Could You Dictate Your Written Work?
2018 will go down in history as a milestone in my writing life. I got the flu in late December and it lingered into January. On February 20th – the day before my birthday – I fell and broke my arm. This wasn’t a typical break, mind you. When I do things, I don’t mess around. I shattered my radius and also broke my ulna. The break required a major surgical repair that knocked me flat for a good two months, with another two months of occupational therapy. Although I am grateful the damage occurred to my right arm – I am left handed – the injury was a life changing event, especially since I earn my living at the keyboard.
The universe works in mysterious ways. A few months prior to my fall, I invested in Dragon Naturally Speaking software and a decent microphone. After hearing a podcast on the Creative Penn with Monica Leonelle, I decided to go for it. (Check out the podcast here.) There was no pressure for me to master the process instantly, I was thinking of taking my time and learning to dictate my novels. The idea of preventing RSI issues – a real side effect of the writing life – and also writing faster, appealed. So I bought the audio version of Scott Baker’s great book, ‘The Writer’s Guide to Training Your Dragon,’ and made a commitment to learn to dictate. (Visit Scott Baker here.)
During the course of reading and connecting with other writers on Scott Baker’s website, I discovered that many dictate into a digital recorder while they are out in the world running errands or exercising. Dragon’s transcription function allows you to plug the digital recorder into your computer. With the press of a button Dragon will transcribe your recorded speech into an MS Word document. The technology boggles the mind! It all seems so easy, but learning to dictate, along with adding the punctuation as you go, is an entirely new skill set.
Hope this new year is off to a promising beginning for everyone. I know I’ll be spending my time training my dragon. How about you, fellow people of the pen? Could you dictate your work? Do you use dictation software now? How do you get those words down? Looking forward to hearing from you.