2007-08-02, 08:58

My touch typing is pretty terrible. I 'm not sure if pressing deklete when i know I've made a mistake wiythout looking counts,? Does it? WHO KNOWS.
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