Dictating for the First Time

Alright, we’ll see how this works. I have my headphones in now, so I don’t know if it’s going to record up here or on my phone itself. If I have to hold it, it’ll be fine.

Anyways, hello! I decided to go ahead and try this texting, like, walking dialogue to dictating. I was going to get there eventually–this dictating thing.

Totally what I look like while on my walk…like thirty years ago.

So I could walk and still get work done. And I have a perfect excuse, because my friend is out of town and her kitties are hungry. And she happens to live in the neighborhood next to mine. So, what a good excuse to try this talking thing. And, you know, there’s a hungry kitty. Well, there’s two hungry kitties, but only one comes out to say hi.

So, I don’t know, one of the kitties might eat the other kitty if I don’t go over there. Who knows what’s going to happen? It could be chaos.

But I just got back from Superstars Writing Seminar. I feel okay. I feel tired, but, you know, that’s what happens when I socialize a lot. Well, I’m tired a lot. If I don’t start this when I’m tired, I’m never going to start it.

But at Superstars, I sat through Kevin J. Anderson’s “How to be a Dictator” talk. I’ve seen it before, but I think he made some changes–or I was just listening better this time–because it hit home for me.

I used to be like, “There’s no way I can dictate and walk.”

I mean, I’m not shy. People have looked at me my whole life like I’m crazy. So that part doesn’t bother me. Plus, I’m holding a phone. I might be having a very important business meeting. I mean, people have no idea I’m just talking to myself, right?

So modern dictators have that advantage. I don’t know how people used to do this. Maybe that’s why KJA hikes in the mountains so nobody can stare at him weird.

But, uh…

This is a stock photo. I have not gotten good enough to talk and take pics at the same time. Apparently I have to do this more than once to get good at it.

Aw, a little duck in the pond. It is a pretty nice day. Can’t complain about the weather. Sure, a month from now it’ll be 115 degrees, but right now it’s like 66, which is cold for me. But not cold for walking.

Anyway, what I was trying to say is I’m not good at this yet. My brain will wander. ADHD is a gift and a curse all rolled up into one. But, like K.JA said at his talk, he didn’t start out writing entire books.

When he started dictating, he would do like I’m doing now, write a blog or a newsletter, or work out a problem in the story, something along those lines, something that wasn’t just sitting down–or not sitting, the opposite of sitting–just walking and talking out the entire story.

Finished prose, I’m pretty sure is what he called it. That’s the bit that takes time to learn. The circular talk I tend to do in conversations, and the spacing out I do while on my walk will be minimized as I get more practice in.

Because I didn’t just sit down at a keyboard and type. I’ve been doing that since I was seven or eight. I’ve been talking for even longer than that. Many, many more words. Ask anyone.

Surely I’ll be able to do this. Just gotta practice and learn. So we’ll see what happens.

But, so you know, this is my first blog that I have written while walking. It’ll be better. I promise. I hope. Yeah, I don’t know.

We’ll see you next time.

(I put these together in paragraphs, because the speech-to-text software made everything a separate sentence on a separate line. Otherwise, I left it pretty much like I spoke it. The software did a pretty good job. I’ll keep practicing. One writer at Superstars said they went from 100K words a year to 400K words when she started dictating. I have to walk anyway and I have nothing to lose. So here goes the next journey.)

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