Day 807: Dictation, day 20: Need to do dictation exercises every day

Today, because I wanted to make sure that I got some editing done, I did it before I did any of my other frogs. It worked very well, and I was able to sit down at the computer and start work right away. In fact, the momentum was going really well, and so I didn't do any of my other frogs today. Instead, I did editing work all the way up until dinner.

I had some bad IBS symptoms at moments during the day. It wasn't constant, it was half an hour here or there where I had pain or discomfort. It caused me to have a late start for my day, which also might have been why I started the editing work quickly, because I knew that I was already starting late.

The editing is going very slowly. It might simply be how I do my editing. I read very closely to make sure that the language is appropriate for the time, since I'm writing a historical novel. When I write the Hawaii book, I check to make sure that the dialogue sounds like it would come out of the mouth of someone who lived in Hawaii. If I didn't have to check language like this, the editing would probably go faster.

This might be also why I dislike editing, because it is so tedious. When I was writing romantic suspense for Love Inspired, and then my Protection for Hire series with Zondervan, I never had to worry about checking for language, because the books were set in modern times in California.

I got a lot of editing done today, but not as much as I wanted to. I was disheartened by how slowly I edit. I suppose it can't be helped, but it's going to take me at least two more days to finish editing the book, possibly three. I hope to get more editing done tomorrow than I did today.

After finishing the editing for today, I decided to go for a walk. I wanted to do some dictation exercises, and I also wanted to dictate some prose for book 5. On days like today, where I have other things I need to do, I usually only do the bare minimum in writing in order to keep up my streak, but because I've been trying so hard to do the dictation, I decided to do the exercises and to dictate some fiction.

I do think that doing some dictation exercises almost every day has been helping a lot. I've become more used to the act of dictation, so it doesn't feel quite so awkward and terrible as it did before. I can't say that I am getting all that much better at dictation, because I still have long stretches of silence and mistakes, but I am at least getting more used to it, and so the awkwardness is not so bad.

However, I can tell that skipping dictation yesterday made it just a little bit more difficult to do the dictation today. It felt like my brain wasn't quite working as fast as before. I have long stretches of silence. I suppose the dictation exercises are not a cure-all or a magic bullet, but I do think that doing some dictation exercises every day might be helpful. Like exercising a mental muscle.

I'm starting to realize that I really need to make sure I do dictation exercises every day. It reminds me of when I was training for the marathon. I had to make sure to run three or four times a week, and if I skipped a day, I could somehow feel it the next time I ran. My muscles felt just a little bit sluggish.

I realized that the dictation feels the same way. After not dictating yesterday, the dictation feels sluggish today. Like I said, it feels like my brain isn't working quite as fast as before.

So I think from now on I'm going to try to make sure I do at least 10 or 15 minutes of dictation exercises every day. I think skipping a day or two is detrimental at this stage, when I'm still trying to learn how to dictate.

I think that's why one of the dictation books I read recommended that you do a dictation streak. I think it's because there is value in doing dictation every day. Not just to get used to dictation, but to exercise the parts of your brain that you need to adjust in order to write via dictation as well as you write with typing.

I didn’t have quite as many mistakes during my short dictation today, so I suppose that’s a good sign. But my raw dictation words per hour speed was only 2700 words per hour. When I included the cleanup editing time, my words per hour speed was 1600. Not bad, but I am still striving toward a goal of 5000 words per hour dictation, and overall writing speed of 2500 words per hour.

I think that when I can finally get back to doing 2 hours of dictation, my speed will improve after the first 30 minutes of dictation exercises. I’m sure some writers can skip the exercises and they’ll naturally just get faster as they dictate their book, but I feel like the specific requirements of the dictation exercises are helping me to learn how to dictate more smoothly. I’ll have to see.

Writing streak: 286 days

My takeaway for today: Do dictation exercises everyday, at least while you’re still learning to get better at dictation.

