How many words a minute can you type?

My friend PM wants to go into freelance writing. I think it can work for him. He’s determined, has a nice writing style, and knows how to hustle for work.

typing skills for business writers

But typing is a problem.

It’s that simple. He pecks and pecks at the keyboard.

Last weekend, his house he showed me some gizmos, ‘hacks’, and shortcuts he’d put together for the new move.

He’s bought three books on time management, productivity, and Getting Things Done. All good investments.

On his MacBook he installed the Hemingway app. It’s designed to keep you focused when writing. Haven’t tried it. Have you?

And there were a few other things. You get the idea. He’s ready to roll.

“But how about the typing? I asked.

“I’ll sort it out. Don’t worry.”

“But if you plan to work full time as a writer, touch typing is critical. It really is.”

He still wasn’t convinced.

We did a typing test.

What did he get?

12 words a minute.

“Do the maths. At this rate, if you have to write a 2,000 word white paper, how long is it going to take?”

“3 hours, maybe.”

“And that’s just the first draft. If you have to do two more drafts, we’re looking at 10 to hours. Maybe more because you’ll get tired as you type.”

After much arm-wrestling, I persuaded him to get the Mavis Beacon typing course. If you think of the time it makes – not how much it costs – it’s a no-brainer.

The things is if you get paid by the word, by the line of code, or by the number of slide-decks – any kind of service, then efficiency must be high on your list.

I learnt to type on a typewriter. I’m ok, but I know I could and should type faster. I still work at it.

Learning to type will never be cool.

But it puts money in your pocket.

How about you?

How many words per minute can you type? Does it even matter?

What do you think?

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