Why I don't type the 4th Step or fill in electronic forms to type the information for my 4th Step Inventory
Many times I get asked the question: "do you have an electronic form so that I can do my Inventory on my PC or a word processor?"
I'm going to post the latest question and my email reply here in the forum, so that hopefully, in the future I can just point others to my answer, rather than re-typing it each time.
Comments Dear Dallas,
> Thank you so very much for these great forms to help me with my 4th step.
> My question is technical; how can I edit or write my text into the
> electronic version of the forms? Must I print them on paper and then
> write by hand or can I enter the text on the electronic pdf form?
> Sincere Thanks, (name not shown here)
Hello (name not shown here),
The Big Book instructions for writing the 4th Step Inventory are specific in using the words "pen and paper."
There are also several references in the book to "precise instructions" and "carefully followed directions".
If we want the results that was produced by the Pioneers of the AA recovery program "if you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it"... then I would highly suggest that we follow their instructions precisely. And, part of those instructions are "pen and paper". Not a typewriter, not a word processor and not a computer, nor a pencil.
This is why I suggest that an electronic version not be used. (Meaning: an electronically generated form on a PC or word processor so that you can simply type your comments for the inventory into the form, in an effort to make it an easier, softer, and more efficient way to do the written Inventory)
I had the same question that you did, when I did my first 4th Step. "Can I do this with my word processor... it's easier and faster for me to type than to hand write it?"
Fortunately for me, I had the opportunity of meeting an long-time sober AA member that was a renowned Military Officer and head of a Veterans Mental Health and Psychiatry hospital, that personally answered my question for me. It was a very long and technical conversation in answering my inquiry as to the difference in hand-writing the Inventory and typing it. The bottomline to his answer was "the connection in communication with the mind with the physical activity of writing with the hand will tap into a specific and unconscious area of our mind and produce a different therapeutic result in the psyche of the individual." It was a very interesting and enlightening conversation, that I will be forever grateful that I had the opportunity to have! And, ever since that conversation I have never asked the question again... I just tried to do my best to follow the "precise instructions" that are written in the Big Book, regarding the taking and practicing of our 12 Step program.
I get asked this question so often, that I'm going to post your question and my answer in our forum, so that it might benefit others with the same question.
Nice to hear from you! And, best regards.