Day 806: Procrastinating instead of editing

I had a bad IBS day today, and didn’t start work until later in the afternoon when the medication kicked in. I wasn’t feeling great, so I did my “frogs” instead of my work. However, I feel a bit guilty because I ended up spending a long time doing marketing work. It had to be done, but I admit that I was probably procrastinating doing the editing. AGAIN.

A lot of today was spent trying to wait through the pain until the medication worked. So it wasn’t as if I could do my editing while I was so uncomfortable. And once the medication did start working, I still had bouts of nausea and cramping, which was why I decided to do my frogs rather than trying to jump into the editing, which takes quite a lot more energy and brainpower than the frogs.

But once the cramping had decreased enough, I should have moved straight into the editing. However, I was in the middle of a marketing task and decided to finish it first before I forgot to do it.

I only got a little bit of editing done today, as well as the bare minimum of writing on book 5.

I know I vowed to knuckle down and do editing today, and I could blame the IBS, but only partially. I probably could have done at least an hour more editing if I hadn’t been procrastinating.

I know why I procrastinate. I don’t like editing. But a part of me that is lying to myself says that it counts as work if I do marketing, but I know that I’m just procrastinating.

It doesn’t help for me to beat myself up over it now. I just need to focus tomorrow and get the editing done. At least the more urgent and time sensitive marketing tasks are done now, so I don’t have an excuse that there’s marketing stuff I have to do.

Actually, I think this has to fall under “frogs.” It’s something I don’t enjoy doing, even more so than my other frogs, which I don’t actually mind doing.

But because the editing is so difficult, I think that if I don’t get the editing done first thing in the day, it simply won’t get done because I’ll procrastinate, no matter what kinds of good intentions I have.

So I think I’ll do my editing first tomorrow, before I do my other frogs. I usually prefer to do writing in the afternoon, but I think editing is a different beast. So I’ll try doing it first.

Doing these kinds of things first (“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”) will help me to at least get some work done on my editing. And the sooner I finish the editing, the sooner I can get back to writing book 5.

Writing streak: 285 days

My takeaway for today: Do editing first as one of your “frogs” to make sure it gets done.

Day 805: Dictation, day 19: Need to do at least 2 exercises

I dictated the following during my walk as my freewrite dictation exercise, so it might ramble a bit. But at least I didn’t stop dictating and there weren’t any long pauses.

***

Promotions

I ended up spending too long doing marketing today. I decided at the last minute to participate in some time sensitive promotions, and so I had to get them done.

I really don't like doing promotions. It is outside of my comfort zone. It also causes me anxiety for some reason. I think it's because I have to make sure I do certain things by certain times, such as making sure to send out a newsletter, or post on my blog, or remember to lower a price on Amazon. I think because so many things need to be done beforehand, I get anxious that I've forgotten to do something.

I'm not sure if this promotion will do anything. However, it was free, and I had to take advantage of it before the end of the month. I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a small promotion.

The promo itself is to target readers who don't know me. But my problem is that I don't have an easy way to advertise that the promotion is going on to anyone outside of my newsletter, most of whom have already bought the book.

In a way, I'm not sure if promotions really do anything to secure a larger audience. However, what might happen is that my fans might share about the promotion to other people, or some other newsletter group might pick it up and feature it for free, and then other people will download the book simply because it's free. In that way, I'll get readers who had never heard about me, from the stage 1 or stage 2 of the 10 stages of audience.

It took a long time for me to decide if I was going to do the promotion or not. I really don't know why, but decision-making takes a long time for me. I hope I made the right decision to do this promotion. I think I did. I don't think it will hurt. I'm just not really sure if it will do a whole lot, probably just a blip in sales or page reads.

Marketing for books 4 and 5

I have been thinking about the marketing for the next two books to come out. I have finished writing book 4, but I am holding it back until book 5 is almost completed, so that I can release the two books within 30 days of each other, since book 4 ends on a cliffhanger. Because of that, I am thinking of putting more effort into the release of book 5 rather than book for.

