It’s quite simple really when you think about it. Your fingers are moving on the keyboard and typically to eat you need to use your hands. Your fingers are attached to your hands.
This can cause problems, and hunger. There’s enough hunger in the world already, so I think this problem with eating and typing needs to be addressed before things get further out of hand.
In honor of that idea I’ve decided to profile what I think are the 10 best finger foods for fast typists. To make this post a little more interesting I decided to ask some different writers. I mean, you hear my rubbish each day. Aren’t you ready for someone else’s opinion?
So I asked 10 successful authors what finger foods they like to eat when writing. While I understand reading something written by someone else can be frustrating to your sense of duty, I really do encourage it. Each of these authors are a lot more successful than I, and they have good books too. Many of them have several books, and I bet you could find one at a cheap…er, affordable, price.
Here’s who I asked:
- Joe Konrath;
- Hugh Howey;
- Chuck Wendig;
- Russell Blake;
- Elizabeth Spann Craig;
- Lindsay Buroker;
- Dean Wesley Smith;
- Kristine Katherine Rusch;
- Brandon Sanderson;
- Stephen King;
Of those 10 authors, just 4 bothered to respond to my email (in bold). Stephen King was a long-shot, but I thought some of those Indy authors might respond. Guess I pissed them off on Kboards before I was kicked off. Or they might be too busy counting their money...it's hard to say.
So I’ll include what those email-capable folks think is the best when it comes to finger foods and writing, and maybe that’ll help you get a few more words this week.
Let’s face it, sitting and typing for several hours each day will ensure your body is functioning, and if that’s the case, you need to feed it.
But enough of that psycho-babble. Let’s get to the grub.
#10 – M&Ms
Those are all great things, and it’s for that reason that M&Ms have been chosen as the first entry on this list, taking the #10 spot.
Why such a low position? It’s simple – M&Ms don’t interact well with heat.
We’ve all seen a poor and unfortunate M&M on the sidewalk, a car dashboard, or God forbid, the new carpet. We’ve shaken our head at the rapidity with which it’s melted, spilled its juices, and generally contaminated the surrounding area with its Blue 1, Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6.
We also know that it doesn’t take the sun to cause such chaos. No, our hands are perfectly capable of the same results. But what isn’t so obvious is how our computers can do much the same.
Put an M&M next to your warm computer. After a day of typing, what does it look like? Mushy? Well, you’ve gotten lucky indeed. Imagine if that’d gotten into your computer?
M&Ms are good, but they need to be used safely. Computers are a risky place for the snack candies, and for that reason you should avoid them while typing.
#9 – Dark Chocolate
"I usually type faster when I'm not eating anything," she says, "but espresso and dark chocolate have that helpful caffeine stuff."
Ah, caffeine, that’s good stuff. I get my fair share, but not from coffee. Dark chocolate, however, is a pretty good thing.
First, it’s not as messy as milk chocolate, at least in regard to your fingers. What can be an issue with dark chocolate is how it’ll have little chocolate shards and slivers getting all over your work space. I highly recommend placing your dark chocolate onto a plate or a small napkin.
When I was in China I’d eat dark chocolate from IKEA while playing computer games. Little pieces would fall down to my lap and get under my butt. They’d then melt to my chair and pants.
So be careful.
#8 – Mixed Nuts
What that label also says is sodium. For the layperson out there, sodium is another word for salt. And salt is exactly what will be on your fingers after you stick them into that can of mixed nuts.
For typists this can be problematic. It’s for that reason that I suggest you use a cupping hand motion to get the nuts into your hand, and not on your fingers. Even better, slowly tilt the can back over your mouth so the mixed nuts poor in. This avoids the fingers coming into contact with the greasy substance entirely.
Nuts are healthy, protein-packed, and can get rid of those hunger pangs for a bit. If you get too many peanuts they’ll start to taste like mush after awhile, but let’s face it, chewing on more than a few handfuls of those nuts makes it all taste like mush after awhile.
When scientists are able to produce a variety of mixed nut where salt does not cling to the fingers this typist food will move up on our list, but until then we must for the sake of fairness and science keep this food at its current position.
That’s not to say there’re not other options out there. Take seeds. Brandon Sanderson enjoys “salted sunflower seeds in their shells when writing sometimes,” and I think this is a great idea.
