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The Hover Theory of Writing

“Running is flying.” So says Paul E. Richardson in his book of the same title. He backs up the assertion by pointing out what photos and slo-mo video confirm: “When you walk, one foot is always on the ground. When you run, most the time you are actually airborne . . . 76% of the time. So don’t think of it as a 10-mile run. Think of it as 7 miles of flying.”

As a trail runner, I find this math appealing, even if it doesn’t make the 7 miles and 1,000+ foot elevation gain to the top of Dimple Hill any easier. “No worries,” I can say to my sweaty, gasping, lead-legged self, “you’ve got wings on your feet!”

But could I also apply the same math to my writing? For every second a finger is actually pushing a key down, are there three or so in which they are flying?

No, not flying. How about . . . hovering? Yeah, that’s the word — hovering. I’m guessing that even with the complexity of ten fingers factored in, the majority of the time most of my digits are hovering over the keys. Sure, hovering because they are not needed for the creation of a particular word — “no, Z, you are not invited to the redundant baby shower.” But more often hovering because I am thinking about what I want to say next. Hovering while I consider how I want to say it. Hovering as I make sure I know why. Hovering while I ponder nuances. Or just hovering while I wait for my mind to un-blank. Lots of hovering.

So running is flying, and writing is hovering? What do you think? Anyone up for doing a scientific collection and analysis of data to prove or disprove my Hover Theory of Writing? I’m waiting, fingers poised . . .