Jessie: in New Hampshire hunkering down for the long winter slog.
One of the best things about being a writer is the built in necessity of trying new things. You expect to be asked to create new books, imagine new characters, describe new settings. There are new themes to explore, new voices to use, even new publishers to partner with. But some parts of the process seem set in stone . They appear inflexible and unlikely to invite new methods or ways of doing things. Which is why outside influence is so important.
I’ve noticed from my friendships with other writers artistic types often find life partners who are tech savvy. It’s a pattern I’ve followed. My beloved husband is one such man and he is always delighted when I show the slightest inclination to be interested in technology. I should’ve known that when I mentioned I had read an article on dictating novels he would pounce on the notion.
I should’ve realized when I was handed a light weight box from under our Christmas tree that my life was about to change. On Christmas morning I slipped the wrapping from a beautifully packaged gift to reveal my very own copy of dictation software. Truth be told, I felt as though I’d been offered a dare and I wasn’t sure I was up to it.
I kept the box, unopened, in a credenza next to my desk, until today. I had put it off for long enough, I told myself. It wasn’t as though I had no idea how to speak. It wasn’t as though I was a particularly good typist. I’m still not sure what made me wait so long.
I think I felt as though my stories came out my fingers, as if they couldn’t find their way past my lips. But it turns out they could. This afternoon I wrote an entire outline for my next Beryl and Edwina novel. I at least doubled my word count per hour compared with my typing speed on the first try. I can’t imagine what it will be like when I’ve mastered the technology! I feel like a whole world has opened up in front of me.
As a matter of fact, I dictated this entire blog post. I may never type anything again!
Readers, which things have you tried lately that have surprised you? Writers, have you ever tried dictation software?