I recently got my first iPhone. Actually, I’ve had a smartphone in the past, but I hardly ever used it. My excuse was I couldn’t afford it, which turned out to be true, so for several years I used one of those pay-for-the-minutes phones that grannies use. (Wait a minute…I am a grannie!)
But I finally decided to update my phone. The decision was made easier when my son-in-law (bless his heart!) said he would add me to his account, just so long as I didn’t run up the bill the way his wife did. There’s no chance of that.
Then I discovered this thing called The App Store. Wow, you can find everything in there. One of the things I found was a dictation app called Voice Recorder. I downloaded it, then discovered I had to upgrade to get the recording transcribed. Okay, I sort of expected that. It wasn’t very expensive.
So now I’ve started dictating my chapters into the phone and transcribing them. I then send them to my email, cut and paste into a word document, and then edit.
Well, that’s the theory.
It turns out that I am not an oral story-teller. I usually sit at my computer for hours at a time, struggling to get first one sentence and then another sentence transferred from my mind to the memory circuits of this computer. It’s a slow, painful process, frequently interrupted with trips to the refrigerator, often channel surfing on the TV, switching to Pandora in the hopes that music will inspire me, then going back to TV to see if my favorite talking heads are talking.
My dictated foray was less than one paragraph. And of that paragraph, I had to edit/correct/re-interpret fully one half of what I dictated.
Needless to say, it was not the overwhelming first dip in the pool that I expected. Like any new skill, it is going to take practice…lots and lots of practice. But that is true for everything. And I have read that some writers who learn how to control their voice, think in terms of scenes, and understand the nuances of the app, will swear that it increases their productivity immensely.
So I’m going to keep practicing. And someday, I may be able to say, hey, this blog was entirely written through my phone’s dictation app.
For now, however, it was written the old-fashioned way. By sitting down in front of the computer and putting each letter up on the screen one at a time.