Healthy Writer Tips: How To Use Dictation For A Healthier Writing Life
I came across this interesting article from the always informative author Joanna Penn from the Creative Penn.
The article gives us reasons and ideas about writing through dictation as opposed to typing our stories. I’ve heard about a few author friends of mine who use the Dragon program to dictate their work, as well as Voice to Text, but other than that I hadn’t given the idea much thought – but I’m getting interested now.
“The word ‘writing’ has become associated with hitting keys on a keyboard to make letters appear on a screen or inscribing by hand onto paper.
But the end result is a mode of communication from one brain to another through the medium of words. Those words can be generated by your voice, just as people can ‘read’ by listening to an audiobook.
Famous authors who have written with dictation include diverse creatives John Milton (Paradise Lost), Dan Brown, Henry James, Barbara Cartland and Winston Churchill. When Terry Pratchett, fantasy author of the Discworld series, developed Alzheimer’s Disease, he found he couldn’t write anymore, so he moved to dictation in his final years.
So clearly, dictation is a method that can work for many writers and it has become an emerging trend for authors these days as technology makes it easier and faster.”
So, why dictate?
(1) Health reasons
“You can dictate standing up or while walking, or lying in bed with injuries, or if pain stops you typing.
I started using dictation when I had RSI and used it to write the first drafts of Destroyer of Worlds and also Map of Shadows, plus some chapters for this book, which I dictated while walking along the canal towpath.
Dictation can help alleviate or prevent pain right now, but learning how to write with dictation can also future-proof your living as a writer in case of problems later.
(2) Writing speed and stamina
Dictation is faster at getting words on the page than typing, especially if you are not self-censoring.
I’ve made it up to around 5000 words per hour with dictation, while I only manage around 1500 words per hour typing.
There is a trade-off with ‘finished’ words as you will have to at least lightly edit to correct transcription issues, but if you want to get that first draft done faster, then dictation can be the most effective way.”
(3) Increased creativity
“Some writers have a problem with perfectionism and the critical voice in a first draft. They struggle to finish a book because they are constantly editing what they have written. Continue reading . . .
Are any of you here using dictation as a mode for you writing? If so, I’d be interesting in learning how you find the process by sharing your thoughts in comments.