Thursday, March 22, 2012

Choosing How to Document Your Thoughts

Writers struggle. There are two ways about it. Though to the mass of the uninitiated, writing might seem like a lovely little traipse through the flower-filled corners of the mind, such is not the case. Writing is work; time-consuming, often frustrating, all-too-often at least seemingly unproductive, always unquestionably solitary work.

If there are things that can be done, tools that can be employed to ease the stresses associated with writing, it is well worth it to explore them a little. One such question centers on how best to get the thoughts in the writer’s head out into the world and documented in some fashion. In other words: keyboarding or dictating?

To a very large extent, this will be a matter of preference. There is nothing to say that the choice has to be one of either/or. You’re the writer; you can decide to do one, the other, or both; whatever works best for you.

However, there are a couple of pros and cons to consider with each. First, dictation can be a useful tool for eliminating some of the actual time (and potential hassle) of using a keyboard. Back in the day, the state of the technology was just that using a recording device was a very compelling option, because typewriters were great if you were a good typist and a torture machine if you were not.

Many people think faster than they can accurately type, so a recording device can allow a writer to get more ideas out of his head and safely documented somewhere before they fly away never to be seen or heard from again.

On the other hand, writing and talking are very different activities, and ultimately the words must get to the page in the best way possible. From this standpoint, dictation begins to lose its luster because someone then has to take the time to sort through the recording and type up what was said. If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford a typist, this is less of an issue, but most writers do not have staff.

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