Thursday, October 12, 2017

Trying something new

Have you ever tried something new, something you never really thought you would?

Many years ago, I watched a movie that involved a writer who "wrote" his books by dictating them into a voice recorder (a simple tape recorder of the 80s or early 90s) and then typing them up. Of course, there was more to the movie than just this act - it was a thriller than involved the writer somehow "knowing" all the murders his unknown, evil twin committed and writing those criminal acts into his novels. I don't remember the name of the movie and I can't remember if it was really any good, but I was fascinated by the idea of writing by voice.

However, I love writing by hand. I do. I have notebooks and journals filled up to attest to that. I have a love affair with paper and have a tough time not purchasing more journals than I need. So, why use talk to text?

1. I  had surgery many years ago on each of my arms for nerve damage from sports-related injuries. I gained back 95% of the use of my hands, arms, etc - including my sense of touch. However, I still have my clumsy-fingered moments and I'm older now. Any surgery and any scar tissue can slow us down as we age. (Okay, I'm not ancient yet but I am in my 40s and I feel it.) A really cool ergonomic keyboard helps, but it doesn't solve all the issues.

2. I slouch when I sit and this is causing neck pain and back pain. My chiropractor tells me that I have to lay backwards over an exercise ball at least twice a day for 5-10 minutes to resolve this and I need to get up and move (plus, sit up straight).

3. I just need to get up and move more. I had two surgeries this year. It's been six months since the last one and although I have to take baby steps for exercise (biking 16 miles in one day last month set me back again by three weeks), I am struggling to diet and exercise appropriately to deal with my excess weight and regain full health. Obviously, there's more to solving this than just talk-to-text, but this is one way that I have decided to tackle it.

So, I just ordered Dragon Naturally Speaking - a software program that I've heard nothing but good things about for around 20 years (I had a relative who needed it because he had MS). I will see how it goes when it gets here.

Hopefully, I don't have an unknown evil twin out there who will dictate crime thriller novels into my brain. Unless, of course, they are best-sellers ...


BTW - I will finally report back about my experiences with Duotrope in my next IWSG post.

14 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I hope the software works for you.
I'm in my fifties and I know what you mean by feeling it...

Cherie Reich said...

Good luck! Some authors do really well at dictating their work. I'd like to try it out for outlining first. I do realize typing another 35+ years isn't feasible. Heh.

John Holton said...

If you can get NaturallySpeaking to work for you, more power to you. I never could, but then I'm not exactly patient...

Natalie Aguirre said...

Hope the software works for you. And that your health conditions to improve. Oh yes, these last years since my husband died I have done SO many new things that I never thought I would do. I am much braver about trying things (I don't like change) now that it's been forced on me.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I have Dragon Naturally Speaking and while I don't use it as often as I should, I love it. It works really great for non-fiction.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I've heard of it, too - good luck with it! And I hear you about the fitness and the slouching. I keep saying I'm going to stand more and work, but I just haven't done it. Hmm, maybe for NaNo....

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - me, too. Although ... I'm already having some tech difficulties.

Cherie - I think that's a great idea. I'm planning on revising/rewriting some teaching materials with it and outlining first, and then I'll see.

John - I'm not either. It just arrived today and my husband is helping me download it ...

Natalie - I'm not sure I'm brave, but I'm working on it. :)

Diane - I can imagine it does. I'm planning on switching some of my work over to that method and keeping some of my work with keyboarding.

Madeline - Thank you! We can have an extra NaNo challenge - Stand & Write! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean ... good luck with Dragon - I think it's pretty good - once one gets used the idiosyncrasies of it ... take care and hope your health resolves itself soon ... I'm sure it will - all the best and good luck with that Dragon - cheers Hilary

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Hilary!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I've noticed more aches and pains in my 40s too. Sigh.

I love writing by hand too and I also am a journal buying junkie. For some reason, I have the hardest time dictating. It's like my brain can't spit it out without the use of my hands. Heck, I can't even talk without flapping my hands.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I can't wait to hear how this goes for you. I don't know if I could work with that or not. I make a point to not sit longer than 40 minutes when I'm writing. I get up and walk around or do a few chores. I also am guilty of collecting more cool journals than I'll ever use.

Stephanie Faris said...

I remember watching a 48 Hours about romance novelists where they showed a woman dictating her book into a tape recorder during her commute every day. I tried that with the Dragon app on my phone--but it was about 10 years ago. And I found I personally don't write well that way. It feels weird to me. However, I did work with a man who was great at telling stories but he was a horrible writer. I advised him to dictate his stories into his phone and have someone turn them into a book. He never did it.

Nick Wilford said...

I hope that software works out for you, and I also hope your general health recovery continues to go well. Can't imagine dictating to write, but needs must as the devil drives - we adapt, don't we? Good luck!

Julie Flanders said...

I hope the software works well for you. Will be curious to hear how it goes for you. I hope your overall recovery continues to get better as well. You've really been through so much. Take care!