With the first week out of the way and the frustration that came with it. As I have now got a good grasp on the layout I can now focus on attempting to improve my typing speed, at the end of week 1 it was up to 17 words per minute and I am attempting to not only get to my normal typing speed of 32 words per minute but to surpass it and reach at least 40 words per minute within two months of starting.
I have now been learning Dvorak for 2 weeks and while it still has its challenges my speed is steadily increasing, at the end of the second week I did a typing test and had a typing speed of 23 words per minute so after two weeks I am already half way to my goal of 40 words per minute.
I have also been finding the muscle memory that was a problem has lessened and is only a problem on less used keys. What I have discovered is one issue I was not expecting, normally I type on a mechanical keyboard with back-lighting (if you don’t have a mechanical keyboard I recommend you get one, they are brilliant to type on) what I found was the back-light from the keys (in the QWERTY configuration) was causing me to make more mistakes, so I am no longer using back-lighting (not that I need it now).
One thing that you may find interesting is that while still possible it is taking a little longer to make the switch back from Dvorak to QWERTY (now a minute or two longer) although once this switch is done I have no issues typing on QWERTY except for a slightly decreased typing speed, but not enough to be a problem.
After three weeks I have reached a speed of 27 words per minute while a smaller improvement over last week I am still well on my way to reaching my goal.
The muscle memory issue that I was contending with is almost completely gone mostly only occurring when I am attempting to hit individual keys when I don’t have both hands on the keyboard.
Switching from Dvorak to QWERTY is becoming more difficult and where before my QWERTY muscle memory was interfering with my Dvorak typing now my Dvorak muscle memory is interfering with my QWERTY typing, but so far this only lasts for several minutes. While at this point it is not a problem it is something I will have to attempt to remedy, hopefully by just using the QWERTY layout more as so far 98% of the time I have been using Dvorak.
While attempting to learn a new keyboard layout and possibly increase my typing speed I have learned several things one is that it if you can get past the first week things get much easier. The second is that it is possible to know two keyboard layouts, while obviously you are going to be better with one than the other using someone else’s computer is not an issue (at this point anyway) but may require that people use the QWERTY layout some of the time to maintain their skills with it. This removes one of the big issues that people have with learning a new keyboard layout. As for the other issue of the time it takes to learn, It only takes a couple of weeks to get to a point where it is usable (although still slow) but at the steady rate at which I am improving it should not take me long to get back to my normal speed but this will vary from person to person.