Elana Johnson mentioned that she doesn't put the same amount of effort into every book launch. So I figured I would do the same. Since book 4 ends on a cliffhanger, I figured it would be better for me to put money into promoting book 5 instead of book 4.

The thought of marketing has also gotten me very anxious. I'm not sure exactly what to do, and I don't have a lot of money, either. I have been listening to a lot of podcasts in order to hear what other people have done, and culling some ideas from them. I think my best bet at this point, with the size of my audience, and the fact that it's been over a year since book 3 came out, is for me to put a little money into newsletter promos, and not worry about advertising just yet. I think that it will be less stressful for me to do this rather than trying to learn advertising in the few months before I would release book 5.

Of course, this is all assuming that I can write a book 5 quickly. I have been writing very quickly for the past couple weeks, since I started dictation. Before that, I wasn't exactly writing slowly, but I wasn't writing 4-5000 words every day. I really hope that the dictation will enable me to write a book 5 very quickly. I feel like the dictation is a little less effort than sitting at my computer for four hours. Because I can dictate for two hours, and then edit for two hours right after that—and without feeling the resistance I usually do to editing, since the dictation was from the same day.

I'll have to see if I can keep this up for another couple weeks. If I can, I think I will have written a significant chunk of book 5. If that's the case, I will be able to extrapolate and figure out when book 5 will be done, and when I can release it. I am hoping to be able to release it in November, but I'm not sure about that. I might instead release it in December.

Anyway, the marketing has been stressful for me. I don't think anything I'm doing is particularly difficult, but it's outside of my comfort zone.

Social media: Facebook and Goodreads

I was also listening to some podcasts about marketing, and most authors are in social media to some extent. I have a poll that I gave my readers, and I would say that most of them don't actually talk to other readers on Facebook about books. But many of them who talk to readers do it on Facebook or Goodreads.

I have a group on Goodreads, which has practically no traffic. However, I like Goodreads because it seems to have less going on than Facebook. Facebook is sometimes kind of stressful for me, because there are so many conversations going on in the groups I belong to.

Also, when I post on my page on Facebook, hardly anyone sees the post. I also have a reader group on Facebook, which has something like three people in it.

A lot of the authors who have readers on Facebook have large reader groups that are very active. I simply don't have that. Because of that, I'm not sure if I can do the same type of marketing as those authors on Facebook. They interact with their Facebook group almost every day, and they post little things to interact with their fans. I'm sure I have fans who are on Facebook, but I don't think they know that I am there. I also rarely get interaction on my Facebook page or my Facebook group.

Because I am such a fail at Facebook, I decided to try to give Goodreads a try. Goodreads is fun because I belong to a few major groups, and the people there are very nice. Also, the pace of Goodreads is a lot slower compared to Facebook. I feel a little less anxious when I get on the Goodreads forum boards than when I check my Facebook groups. Probably because there are fewer discussions on Goodreads than there are on Facebook. And the Goodreads forum boards are better organized than the Facebook groups, which has every conversation posted on the page by order of how recent it is. Some groups have dozens of conversation each day, and that sometimes causes me anxiety because there's so much going on.

Anyway, I decided to give Goodreads another go at it. Now that I'm feeling better, it's not so difficult for me to get on Goodreads once a day. Also, I don't feel guilty if I can't check Goodreads every day. It's not as time sensitive as Facebook.

I figured I could start a couple conversations in my group, and then link to them in my newsletter. I will see how many people I can get to join the conversation. I can try this for a few months and see how it goes. I guess I'll give it six months to see. Also, in six months I can see about getting back into Facebook, and seeing if there is a way for me to do it that doesn't cause anxiety.

Part of me wonders if maybe I shouldn't do social media at all, since it causes me so much anxiety. I'm still kind of undecided about it. I think that's why I decided to do the Goodreads experiment for six months, to see if it really does make any kind of difference in my sales. Although it's hard to judge that, because I will be going on Goodreads at the same time that I will soon have books releasing, and new releases always cause in upsurge in pages read on Kindle.

