I don’t mean to say that I am blocked or struggling with a chapter or a sentence or a word. Far from it, inspiration seems to come when I need it to at the moment. Motivation might be an issue and I am often too lazy to write, but that’s by the by.
I don’t have a problem with WHAT to write. No, what I mean is that I am rubbish when it comes to the physical act of getting words written down. I have been writing since the age of eight when I used to thrash out short stories on my Dad’s typewriter (Remember them? Typewriters?) and as such I taught myself to type before keyboard skills were a basic requirement for all. What I never did, then or since, was teach myself to type properly. I am at best a two-finger typist, and more accurately a sausage-fingered typist. I constantly hit the wrong keys, regularly type the letters in the wrong order, and often more than one letter at once. The backspace key is the most used on my computer as I never get more than three words along before I am deleting the nonsense my fingers have slapped onto the screen. In short, I can’t type.
I am no better when it comes to the old-fashioned pen and paper. There are several letters that I have somehow never got to grips with. Namely d, f, j, k, B, E, G, H and Q. Not the most common letters, but they still tend to crop up and I’ve got a sort of mental block, almost a written stutter. I see a k approaching and get nervous. My handwriting is shocking anyway, which doesn’t help. It always has been. I remember parents evenings at school when I would get glowing reports in all subjects except handwriting. In junior school we were graded and ranked at the end of each year and I came top all the time. Sometimes I would deliberately get answers wrong because I was embarrassed to score 100%. I got A+ in everything. Except handwriting. I prefer to work in pencil a lot of the time and it was only recently I realised that this is because it makes rubbing out and rewriting easier.
And it isn’t just letters. The amount of numbers that trip me is increasing. I’ve never understood how to do a 5, but more recently I have issue with 2 and 8, and 3 isn’t far behind. I got 90% at maths in my final school exam, I move numbers around spreadsheets for a living. But can I write them down? No.
The two most important subjects – Maths and English – I excel at. But when it comes to writing down the results of my thinking, well I flunk that every time.