If You Can Say It, You Can Write It

I think I’ve heard the phrase “you need to write a book” mentioned in more conversations this year than in the last 10 years.  The universe is telling everyone to get their message into a printed format to share it with the world.  Bonus: I’m following my passion to edit everyone’s messages, so it’s a win-win for everyone!

Anyways, the general response of a person after being told to write is, “I don’t have time” or “I don’t know where to start.”

I understand.  I have about 3 books swirling in my mind, but I’ve found the best way to get a first draft on paper – dictation.

This is the new age, dear heart, and we have new tools at our disposal.  My comment back following such responses is “you dictate it, I’ll pull it together.”

We’re talking about voice-to-text notation.  Google Docs using Voice Typing (free, you just need to set up a Google account) and Evernote (can be free but I pay ~$6/month for expanded storage) or Dragon Anywhere, which is a paid subscription, superman dictation application with a mobile iPhone/Android app option called Dragon Anywhere.

All of these options will allow you to share your document with yourself to proofread, or with a co-writer, second reader or editor.  The important takeaway is that all you have to do is TALK and you will get your first draft WRITTEN!

My tips for a successful voice-to-text book:

1. Pick an application that works for you and allows you to share the resulting document with others.

2. Use headphones with a microphone.  Even the iPhone headphones that come with your phone will do, but for the most clarity, you may need to hold that microphone piece a bit closer to your mouth plus you block ambient noises so you can concentrate on telling your story.

3. Do not read the text as your dictating.  Keep it blind.  You’ll find yourself getting caught up in making immediate corrections rather than getting your overall message captured.

4. Don’t forget your descriptors – if you’re telling the tale of a woman overcome with grief, describe her body language, her salty tears rolling down her cheek as she felt her heart shattering into a thousand pieces, a silent scream choking her as she struggled to breathe.

Just get it down on paper.  Getting that first paragraph, page, chapter can often feel like you’re climbing Mount Everest.  Utilizing voice-to-text makes those accomplishments feel like ant hills.

“It’s perfectly okay to write garbage…. as long as you edit it brilliantly.”  ~ C. J. Cherryh

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