The marketing was kind of stressful today, because I had to make decisions, and because I was doing things that were uncomfortable for me. However, I am an author and if I want to make a living with my business, I'm going to have to do some things that are uncomfortable.

Self-editing resistance

Speaking of uncomfortable things, I have had a hard time today getting to my editing of book 4. Just as what had happened on Saturday or rather Friday, I found myself procrastinating rather than getting to the edits, simply because I don't like doing them.

However, I forced myself to get started. I'm glad I did, because I can see that because it took so long for me to write book 4, there are some things I had written early in the book that I had completely forgotten about by the end. I'm very glad I didn't send this book straight to my editor without doing this last self-editing pass. There are some things I'm going to have to add in to the middle and end of the book, which might also make an impact on some parts of the plot. I hope the revisions will not be too difficult.

I think that if I dictate my books and finish them faster, there won’t be the disconnect between the beginning of the book and the end of the book, like I’m seeing now. I think it will make the editing easier next time if I don’t have so long between when I started writing and when I finished the rough draft.

Dictation today

I didn’t intend to dictate so much of book 5 today, but I went out walking, and after a 20 minute dictation exercise, I thought I might as well try dictating my book for a few minutes. It turned into more than 20 minutes of dictation.

I have noticed that it takes me a while to ease into the dictation, so I had a lot of pauses while I was dictating.

BUT I do think that I had fewer mistakes this time. I think my dictation is getting smoother. When I did the dictation exercise, I didn’t have very many mistakes—but I tend to have fewer mistakes when dictating a blog post.

However, when I started dictating my fiction, I also still had fewer mistakes. I did still have long pauses as I tried to think of what to say next, but I think that in general, I had fewer messed up sentences, or repeated sentences so I could redo what I just said.

It’s hard to tell if that’s true or not, though. But it felt that way to me, at least. I hope that means I’m starting to think in whole sentences rather than word by word.

But I wasn’t able to get my mind to relax enough to not pause so much during dictation. It could be because I only did one dictation exercise, which was a freewrite, but I hadn’t had time to do a second dictation exercise involving sentence variation and using a fiction prompt (my Regency side novel). When I did both exercises before, I thought I might have had an easier time in getting my brain to relax and just flow with whatever first came to mind.

So I need to make sure to do at least 2 different dictation exercises before I dictate my book. I think it will make the book dictation go much smoother and faster.

***

After cleaning up the dictation, my raw dictation speed was only 2750 words per hour, and I’m aiming for 5000 words per hour (eventually). I could tell that I was pausing a lot during dictation, and like I said, my brain wasn’t relaxed enough, so I think I froze as I was trying to think of what to say next.

I will need to knuckle down and get my editing done faster so that I can get back to doing my dictation! Argh! I wish this editing pass wasn’t so vital!

Writing streak: 284 days

My takeaway for today: Try Goodreads for about 6 months to see if I can keep up with it despite my anxiety about social media.

My second takeaway for today: If I finish a book faster, I think the editing will be easier because there won’t be so much disconnect between the beginning and ending.

My third takeaway for today: Do at least 2 dictation exercises before writing to help my brain warm up and maybe relax a bit more when dictating my fiction.

My fourth takeaway for today: Knuckle down (moron!) and get your editing done faster so you can get back to doing dictation!

(My word count on my battle report is high because I had to cut and paste some text, and 4thewords counts it as new words written.)

Day 803: Dictation, day 18

Since today is Saturday, I worked on my Hawaii serial novel, Year of the Dog. Some scenes are just revising the original manuscript, while others involve almost complete rewrites, and there are a few scenes that are completely new. Today, the scene was only revision, so I actually finished the chapter in about an hour.

I spent some extra time doing some marketing stuff, which today happened to be cooking. I was making a dish that I wrote into my book, and I had to make it today because I worried that the cream would go bad if I waited another day or two. I took photos and then wrote the blog post for the recipe, even though I probably won’t post it for a while, but I wanted to write it while it was still fresh in my mind.

