Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Dictation as a New Writing Technique

So I am trying something new with my writing—dictating what I am saying while performing other tasks.  Since most people can talk faster than they can write or type, myself included, this means that I can now do an entire first draft of a piece while I am in the middle of driving home, or standing in line, or… pretending I am crazy…?  The time this is going to save me will free up my schedule for other projects, like wood carving and sculpting commissions.  (I may even manage to get a few words in while doing those, too.)
It’s a little awkward to start off.  I’ve already fumbled quite a bit, and this is already the second take.  I’ve already transcribed the first recording, and now I am just skipping over it as I read while adding a few clarifying thoughts as I go.  It’s making it a little easier to rearrange my thoughts.
This post marks the very beginning of an experiment, wherein I am attempting to become a better, quicker writer.  I intend to get my word count up, probably close to the 10,000 words a day mark.  I have noticed this from other writers across the internet.
I would recommend every writer getting a recorder and playing around on it.  You may even start off with something like, “Hi, my name is [insert name].  So, yesterday I heard…”  It doesn’t matter what you say.  Just hit the pause button when you actually pause to think, and then hit resume when you’re ready to continue with your line of thought.
I did discover an inspiring passage out of a book called 10,000 Words a Day: Survive and Thrive by Jessica B. Fry on Wattpad.  She is one among several writers who say dictation is supposed to increase your writing speed.  I’ve seen a lot of posts on Wattpad, Pinterest, Tumblr, and elsewhere on the web, that these writers have actually been able to reach the 10,000 words per day mark.  Jessica, Rachel Aaron / Bach, Hugh Howey, Kevin J. Anderson, and a few others claim to have reached that goal consistently.  Keven J. Anderson says he publishes over eight novels a year.  And all of these writers are bestsellers, meaning they have quite obviously not sacrificed quality for quantity.  Keven J. Anderson also has a freelancer he pays to transcribe his recordings—they work nearly full time while he is out having a fun time, hiking in the mountains, dictating his story—or whatever he is working on.  I want to be like Kevin.
If I do what he does, I am thinking about adding a notebook or something during my own trips of epic awesomeness.  The notebook should keep me from wandering off topic.  (Hooray for bulleted lists.) Anyway, each of them says dictating didn’t come naturally to them.  They all practiced at it, which is what I am doing for this post.
When I began this post, I originally only hit the pause button maybe twice within the first three minutes of my time frame.  It’s pretty cool.  My earlier attempts a year ago failed drastically.  (Ten minutes of static silence, and four badly stuttered words.)  I also composed the original draft of this on my way home, driving my mother-in-law’s black Nissan.  What a sweet piece of machinery.  Once home, I sat down and transcribed it all, and this is the second take, where I am re-organizing my thoughts.  What you are reading is the edited second transcribed draft.
I would highly recommend this because this has already saved me about an hour.  I’ve only been home an hour—plus I did dishes and several other things…and another horrible practice recording where there where pans crashing in the background while I was talking.  (Our house is messy and I drop a lot of stuff, hehe.)

Boom, baby!

I have a lot to work on.  I’ve hardly reached 700 words for this post alone!  Not bad starting off, though.  One hour and thirty minutes to from start to finish, editing included.

Here are some links to my source material, if you would like to read their full articles.

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