Do you ever have this problem: the story/article is gelling in your mind and it needs to reach the page – NOW. Not 5 minutes from now, not after you’ve showered or had your breakfast. But have you ever experienced a time when the words start flowing like white water rapids and you grab a pad and pen or open a blank document and get those fingers over the keyboard and start capturing what you can?
When I get in this mode (which is great, I think, and thankfully not too common), I’ll be typing as fast as I can and start munging words together – because there isn’t a pause button for the characters’ voices in my head. I can’t rewind the words, and darn it if times like these don’t produce “the best” turn of phrase imaginable. Right?
When I’m chasing after my thoughts, if I don’t type fast enough, I end up creating funky words – a creative mix of 2-3 words that Word immediately highlights as a spelling error.
Also when I’m in the try-to-keep-up-with-the-thoughts mode, I end up typing variations of words – for instance “there” when I know it should be “their” or “they’re,” but I just type what is fastest and is best phonetically. The same happens with “your” instead of “you’re” when my brain is in overdrive.
“Lose” when it should be “loose” is another. Sometimes I just don’t have time for that second ‘o’.
When I’m writing to like that, which I actually refer to it as a ‘brain dump’, but it’s probably more PC to call it ‘brain download’, but I had these moments before I had computers, so, old dogs and all that… when I’m in that fast mode of writing, I muffle the internal editor with duct tape and shove him in a closet and lock the door (funny, I just realized the internal editor is male and my muse is female – that’s a topic for another post). Anyway, when I’m typing fast, I let myself do whatever is needed to get the words on the page and then I hope to catch all the typos before the final product is submitted.
In this post alone, which wasn’t overly fast, I had words such as “femail”, “fingrsca nkeep” and “chas in gafter”.
Do you ever type so fast to keep up with your thoughts that you create new words, or find yourself spelling phonetically? Or does something else happen when your fingers are chasing the invisible words? I’m curious to know.
(If you want to see what happens when you type fast, try writeordie.com. There’s various functionality you can play with, but one setting is that your words start getting erased if you pause for too long. Another is an obnoxious noise sounding. It’s fun!)
Lisa J. Jackson is an independent editor and writer who gives herself a lot of chuckles through word play. She’s also a New England region journalist and a year-round chocolate and iced coffee lover. She writes fiction as Lisa Haselton, has an award-winning blog for book reviews and author interviews, and is on the staff of The Writer’s Chatroom.