I decided to go for a walk and do some dictation exercises, but it ended up being only one exercise, which was a free write. I probably should have stopped the freewrite in order to do a dictation exercise on a piece of fiction, but the free write had turned into brainstorming some marketing strategies and I didn’t really want to stop.

The dictation seemed a bit smoother today, but it was also a freewrite rather than fiction, and since I didn’t do a fiction dictation exercise, I can’t really compare today to other days. But I did my best not to pause a lot when I was dictating, so sometimes I repeated myself so that I wouldn’t stop dictating.

But I also felt like my mind was a bit more relaxed today, which may be why it was a bit easier for me to keep dictating when I was tempted to pause. And maybe my relaxed mind was why the brainstorming seemed to go really well. I got a lot of good ideas.

It took a while for me to do the cleanup on the free write dictation, because I also took the time to make notes on my freewrite in my bullet journal. But I’m really glad I did the freewrite since it helped me make decisions about marketing strategies for the next couple months. Not just things I could do, but things that wouldn’t sap my energy and would still accomplish my marketing goals.

(Related to marketing goals, I reread Get Your Book Selling by Monica Leonelle (I really wish this weren’t out of print right now although it looks like it might be republished in December 2022) which has the 10 Stages of Audience and several different marketing strategies. This was the best book I’ve read on marketing for someone who didn’t know anything about it. Re-reading the book helped me to be able to focus my marketing goals, which I realized had been a little too vague and scattershot. More focused marketing goals helped me decide what marketing plans to pursue or not.)

Now that I’ve been feeling better lately, I’ve been thinking of going back onto social media again, but I can’t do all of them anymore. I just don’t have the time and energy anymore since the IBS is still causing issues every so often.

I thought I might try Goodreads again. I like the people there, and what’s more, the pace is a lot slower than Facebook and Twitter, which suits my personality. And the people there are all readers, so it’s a more targeted subset audience.

I’m still not very good at social media, so I’m going to have to think about what I can do with my Goodreads group. I think I’ll also listen to some podcasts on social media to see how other authors are handling it these days. But rather than trying to do everything, I’ll figure out what I want to do. There’s no sense in me running myself ragged over social media.

I stayed up too late cleaning up the freewrite! I forgot to download my battle report before it turned midnight.

Writing streak: 282 days

Day 802: Dictation, day 17

I’m rather disappointed, I spent too long (an extra hour) doing some marketing work. It absolutely needed to be done, but it just took too long, partly because I always take so long to make decisions about things. I don’t know how to do anything about that, but there it is.

I did the cycle edit of the chapters I wrote in book 4, but I hadn’t realized that I actually hadn’t done the cycle edit on two entire chapters. It took up a little over an hour.

And then my familiar enemy reared its head, and I was procrastinating in starting the final edit. Because I hate self-editing. I know it needs to be done, since I only did a cycle edit as I was writing the rough draft. Reading through the entire book in a couple sittings really is the best way to gauge pacing and check for continuity errors.

But I never got to the final edit today. I thought maybe I could do my dictation exercise for today and five minutes of dictation on my manuscript (book 5), but I ended up dictating almost half an hour. I just kind of got on a roll, and my dictation speed was 3100 words an hour. My final writing speed, taking into account both the dictation time and the cleanup editing time, was 1300 words an hour, which is rather good.

However, I fully admit I probably did extra dictation simply to procrastinate doing the edit. So I will have to knuckle down and do the edit tomorrow.

The dictation itself didn’t go too badly today. I did a warmup exercise of free writing for 5 minutes, and I tried not to stop dictating. It’s still really hard for me, even for a simple free writing exercise.

I did a second dictation exercise of using short sentences to dictate part of a scene from my Regency side novel. I know I had said before I didn’t want to muddle my brain with a second story, but a lot of dictation exercises are made for either short pieces of fiction or nonfiction pieces.

