A Question of Speed
In the previous chapter, " The Word-Processor and I," I told the saga of my conquest of a new technique through sheer grit and intelligence.And now that my beloved Radio Shack TRS-80 Model II Micro-Computer and its Scripsit" Program are in place and working, the question is: How has this improved my writing?All the writers I know who are using word-processors are unanimous on one point. "Wow!" they say, "How it has increased my speed! Revisions are a snap; no more endless reams of scrap paper, crumpled, torn, and piled up around my typewriter.Zip, zip, and an article it used to take me a month to do now takes me a bare week."Then they clap me on the back and say, "You'll see, Asimov.Everything will go much faster for you now."And all I can do is sit in the corner and brood, because things can't go any faster with me. Let me list my problems:
1. In the first place, I type quickly—90 words a minute, when I am happy, carefree and in a good mood. And that's my typing rate when I am composing, too, because I don't believe in fancy stuff. In my writing, there is no poetry, no complexity, no literary frills. Therefore, I need only barrel along, saying whatever comes to mind, and waving cheerfully at people who happen to pass my typewriter.
2. What revisions? I change words here and there, insert or remove commas more or less at random, and occasionally cross out a sentence or insert a clause, but I would say that 95 percent of what I write in the first draft stays in the second (and final) draft. When an article requires, let us say, ten pages, I end up with ten uncrumpled pages, and there is nothing piled up around my wastebasket, or in it either.


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The Roving Mind
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