I never realized how much I relied on writing to cope with my world until he couldn’t do it anymore. It’s like a part of me is missing. Each day I stare at my computer and wish desperately that it could be so easy. I wish that I could just sit and type and pour my feelings onto the page but I can’t.
Speech dictation software can’t make up for the feeling of the keyboard under my fingers as I frantically type to keep up with my thoughts. It can’t make up for the quickness with which I change my mind as to what I’m trying to say or even how sometimes I don’t know what my next sentence will be until I have finished the one I’m on.
It can’t make up for the feeling of relief that I get from writing. Pouring my emotions and my thoughts onto the page, organizing them without even realizing I’m doing so. I type blindly. I type without always knowing where I’m going or what I’m going to say. Sometimes I just sit and write page after page after page and figure out what I’m going to do with it later. Some of those things stay on my computer hidden from the world, some of them end up on one of the websites that I write for, but many of them end up on my blog.
There is a frustration with the software. The fact that it so misconstrues what I’m trying to say to the point where sometimes what I was actually saying is lost and I’m never able to recover it. Sometimes I have a burst of inspiration and yet it fails to record a single word. And sometimes it’s just the frustration of needing to get out what I need to say and not being able to do that successfully.
I understand the implications. I understand that my doctors are going tell me that I need to use it. I understand that it is ideal if I want to be a writer to minimize the likelihood of further injuring my wrist or developing carpal tunnel in the other. But nothing can replace the sound of the clicking keys below my fingers while I type my thoughts, sometimes thoughts that I didn’t even know I had. Nothing can replace the glow of my computer screen lighting up keys that I couldn’t otherwise see in the dark of the night when my husband is sleeping and the world is quiet. Nothing can replace the feeling I get watching my words rapidly show up on a blank page in Word and being able to naturally and quickly respond to the words I see to form my next thought, to fix the thought I had before, and to keep moving steadily without stopping.
The software does not allow for that. The words do not show up as I speak. There is no clicking of the keys; there is no glow because I’m not supposed to be here writing this, speaking like I am now. And the frustration I feel from being bound is one that I didn’t know I could feel. I didn’t know how hard it would be to give up writing for a month. And I have been unsuccessful in doing so. In the week since my surgery I have written five blog posts. But I typically write five a day.
And the sadness I feel staring at my laptop laying there unused, and often even uncharged, is a pain I didn’t know I would have. I have lost something this week. And I’m looking at a month until it will come back. I suppose it is further proof that I am a writer at heart. But not proof I ever wanted to have, because I didn’t know that it would hurt this much.