I’ve done the nonfiction writing prompts, but I have always found them rather pointless. If I’m going to describe a picture, I want it to have something to do with the book I’m writing. I am reluctant to do either nonfiction or short fiction pieces because for both of them, honestly, I don’t know what to do with them once I’ve written them. And I hate doing writing that’ll just sit on my computer. I’d rather spend the time writing something that I might actually be able to use for one of my books.

So I’m back to using my Regency side novel as the prompt for my dictation exercises. It actually isn’t bad, especially since I’m still using the same language (since they’re the same genre). I still found myself pausing more than I wanted to. And when I went to dictating my book, I still found myself pausing a lot as I tried to think what to say next.

I think if I’d had more time to do dictation exercises and then dictating my book, I might have been able to relax my brain a bit more so that I would just dictate the first thing I thought of instead of anxiously reaching for what to write next. I found myself forgetting to do that a lot, which caused me to pause a lot.

But my dictation speed was over 3000 words per hour, which was great, and my final dictation speed was pretty fast (for me). I’ll just keep doing the dictation exercises and practicing so that I can hopefully get faster.

I think I also need to start spending more time on the cycle edit. When doing the cleanup, I noticed sometimes that the language is very plain, and I had to gild it a bit. I think it’s the dictation that causes that to happen. When I type and write, I have more time to twist turns of phrase and come up with better ways of phrasing things.

I really hope that as I dictate more, I’ll be able to craft those turns of phrase even while dictating, instead of only while typing. I think that it just takes practice, since I’m still working on retraining my brain to send the words from my head to my mouth.

Also, since I’m focusing on not stopping, sometimes I just say something simple, which is adequate but not eloquent, and often not quite what I want to say. I hope that as I practice more, I’ll learn to relax my mind and maybe allow for more uninhibited creativity, which might solve the simplicity problem.

Writing streak: 281 days

Day 801: Dictation, day 16 - Trying to relax

I had a little bit of IBS that caused me to have a slow start this morning, but I got all my “frogs” done. The only problem is that I had to do a marketing task that took over an hour. It absolutely had to be done, and I’m glad I finished it, but it did make me late to start my dictation today. Because of that, I decided to cut my dictation time a bit short.

The free writing exercise I did yesterday seemed to help me practice not pausing while I dictate. Freewriting is supposed to help you to release inhibitions and just write without worrying about how it sounds. I guess I need that for my dictation, because I still had a lot of words I needed to delete yesterday because I’d dictate a sentence, then repeat it with corrections.

But mostly I want to get used to just keeping on dictating without silence. Sometimes that’s hard because I have to read my blocking notes on my phone to see where I’m supposed to go. Some days will be like yesterday, where I dictated some dialogue out of order from what I’d written in my blocking notes, which required me to think a bit harder about how and where the scene flowed.

Anyway, I think I’ll continue trying the free writing dictation exercise before my writing session. I’m also combining it with the short sentences dictation exercise from Fool Proof Dictation: A No-Nonsense System for Effective & Rewarding Dictation, which I am hoping will help me learn to think in sentences rather than word by word. I’m not positive, but I might be getting better at it???

***

During my dictation exercise, I realized that part of the reason why I have so much silence when I dictate might be because I freeze up when trying to think of something else to say.

I also realized that another reason why I have long stretches of silence is because I’m trying to decide what to write next. I know that I am very bad at making decisions, which would make my brain work slowly to decide what to write next.

So I decided to instead try relaxing more as I dictate and letting my mind wander. I can say the first thing that comes to mind, not having to worry about if it's appropriate or not. I can just delete it later. And who knows, I might come up with something really creative and cool.

Even if I repeat a lot, repetition is better than silence. If I have more words, even if I have to delete a lot of it, I’ll still be moving forward in my book.

So I tried that today. I still adhered to my blocking notes, but I only need to look briefly to make sure the scene is still going where it should, and then I just dictate.

However, my IBS started acting up in the middle of the walk, so I had to stop dictating until the bout passed. I lost maybe 20 minutes in the middle, but once I felt better, I started dictating again, but I was disappointed that I had lost my momentum in the middle, because I thought I’d been doing rather well.

