Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Blind write

I've been experimenting with different methods of writing while I can't see what I'm writing. Usually on my PDA, which has a screen too small for me to read comfortably unless my nose is an inch away from it, but yesterday I wrote with my monitor turned off.

Why, you ask, would I want to write blind? I'm very easily distracted by colors, shapes and patterns, for one thing, and I was curious to find out if I could speed up the process by removing everything that might otherwise be slowing me down.

It's a very odd thing. Once you lose all visual association with the words you write, you become much more internally focused. Your direct relationship to the words you write grows intense. Concetration sharpens (there is nothing to tell you where you are but your head.) The keyboard suddenly feels different, bigger, louder. There is a terrible urge to turn on the monitor and see the words, almost a panicky urge, but it passes.

I timed myself, and I don't write any faster when I'm writing blind. I do prefer writing on the PDA versus a computer with a switched-off monitor, because even if I can't read the words on the PDA, I still can see they're there. Writing while facing a dark screen is a little creepy, as if you're staring into the abyss. Too much of that and I might start writing literary novels.

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