Dictation.

This book marks the first time that I had really tried out dictation. To be completely honest. It’s not my preferred writing method… but that is more related to the inherent learning curve involved rather than a judgement on the method itself. I have found that there are several ways to dictation.

  • Some people dictate straight into a program (such as scriverener, word, evernote, etc.) using dictation software (dragon is one of the better known but there are several built in programs as well now). Which is probably the fastest-most direct approach.
  • Another approach is to dictate into a recorder and use a software program (again such as dragon) to transcribe the recordings into your document for you. This allows for a little more flexibility. On the go dictation if you will.
  • My preferred approach isn’t “true” dictation I guess. Only because I prefer to record and then type out myself what I dictated. More time consuming for sure. Definitely not the most streamlined. But I find that listening to what I rambled on about helps with the creative process so overall I end up in the positive for progress.

Here are some things I learned through the process.

  • The facebook group Dragon Riders-Authors Dictating  is an excellent resource. They talk about what mics work best… what issues each of them might be running into… different solutions that have worked for them. I’m not a huge facebook fan. But this group is a good one.
  • You can’t dictate anywhere. Pretty much anywhere public and quiet. So libraries for instance are out. Depending on how comfortable you are looking like you are talking on the phone or to yourself… most other locations are fine.
  • There is a definite learning curve. In a way we have all trained our brains to think in a specific way. I am used to seeing the words on a screen (or paper). It’s weird not being able to go back and reference the last sentence you just “wrote”. I found myself getting stuck because of it. Once I got over it though and pushed through it… it went okay.
  • You have to get over the sound of your own voice. To this end its okay to say “um”… it is also okay to have large silent gaps where you say nothing. Or other sections where you completely gloss over exactly what is going to happen (when you say nothing more than need to figure out how xyz happen).
  • You also have to be okay with the fact that sometimes when you say things… it sounds weird even though when it’s written it sounds fine.
  • You have to speak your punctuation. Or don’t I guess. It’s not like it can’t be added later. But generally you want to say it as you are writing it. Again, just something that comes with a learning curve.

Overall. I like dictating. I think its a far healthier approach and I think once I really get it down it will be one of the best ways to massively increase my productivity. Currently though I use pretty much whatever approach works at that time (a combo of dictation, straight typing, occasional pen and paper, and good old iphone keyboard (my thumbs hate me)).

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