You want foods that don’t take a lot of your fingers’ time. Sunflower seeds, unlike mixed nuts, can be sucked on and moved around the mouth. What’s more, you can even bite them open and get the seed out of the shell! This is amazing, and might allow you to write more.
#7 – Peanut Butter
Yes, if you put a fork or knife or spoon into the peanut butter container you can keep your typing fingers clean. It’s amazing!
But can that slow you down? It’s a possibility, and if you’re not pumping out that much already, it could be a concern. Take Dean Wesley Smith. Here’s what he said to me:
I'm not a fast typist, sadly. I sometimes crack a 1,000 words per hour with my four finger style.
But I do sometimes have a half spoonful of peanut butter and sparkling flavored water. That's about it.
It’s for that reason that Dean Wesley Smith’s advice is so good – take it easy, and perhaps just stick to that half spoonful.
#6 – Coffee
See, I don’t drink coffee. I’ve tried it a few times, but it just never did anything for me. I know most people can’t fathom that idea, but hey, that’s just me.
Other people will kill you if they don’t have their coffee. I can understand this as I smoke. Perhaps cigarettes are another for this list, perhaps for this #6 spot.
#6 is really a turning point on a list. It’s just past the halfway point, kind of that like a border crossing. You’re moving forward, or back, and change is inevitable. Coffee can help with that, I guess.
#5 – Coca-Cola
Have you ever woken up in the morning and your stomach feels sour from all the Coke you drank the night before? It happens to me a lot, and that’s because I routinely treat Coke as a food and put it away like crazy. It’s got calories and sugar and it hit the spot. But it can make you feel sick after awhile.
When that happens I typically switch to Mountain Dew. Soda, pop or whatever you want to call it pretty much takes up our #5 spot, and does a dang good job keeping your hands clean in the process.
#4 – Granola Bars
What’s so great about granola bars is their tendency to keep your hands clean. First, they’re really not that sticky. Second, this stickiness is alleviated by the protective plastic covering that encloses each granola bar. Yes, the wrapper can be wrapped around your fingers and used to hold the granola bar, allowing you to eat in peace!
It’s for those reasons that we’ve chosen this finger food for the #4 spot.
#3 – Pretzel Bows
I prefer to spill a large amount of pretzel twists out of the bag near my mouse hand. This is convenient. It’s also efficient, and noise-reducing. No one wants a crinkly plastic bag crying out like a banshee while your late-night writing routine is in full-swing. Do your eardrums, the people sleeping in the other room, and maybe even some of the neighbors a favor – don’t dig around in the bag.
#2 – Apples
There are plenty of ways to cut apples, but when it comes to finger foods that are great for typing you might do best with slices or chunks.
Like many foods on this list, we’re not trying to recreate the wheel here, we’re just trying to get a bite to eat. Elizabeth Spann Craig prefers them with almond butter, which might pack even more of a hunger-pang-killing punch. Apples can do that, and I urge you to try one today.
#1 – Rold Gold Pretzel Rods
And they have come. Right to your mouth. That’s the beauty of Rold Gold rods – you can hold them in your mouth while you’re eating them!
I know, it’s a hard idea to fathom, and even harder to swallow for some. But the bottom line is that you can get more work done with one of these damn things in your mouth than if you’ve got those stupid pangs in your stomach.
I can get a good 1 to 1.5 minutes out of a full-length Rold Gold Rod. I’ve gotten to the point where I can twirl it and spin it and move it around in my mouth. And when I bite down, far from falling from my mouth, the stick is moved backward further in my mouth with graceful and skillful actions of the tongue. It really is a sight to behold.
The only drawback I see with Rold Gold rod is their penchant for crumbs. Those can get stuck in between your keyboard keys, and anyone who’s hit the ‘s’ or ‘f’ and had nothing happen knows how frustrating that can be.
It’s a minor concern, and doesn’t take away from the superior handling and eating power of these remarkable snack foods. What’s more, Rold Gold rods will typically last in an opened bag for a good 5 to 7 days before moving from stale to mushy. That’s more bang for your buck right there.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this rundown, and I hope we can get more scientific minds on similar issues in the future. Thanks for reading…and eating!