Finding a space to dictate
When I first are using dictation, the hardest part was figuring out where to record. I live with two amazing roommates, but, no matter how amazing they are, I don't want to record my story in front of them. My office isn't an open space right behind the living room, it secluded but not private. So anything I dictate can be easily heard in the living room and any movie or TV show playing the living room can be easily picked up by my microphone. Which lead to some interesting moments Half of my story and half of the great British bake-off.
During December I redid my office to make it more ergonomically friendly. I love the changes the standing desk, the extra monitor so I can edit it easier, and the new, and incredibly comfortable chair. All that to say I didn't want to leave my office. But I knew if I wanted to give dictation a solid try I would have to find a quiet place so I went to my closet. Well my closet is in no way set up for anything but clothing, I just took my laptop in my microphone in sat down and gave a go. The difference is immediate. Suddenly 90% of my words are coming out correctly in 45 minutes in my closet yielded almost 4000 words the highest workout I've ever hit in less than an hour. I decided maybe there was something to dictating in a quiet place.
So I've spent the past few days rearranging my closet to make it something that can double as a sort of recording studio. Part of this is already done when I began launching my first podcast, Ink and Brain monsters, but it's still needed to be something comfortable somewhere I could be for an hour or two at a time. So I adjusted a lot of my things got rid of a bunch of things and cleared off the top of the small cubbyhole compartment. It's a space big enough for my mic and it's sound proofing box, and my laptop. I got a cheap stability ball on clearance after New Year's and set that up as my chair. So far I'm a few recording sessions in and it's been amazing.
It's been amazing not just for the sound quality difference but for the focus it's given me. I hadn't realized how easily it was to get distracted by what was going on in the living room right behind me. But it was incredibly easy to get extracted by what was being made for dinner, what new TV show is on, or even just talking to my roommates. But when I lock myself in my closet, there's nothing but my clothes and my work. The set up in the closet is uncomfortable for browsing the Internet, playing a game on my computer, or much of anything else but recording. It also has given my brain a clear switch, when I sit on the lime green stability ball that hides in my closet now, I know it's time to talk, either for my podcast or for my work. It's still a little strange and I still get very self-conscious even when I'm dictating no one can hear me but me; I'm starting to get over that though.
I wish I haven't tried this a long time ago. I wish that I hadn't been so afraid of what kind of changes that dictating what entail or feeling like I wouldn't be able to communicate effectively if I wasn't typing. I feel like I lost a lot of time and a lot of damage to my body that wasn't necessary, all because I was afraid the dictating would be too expensive and too much work. That hasn't turned out to be the case. So far, dictating has cost me $15, the cost of my stability ball that I'm sitting on right now as I dictate this. Otherwise I had everything else I needed. Now the software on my MacBook is probably not as advanced as Dragon, and I'm sure I could find a better microphone. But none of that is keeping me from dictating. In fact of the switch has been a lot easier than the switch from Word to scrivener.
I feel like I'm going to keep dictating for a while. Honestly some days it really feels like I've completely revolutionize my writing. I know it's still early on only about a week and a half to two weeks in to the switch but so far I don't see myself going back. All it took for three thinking what I already had and finding new ways to make that work. You don't need a fancy recording studio or a fancy software, what you need is a quiet place to focus. That's middle all the difference for me.