I recently used a typing speed test, and it took me back to my high school days. See, back in high school, my mom insisted that I take a nerdy keyboarding class. And oh boy, was it ever nerdy. Aside from my deep and abiding love for Joss Wheadon’s seminal masterpiece “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” it might be the nerdiest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s also probably one of the most useful things I took with me from high school to college, college to grad school, and grad school out into the real world. 

Anyway, I was poking around online, and I decided to try a typing speed test to see how fast I’m actually typing. And it’s not that fast. About 60 words per minute if I’m really pushing it. What is a good typing speed? I have no idea! But, if I just look at the pretty picture posted below (alliteration skill leveled up), it seems like a good typing speed – good enough for our purposes, at least – falls somewhere between 45 words per minute and 60 words per minute.

If you want to match your own superhero skills against an online typing test, the test I used is here

Not crappy, but I’m not breaking records, either.

Now here’s the truth:
If you don’t know how to type, your blog is going to run into trouble somewhere along the road. The mechanics of getting posts written will occupy too much time and you’ll get frustrated. You’ll spend so much time focused on the physical process of getting your ideas onto paper that you’ll have less brain-processing-time to spend on thinking of ideas.

What you need is some typing practice.

But Wait! This is the 21st century! Rockets and iPhones and Robots that can order you pizza. Of course we can solve this tiny typing problem. Luckily for all of us living in the future, stuffy high school classrooms are no longer a requirement for building your typing skills. You can do all of your typing practice online. What a world.

If you can’t type, there are two main roads you can take

  1. You can find a free online typing tutor, and you can learn to type. It’s not hard, there are a ton of free typing tutors, and it’s a skill that will help you for the rest of your life. I poked around and tried out a few of the big places that popped up when I ran a Google search. After playing around, one of the best is TypingClub. They’re a Google Education partner and their program is actually used by a lot of schools as a primary curriculum. It’s free, and you don’t even need an account. I am not affiliated with them and I don’t get anything from them for referring you. Well, I get the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from a job well done, but no money or anything.
  2. You can skip the typing thing completely and go the dictation route. If you’re older, you should know that dictation software has come a long, long way in the past 5-10 years. The biggest change is that it actually works now. Revolutionary! There’s a billion free and paid solutions out there, but the best – according to what I’ve read – is still Dragon. This stuff isn’t free, but it’s good. You can dictate to it directly or you can record yourself on an external device and just give it the audio file to transcribe. There are versions for every platform in the universe (MacOS, PC, iOS, Android, Web) and there are payment models that let you use it as a service (pay-by-the-month) or buy it as a piece of software (pay-once-and-own).

Which solution you choose isn’t that important. What is important is to recognize that if you want to write great blog content, you first need to be able to get all of those great ideas out of your head and onto the blog. That means you might need some typing practice, or some dictation software. Whichever you choose, get your mechanics sorted out so the little details don’t become big roadblocks.

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