Progress Update 1/10/15

This was another solid week for my writing progress. I just passed the halfway point for my target length on my book draft! I continued my writing streak—I’ve now written at least 500 words for twenty consecutive days. 

Talking as Writing

I experimented with a new writing method this week: dictation. Several people have suggested that I try dictating because I have a long work commute. While I’m not sold on the approach, I am intrigued by the possibility of greatly increasing my daily writing output. 

I’ll keep testing methods, but for now, I'll share the positive and negative outcomes.


  • Much higher output than my morning ritual alone. On the days that I dictated for just part of my commute, I doubled or tripled my word count.
  • A greater number of supplemental ideas. Something about dictating allowed me to make some unexpected connections.


  • Listening to the dictation and typing out what I’d said was frustrating and surprisingly time-consuming. I tried to find an application that would to this for me, but wasn’t able to find something that worked well. (Let me know if you have a recommendation.) As it is, dictating and then typing is more time-intensive for me than just composing at the computer. 
  • The quality of the dictated draft was far inferior to what I normally compose. The dictated material was also jumbled, repetitive, and occasionally incoherent. Revising and editing these sections will be more work than the other passages.

Perhaps more practice will improve my opinion of dictating as a compositional method. For now, I’m on the fence.