Go with the Flow

The infamous writer’s block. For me, it’s not usually a lack of words or barren inspiration. It’s finding the flow. My writer’s block happens when I get interrupted or let myself get distracted. A call from family. A package delivery that needs signing. My cat attacking my ankles. After the first one, the next interruption or distraction becomes louder and louder. Two chores, 14 minutes of a podcast, and half a pizza later, I’ll only have a few hundred words. For reference, I have a hierarchy of daily goals, and the bottom rung is 3k words. 

There are a lot of other factors going on: enforcing self-accountability, managing my hyperactivity, respecting my husband’s stay-at-home workspace, playing tag with the ghoul under the sink… a lot. Eliminating my writer’s block will take continual effort over years. But one change in my daily writing gives me hope that those years will range in the few instead of the tens. 

I’d stayed away from dictation for a long time because typing the words out is a big part of my mental processing. If I don’t type it, I won’t remember it well, and my world building and stories have lots of places to dig plot holes if I’m not careful and consistent. 

Eventually though, I decided the costs of using dictation software would pay off in time saved to allocate for intensive editing and any kind of marketing. The learning curve with the app I picked was pretty quick. Remembering to say “comma” and “new line” was tricky at first, but I started adapting within my first session. Over a week and a half, I dictated all my first-draft writing and was elated with the results. At my best typing, I could manage 1k in an hour. With only 3 days of practice, I dictated 1k in 22 minutes. 

That initial difference between my rates of dictating and typing made me ecstatic. I could accomplish so much more with the time made back. Though, I was happier about what dictation freed me to do. Typing my stories kept me behind a desk for hours. Dictation let me tell my stories while pacing my apartment or hiking along the Potomac. Dictation taught me I can keep my flow when I can keep moving. 

 

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