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All mouth and no fingers

This blog post is quite a departure for me, because I’m dictating it. It’s the first day of the UK financial year, so I splashed out on something I’ve been eyeing up for a while: Dragon NaturallySpeaking dictation software.

The seed was planted in January, when I listened to a podcast by the highly successful self-published author Joanna Penn. Her guest, Scott Baker, is a British journalist who, laid low by repetitive strain injury, turned to the software as a means of saving his career. Quite rightly, Baker used the interview to plug his book, The Writer’s Guide to Training your Dragon. Intrigued by his claim that dictating articles boosted his productivity, I immediately bought the ebook on Amazon.

Admittedly, I had my reservations. I sympathised with those writers who said, in other podcasts, that writing had to be done through the fingertips; that there was something unnatural and unsatisfactory about speaking the words out loud. All I can say is, I’ve had the software three hours and I’m loving it. More than that, I’m in awe of it. To conjure up the written word so effortlessly seems almost miraculous to me.

In a state of high excitement, I’ve been testing out how accurate the technology is. At times, this meant reciting the opening monologues of American TV series from my youth.

Sure, I have to make the odd change manually. But it’s surpassed my expectations enormously and my brain is fizzing with possibilities.

It may be premature to say this, but I can see myself writing the first drafts of all my future books this way.

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