Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Love writing in this day and age

This new novel is going well, so far. I'm drafting in a way I haven't, since I was a teenage -- writing the first things that come to mind, really putting myself into the scene, refraining from going back and re-reading and making a paragraph "perfect" before moving on. I write as though I am on a typewriter, with no possiblity of turning around and correcting my work.

Have I finally managed to escape the curse of (what was once called) the word processor?

When my thoughts race ahead too quickly for my fingers catch up, I dictate the phrase or word into my microphone. I have Dragon Naturally Speaking on, the microphone icon on standby (yellow), ready to be activated by a gentle tap of the "plus" key. I've been using Dragon on-and-off as a composition aid for nearly four years. It helped me when I was finishing my MA thesis while struggling to cope with a then-undiagnosed eye infection that made reading and taking notes excruciating. It helps me write long and informative letters to my parents when I've been working in the garden the past few hours and my fingers are cold and numb.  It helps me at my present job, which a contractual clause forbids me from disclosing, formulating brief but precise email responses. It hasn’t helped me through this post, however, because somehow I’m in the mood to type in silence.

Last night, I wrote 1,000 words in about an hour. The NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) average daily “quota” is 1,700 words a day. So yesterday’s output was far below NanoWriMo’s; nonetheless I’m satisfied. I’m well aware that I probably only have a month to get most of this novel pinned down, before the grind resumes: I have committed to teaching a summer course in academic writing at Studieskolen, Copenhagen.

Tonight, the count’s been a lovely 750 words – excluding this blog entry!

Last night’s scene involved the professional washing down of a motorcycle. I’ve never washed a motorcycle in my life, but fortunately there were plenty of Youtube videos and webpages from bike aficionados to get me through the experience. Love writing in this day and age.


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