One of the hardest impulses to overcome is editing while writing. I find using dictation software helps me avoid this problem.
I have been using Dragon for Mac for about ten years. When I dictate to compose blog posts, articles, rough drafts of reports and correspondence, I am freed up to concentrate on my message, not on spelling, grammar, and being perfect.
Some of us, including myself in this group, have a habit of expecting the first draft to be perfect. That just stops creativity dead in its tracks. As dictation software has improved, it is far easier to use, and the accuracy of voice recognition makes it a simple and efficient way to get words on paper. It is technology that is native to most Apple products.
I can speak more rapidly than I can keyboard. Most people speak an average of 145-160 words per minute. They type between 38-40 words per minute. And, there is something magical about watching my words appear on my computer screen. It inspires me to write. If you have not tried it, you may find that your writer’s block is a block against using the keyboard, editing as you go, and as I said expecting perfection.
We use different parts of our brain to create and to add structure. When you edit as you write, you are multi-tasking, and that means you are switching from one task to another which makes you stop and start. Not good for flow. Getting stuck on the finished product before the act of creation is almost guaranteed to kill expression.
Building Good Writing Habits
When writing a book, blog post, speech, or article, the time you save by using dictation software will pay off. Make it your goal to write an ugly first draft by dictating. Let it sit. Come back and edit later that day or the next day. If you cultivate this habit of creating a first draft and then coming back to edit that first draft at a different time, a better product will result. Ideas need to flow and time to develop. Most of us speak more rapidly than we can enter the same words via a keyboard, a pen, or pencil.
Write, Edit, Repeat
Consider this workflow: Set aside 10 to 20 minutes of writing time every day and using dictation software to get your first draft written. It makes sense that you will get more accomplished using your voice over your fingertips if you want to get your book written. Come back and edit the next day.You will see what works and what doesn’t far more easily than editing as you go. You could even create a mind map using dictation software. One of the things I like best about using Dragon, it works with most major software applications: like Microsoft Word, Scrivner, and WORDPRESS!
Take it on the Road
Dragon is not limited to your desktop. They also have Dragon Anywhere and you can install it on your smartphone or tablet.
It Will Save You Time
If you create a video, you can transcribe the audio. A podcaster can take an MP3 file and create show notes.
You now have a tool to help you write more rapidly, a way to edit and be prolific, not perfect.
You can purchase Dragon for Mac or PC.
She is a partner/founder of Book Marketing Mentor.
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