From The Creative Penn:
The word ‘writing’ has become associated with hitting keys on a keyboard to make letters appear on a screen or inscribing by hand onto paper.
But the end result is a mode of communication from one brain to another through the medium of words. Those words can be generated by your voice, just as people can ‘read’ by listening to an audiobook.
Famous authors who have written with dictation include diverse creatives John Milton (Paradise Lost), Dan Brown, Henry James, Barbara Cartland and Winston Churchill. When Terry Pratchett, fantasy author of the Discworld series, developed Alzheimer’s Disease, he found he couldn’t write anymore, so he moved to dictation in his final years.
. . . .
So, why dictate?
(1) Health reasons
You can dictate standing up or while walking, or lying in bed with injuries, or if pain stops you typing.
I started using dictation when I had RSI and used it to write the first drafts of Destroyer of Worlds and also Map of Shadows, plus some chapters for this book, which I dictated while walking along the canal towpath.
Dictation can help alleviate or prevent pain right now, but learning how to write with dictation can also future-proof your living as a writer in case of problems later.
(2) Writing speed and stamina
Dictation is faster at getting words on the page than typing, especially if you are not self-censoring.
I’ve made it up to around 5000 words per hour with dictation, while I only manage around 1500 words per hour typing.
There is a trade-off with ‘finished’ words as you will have to at least lightly edit to correct transcription issues, but if you want to get that first draft done faster, then dictation can be the most effective way.
Link to the rest at The Creative Penn
During his professional career, PG has dictated approximately a trillion letters and documents (give or take), but he’s never been able to comfortably dictate anything remotely creative. Of course, while he was doing this, he usually had a couple of very intelligent secretaries/assistants/paralegals who turned is spoken words into something that wouldn’t get him disbarred. Alas, those valuable people have turned to more remunerative and fulfilling pastimes when PG moved into executive roles in some large organizations which occupied him for quite a few years..
However, Joanna has given him incentive to try dictation again. We’ll see how it goes.