So, I'm feeling super proud of myself. Only a week has gone by since the last blog, and here I am! You're proud of me too, right?
So here's my next question--What works best for you: typewriter, fountain pen, dictating, computer, or longhand?
At the beginning of this year I would've said a computer. 100%. I type very quickly, and it has allowed me to be much more productive than I would've been otherwise. Plus, I really love my computer. However, recently, I tried dictation again. I am in love!
I've tried dictating several times without success. Every time I tried, even a little once upon a time story, I completely blanked. Once upon a time there was a girl… and she lived in this big house… and she was sad. Yeah. That's about as far as I'd get. I tried a few more times, until finally throwing up my hands and admitting defeat. I just wasn't one of those authors. Dictation wasn't for me no matter how awesome it seemed to be.
I operated under that assumption for another two years until reading a blog post by Kevin J. Anderson. If you've never heard of him, he's a big science fiction and fantasy author. I even read his Young Jedi Knight series while growing up! Anyway, he's a huge supporter of dictation (and has been for forever). He has the amazing ability to go hiking in the mountains with his recorder and dictate thousands of words. Just the thought of it makes me greedy to do it. Being outside. Not being tied to a desk. Being able to write my story while at the park with my kids or while in my car running doing pick-ups and drop-offs. His post said:
"Always keep in mind that, like any other writing technique, dictation is a skill that must be learned. Give it time and practice. I started out carrying a recorder to dictate occasional notes because I liked to walk while mulling over story lines and developing characters. This habit evolved into speaking outlines, laying out scenes, and then detailed rough drafts. Now it’s graduated to near-finished prose.
Some people try the recorder once and give up, claiming that it feels too “unnatural.” By comparison, writers are accustomed to thinking up sentences, breaking them down into words, spelling those words, then moving their fingers across a scrambled keyboard to put down the prose one letter at a time. (Remember, the QWERTY keyboard was intentionally designed to slow down typists!) Just talking out loud doesn’t seem any less natural to me!" (Full Post)
Well, I really wanted this to work for me. I knew that not only would dictation increase my productivity because I be able to write more during the day, but dictating would also be better for my health long-term. The effects of sitting at a desk too long are well-known, and I didn't relish the thought of back pain, carpal tunnel, eye problems, or the other assorted issues writing would bring. So I kept trying. I tried several different programs, dictating both fiction, emails, and anything else I could come up with (I'm dictating this blog right now!). It was amazing! It became more natural, so much easier with each and every attempt. I don't dictated stories completely, but they're usually always at least 50/50 dictation and typing. One was even 90% written by dictation.
It's awesome! If you've been thinking of trying it, I highly recommend you do!
Until next time, friends!