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I have a problem. For many years of playing games, I've developed a strange habit; I write with all the fingers on my left hand, which is very nice. however, I only write with two fingers on my right hand. All this is from playing games where I constantly had to move my right hand from the mouse and back to the keyboard.

I've previously tried to get rid of this behaviour, but it is proving difficult, even with following various Touch-Typing exercises. I write okay fast, but I would still like to use a prober system. Do any of you have a technique to get rid of this behaviour and or train it in a certain way?

Or should I just keep at it and train it with normal touch-typing training.

closed as off-topic by JP Chapleau, Weathervane, BugFolk, Mark Baker, Craig Sefton Mar 2 '18 at 18:28

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    I'm not really sure this falls within Writing's scope. (Sure, you're asking about a problem encountered during writing, but you aren't really asking about writing, but rather about using a keyboard.) Let's see how the community feels about it. – a CVn Mar 1 '18 at 9:52
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    Rule number one when touch-typing is to know and use the home row positions. Do you? – a CVn Mar 1 '18 at 9:53
  • I would cover your hands and keyboard with a cloth and do touch-typing exercises. – S. Mitchell Mar 1 '18 at 9:57
  • @MichaelKjörling #1 Sorry about that. Thought it was the most appropriate for the networks to post the question. #2 I do know the usage of the home row, but it feels very uncomfortable with my right hand, because of the weird posture I've been used to. The solution is probably to keep at it and train.. – Hermansen Mar 1 '18 at 10:02
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not specific to writing – JP Chapleau Mar 1 '18 at 14:05
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Just keep on writing! The more you write, the more used to it you'll get :)

I'm also a gamer, and English isn't my first language, so writing in English was a big struggle for me a few years back. I was generally slow to type, even in my first language. But as they say, practice makes perfect. If you're writing a relatively large story, you'll notice that, once approaching its end, you'll be typing a lot more quickly - and effectively/efficiently - than when you started.

Also, if it serves any consolation, I just noticed that I too type with only two fingers on my right hand. While not the most optimal way of typing - and I did take some dactylography classes - it is the quickest I found. To be completely fair, had I kept on practicing typing after those classes, I would be using all of my fingers from both hands without raising them or looking at the keyboard every now and again, but even still, it's quick enough where it's not really a problem.

If you still want to get the best practices (or as they say, the "correct" way of typing), I definitely recommend taking some typing classes. They're massively boring and repetitive, but ultimately helpful!

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I'm going to suggest a writing exercise! You do need to practice a new habit and I would encourage you to research alternative keyboards or keyboard layouts (strange breaks habit: learn to type in Dvorak so that you no longer know where the keys are). The others are right: otherwise you need to type a lot.

But writing a lot can be hard, so make it beneficial. There's an exercise used to learn style and voice and it is that you literally transcribe whole works of fiction. Set a schedule and do this long enough and you will hopefully learn a thing about the author you admire and at least get more used to typing normally.

Also, Set up a training regimen the way some people learn to run. Type the right way for a set amount of time. Then as an interval you can switch back. But every day lengthen the time you type normally. Shorten the time you type gamer style. Look up: interval training.

This will be absolutely difficult, but it will be better for your hands.

  • I'll definitely try it out, kicking ol' habits can be hard lol =D – Hermansen Mar 1 '18 at 14:37
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Brains Do What Is Easiest

The challenge is that our brains tend to want to do what is easy. Over the years, you've built neural pathways which fire very easily. Now those pathways fire much more quickly and cause you to continue the old behavior/habit.

What you need to do is figure out some way to not allow yourself to cheat. Since it is likely you are not truly touch-typing but looking at your keyboard the most direct way to retrain yourself is to not allow yourself to look at your keyboard.

Distraction

What you really need is a distraction. You need to distract or disallow your current behavior. The best way to do that is to start a touch typing tutorial / software of some type which forces you to type while you look at the screen.
You may find it necessary to hide your hands and keyboard underneath something so you absolutely cannot cheat.

If you do this, it will feel terrible at first as your brain thinks it is ridiculous to make something difficult which is apparently so easy with your two fingers.

If you'll commit to looking only at the screen and learning to find the keys by distances using only appropriate fingers you will find that after a couple of days your typing speed will grow at amazing rates.

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    I did find a very nice website to teach this stuff, and I never look at my keyboard. However, I find that whenever I focus on something else than typing with the new system it becomes so much easier to find the right keys with the prober fingers. – Hermansen Mar 2 '18 at 21:32
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    Interesting that you can get around the keyboard (touch type) with only the two fingers. I can only do so by knowing my fingers are on home row and then my brain knows the distance to each key after these long years of typing every day. I initially learned to type with WizType on a Commodore 128, which you can play online via emulator at : archive.org/details/… :) – raddevus Mar 2 '18 at 21:35
  • I can use all the fingers on my left hand for touch typing hehe.. just not on my right. =D I've written a few novels for myself and just normal typing after so long anything is possible. – Hermansen Mar 2 '18 at 21:51
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    Switch to a Dvorak keyboard. It may be a better distraction. – Kirk Mar 2 '18 at 21:54
  • I've actually thought about that as well, might give it a go. Thanks for the suggestion – Hermansen Mar 3 '18 at 0:33

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