I figured out a way to transcribe my dictation files when I don’t have to babysit the computer, so I did the transcription while eating dinner. Therefore, I didn’t record the transcription times, and I didn’t include it when I calculated my final words per hour rate.

I was pleased because just the dictation alone for the first half of my dictation time was almost 3500 words per hour! Because I had lost my momentum, the second half was a little slower, at 2900 words per hour, but still really great compared to the past two weeks. I guess trying to relax did help me to dictate faster.

But even though I dictated a lot, there was still a lot that I had to delete, and quite a bit I had to add because the dictation wasn’t clear.

Since I hadn’t included the transcription time, the final writing time (including dictation and cleanup time) was naturally higher than the days before, at 1400 words per hour, which is rather good compared to typing. I ended up with 1900 usable words, which is good for a day like today, where I was both busy with house chores and had IBS issues, but still managed to get some work done.

I think the act of relaxing helped a lot. It made me continue dictating, which moved me forward in my book, trying not to worry about how the sentences sounded. I’m really glad I did the dictation exercise before starting writing on my book. I think it helped me start dictating faster right off the bat.

I had forgotten to do my cycle edit before I left the house to walk and dictate, so I didn’t do the cycle edit of the scene I finished dictating yesterday. It was the last scene of book 4, which I had forgotten to mention in my blog post yesterday. So actually, the rough draft of the book was done yesterday. Yay!

But actually, I didn’t think about the fact that once I finish the cycle edit, I have to go back to the beginning of the book and do a final self-editing pass before sending it to my proofreader. I probably should have done that today rather than dictating.

So I think that tomorrow I will start on the final editing pass of volume 4, and maybe only do the bare minimum of writing on book 5 to keep my streak going.

Or I might still do a bit of dictating, so that I can practice free writing and learning to relax so that I can dictate continuously without stopping. I think that if I practice that more, it will become easier for me to do. And once I can learn to dictate continuously, then I can work on thinking more in complete sentences and dictating more smoothly without mistakes. I’ll take each problem one at a time.

Writing streak: 280 days

Day 800, Dictation, day 15: Freewrite exercises to prevent silences

I took a sick day yesterday because I had bad IBS. It wasn’t painful, but the sharp, intermittent bouts of nausea were simply too much for me to handle.

I’m still lacking in discipline to get to bed on time, and got to bed too late last night. As a result, I woke up late today. However, I got most of my “frogs” done except for my marketing.

Instead of doing my marketing, I decided to push it off for later and try to get it done after writing (I ended up not getting it done before bedtime). I went out for a walk and dictated for about an hour and a half. I wanted to dictate for longer, but I started getting IBS nausea again. Also, my back started hurting because I had taken a bottle of water with me on the walk since it was so hot, and the weight of the water made my back ache. So I turned home a little earlier than I had wanted.

My dictation speed was about the same as my overall average, which is a little over 2000 words per hour. I’m a bit disappointed since I had been hoping to improve. I had been trying to not stop dictating very often, but I ended up needing to think a lot about where I wanted the scene to go, and so I probably had a lot of dead space.

Before my dictation, the exercise I did was a free write, and I think that helped me to practice not stopping. I think I’ll try that exercise again for a few days to see if it does help me to get used to constantly dictating without stopping.

As far as word count, I got about 3800 usable words in 3 hours, 48 minutes. It’s a little over 1000 words per hour, which is higher than my average when I type. I shouldn’t be disappointed since that’s still a pretty good word count for the day, but I can’t help but wish I could dictate faster (without having too many errors) and get more words done. I’ll keep practicing so that I can hopefully increase my dictation speed.

My dream is to dictate at 5000 words an hour for about 2 hours (which would require about 2 more hours for transcription and cleanup editing), and get 10,000 words done in a day. I actually was dictating at close to that speed for my dictation exercise (free writing). I dictated a little over 1000 words in 13 minutes. So I think it might be possible!

Writing streak: 279 days