During the second half of 2022 I had to undergo two operations on my right eye after I was unfortunate enough to experience a detached retina. This wasn’t the most wonderful of experiences, however I did at least get my sight back in that eye, even if it isn’t now perfect. However, while all this was happening, I started experimenting with ‘writing’ my books using audio and that turned out to be very informative.
I had tried using a digital voice recorder many years ago to record any writing ideas that came to me as I was driving to and from work. It was one of those that is supposed to start recording automatically when you begin speaking, then turn off once you stop. The trouble was, the background noise from the car engine and any other traffic just confused the unit, so I gave it up as a bad job.
Roll forward many years and there I was recording on my phone and occasionally making a rather half-hearted effort at using the Dragon Speaking software I bought yonks ago to use on my PC. The truth is, there is a lot more to it than simply recording your spoken words because after that you need to turn those into written words and that’s not as simple as you might expect.
However, the really interesting part of this experiment had nothing to do with the tech. No, what surprised me was how differently my brain works when I’m dictating rather than writing a story. It was a completely different experience. The flow isn’t the same, the words I use are different and the stop start nature of a lot of the act of creation which feels entirely natural when writing felt completely wrong when speaking the words.
Of course, with audio you also no longer have the words you’ve already written right there in front of you, easily referenced if you need to check something. But it was the difference in the way my brain works that really stood out and, the truth is, I didn’t like it. Maybe it’s habit, but flashing those digits across the keyboard or scribbling a pen across a sheet of paper is by far and away my preferred approach to writing. How happy I am that those two operations were successful.
Image by klaushausmann on Pixabay