Voice Writing

National Novel Writer’s Month is all about maintaining a word count EVERY DAY until the end of the month. The pressure to not only find time for writing but also produce the volume of words gets heavier and heavier as the month wears on.

It’s brutal out there.

To write, I have to sit. When I sit for too long, my lower back starts to ache, even if I get up and stretch regularly. ‘Sitting is the new smoking’, I keep hearing. I decided I wanted a standing desk. Specifically, an adjustable sitting/standing desk because standing all the time isn’t good either.

Talkin’ about one of these bad boys right here. Image source: varidesk.com

Talkin’ about one of these bad boys right here. Image source: varidesk.com

Back at my old office job, I had a very bizarre setup. Plastic totes and cardboard boxes were arranged so that I could stand and work an hour and then take it all apart so I could sit and work for an hour. Only to put it all back together again after another hour.

I’m not mad at you, StandiDesk. It’s not your fault you’re garbage.

I’m not mad at you, StandiDesk. It’s not your fault you’re garbage.

It was cumbersome to say the least and I eventually abandoned my Standi-Desk Deluxe™ and just dealt with the back pain.

I’m writing now more than ever and I still face the same problem. Adjustable desks are just so expensive but I resolved to save up for one. My back counted on it.

Then I heard about dictation. Honestly, my Facebook feed wouldn’t shut up about it. From Joanna Penn (her blog is pretty cool) to sneaky little internet ads letting you know that you’re constantly being listened to through your phone, the idea was presented to me.

”I can’t dictate,” I thought. “I need to see the words as I’m writing them or else I’ll sound stupid. And I’ve got too many unique words in my novel. No app will know how to handle them.”

But I gave it a try. I downloaded the free Voice Notebook for my phone.

And now I’m not going back.

That FIRST DAY, I tripled my required word count and I’ve only gotten faster with practice. Saying ‘period’ after a sentence doesn’t feel so weird anymore.

After joking about it online, a fellow author gave me the idea to just substitute words and do a Find and Replace to swap them out when I’m all done. So Ashira is now Amy for the time being.

I made the app crash when I tried to get it to type Mwarthes though. Good job, you snakey bastard. You killed some software.

Also, I walk about when I’m dictating, just like whenever I’m talking to someone on the phone. Not only am I not sitting, I’m getting a little more exercise too.

Plus, my dogs follow me around because they’re trying to figure out why I’m shouting at my phone.

Pictured: Me. Not Pictured: Two confused dogs who really are in it just for the snacks. source: Pixabay, user zazu70

Pictured: Me. Not Pictured: Two confused dogs who really are in it just for the snacks.
source: Pixabay, user zazu70

I recommend giving it a try if you’re looking to increase your word count or to decrease your back pain.