Writer’s Workshop: Why The Sound of One Hand Typing?

Image by Simon from Pixabay

I know I’ve told this story before, but maybe not to this audience, and there are some new folks, so here we go.

After my stroke in 2007, I had no intention of ever writing again, because my right hand was crippled and I thought I needed both hands to type. The longer that went on, the more I realized that I missed writing, and soon I was teaching myself to type with one hand.

I had it in my mind that I was going to be a great author, and I had read somewhere that, if you plan on being a great author, you need a blog to publicize yourself. So I started this blog, and as a joke I went to the old Zen koan "what is the sound of one hand clapping?" and modified it to The Sound of One Hand Typing.

After a few months of thinking that I was going to be a great author, I realized, much to my chagrin, that the only writing I was doing was for this blog, and that any time I sat down to write, I just didn’t have it in me. Upon closer examination, I realized that I don’t even like to read fiction all that much.

I said, okay, so I’ll write nonfiction. I knew I didn’t want to be a political blogger, because there was already a glut of those, and because, every time I started to write about politics, I would get like John Cleese in this clip…

Well, I knew I didn’t want that, so I figured that I would just write about whatever I knew and whatever I was interested in, so I started writing a lot about music, and started adding other topics as I went along.

I discovered blog hops early on, specifically the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, where you start on April 1st with a word that starts with the letter A and proceed through the alphabet that way on each successive day (except Sunday) until you reach a word starting with Z on April 30. My first year, I used the words from the NATO Spelling Alphabet (alpha, bravo, Charlie, delta etc.) for my daily posts. I had so much fun with that, I sought out other writing challenges, like One-Liner Wednesday, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, and this here Writer’s Workshop.

in 2014, after I had been doing this, I decided that on July 1, I was going to start posting something every day, and see how long I could keep that up. So far, it’s been 2,796 days….

I enjoy blogging: It gives me a challenge and keeps my mind occupied, and gives me something to do since I was forced into retirement. I’ve met a lot of nice people along the way, found some incredible writers, and that has given me a purpose. I hope everyone has enjoyed what I’ve done here…

32 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Why The Sound of One Hand Typing?

  1. What a neat back story! I remember hearing the same thing about needing to establish an audience before becoming an author. I think your blog has scratched that itch in the way it’s very much like a memoir in and of itself!


  2. You remind me of my co-worker Kevin. He only has use of his left arm and has taught himself like you to do amazing things. His was one of the shares we had at work this week.

    Such joy and levity your posts bring. If you one day decide to get a lil political or do a JHR = John Holton Rant, I’d read it simply because of your way of looking at things. It is often enlightening.

    I like the goal of posting every day and have done so myself but only 1294 days. Nowhere near your streak. Now I need to count backwards and mark the day I started at least one a day for posterity.


  3. I love John Cleese and this is so funny(reminds me of my hubby). I’m glad you are writing and educating me on all the music out there.


  4. I knew the story, but the number of consecutive days I did not know. Wowzers, John, that’s an achievement!


  5. I, for one, enjoy your writing, John!

    The John Cleese clip reminded me of how so much of my writing, and that of others, has taken on more of a political vibe in the past two or more years. Sometimes, it’s difficult not wanting to sit down and vent, just wanting to be heard through some writing rant.

    The back and forth comments with you help to keep me grounded at times.

    Stay well, my blogging friend!


  6. You also are incredibly helpful with technical advice. I still appreciate learning about IFTTT for simulcasting my blogs. Since I type for a living, your blog name caught my eye right away. So glad you are here doing what you do.


  7. I was familiar with your story but I always enjoy reading it – I find it inspiring. I also love your blog and your choice of subject matter. Keep up the good work!


  8. It’s a win-win for you. You’re enjoying the writing, and writing what you enjoy.

    At the risk of being controversial, I think there are a fair few people who don’t like reading who seem to think writing is an easy way to make a few bucks. Then again, they throw out so many titles, they probably do 🙄


    1. Mary will read some books that have been available on Kindle Unlimited, and I’ll hear all about how bad the stories are, not to mention the abysmal quality of the spelling, punctuation, and grammar. I know just what you’re talking about…


  9. Hi John – well you’ve achieved a wonderful ongoing blog – and as you say kept your body, and brain going with the challenges of writing even with one hand on various subjects – always delighted to see what you’re recommending for us – here’s to lots more – cheers Hilary


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