On using your fingers, at all times, correctly

Each morning I sit down to journal, just for 3 pages, no more. Anything more is indulgence.

I start from the realm of dreams and sit, bleary-eyed, at my desk, hot cup of tea in hand, in my right hand, my writing hand. It makes it hard to write, sometimes.

And in my left hand? My journal, the pages of the book. I hold it flat, pushing down with my forefinger – in fact all my fingertips become engaged in the business of holding open the book. A noble pursuit. Better than using your fingers to keep a book closed. Better than holding your fingers aloft, waving them in the air and pontificating. Better than using them to cast books on a pile.

No.

Let all fingers do nothing but hold pages open – and turn the pages softly, or hurriedly, from one to another. Let fingers keep your place on the page, help you to speed read or slow read, dwell on a passage or cover up the ending in anxious anticipation – but always, always, let your fingers keep the pages open.

That is, I think, the correct way to use your fingers, at all times.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.

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