Keeping up with social media is extremely time-consuming. You may have romantic images of Hemingway plunking out his latest novel on a vintage typewriter on the porch of a Victorian Mansion. However, it’s just not practical if you’re “on the go” and “on a schedule”. If you're blogging or otherwise doing a lot of writing you should focus on creating compelling content and not slugging through the production process.
I’ve read a “how to” book (Shelly Hitz: How to Write a Book From Outline to Finish Line: 10 Simple Ways to Outline Your Nonfiction Book) and attended a presentation on writing books. I suppose we all have a book in us and by the way, it’s a great way to build your credibility. In both instances the recommendation was to dictate your content rather than typing it. The reason is simple…….you can talk a lot faster than you can type. In conversation we speak around 140 wpm. I’m a pretty good touch typist and type at around 60 wpm. (Frankly, I have never quite forgiven my mom for sending me to summer school for typing class back in the day). So it’s a no brainer with dictation being the hands down favorite. Just a note that my typing score is based on typing a pre-existing document, not composing.
It’s a little tough to have your thoughts pass from your cerebrum and through your mouth in a coherent and intelligible way. I’ll leave aside for a moment, the uh, uh, uh’s and such, which of course will be dutifully transcribed by any good dictation app. Rest easy though, there’s an app for that. In fact, there are three apps that you’ll need to accelerate your writing.
If you’re a disciplined writer you likely start with an outline. This is even more critical when you are dictating your content. I use “Workflowy” to outline my thoughts. It’s a solid app that is really great at outlines, among other things, and it’s free. It’s also available on iOS and as a web app which sync so you can switch between your smartphone and computer. Put a little extra time and detail into your outline so that it’s a bit more detailed than your usual outline. However, don’t make it a script or you won’t have gained much for your efforts.
Once you have your thoughts organized you can start to dictate your content. I use “Dragon Dictation” which is free and does an adequate job. It’s best to have a quiet location without distraction as you would when writing. However, I have used it on an empty train with decent results. It “learns” your voice so the results will get better over time. I also suggest focusing on a single paragraph, gather your thoughts and then speak. Stop between paragraphs, gather your thoughts and then proceed.
Once you have your content roughed out, you can copy and paste your draft into “Google Docs”. Again this app is available on both your phone and the web and is free. You can now start to edit and refine your document. It’s a bit slow for me on my phone so I prefer doing my editing on my laptop. However, you can always do it on your phone if you’re betwixt and between and have time on your hands.
I have to admit that I was skeptical at first, but the process works. A word of caution, it takes some practice and discipline before you hit your stride. The initial value you realize will be in the flexibility you gain by going mobile on content creation. Once you have it mastered though, you’ll be making your deadlines on a regular basis and won’t be keeping your audience waiting for your next burst of inspiration.