I think I’ve collected enough observational data now to abandon my new writing process. At first it was new and invigorating, but after a week it’s kind of irritating and not any better or faster.
For posterity, here’s what I did: I turned on the webcam and recorded myself talking for about 7 or 8 minutes. I played back the video with VLC and set the playback speed slightly slower, and transcribed what I said into a Scrivener document. Then I copied the transcription into another Scrivener document and edited it into a blog post. I read the final post out loud several times to complete the editing process. Then I copied it into WordPress, added a picture, and published it almost immediately.
I kept careful notes on how long it took me:
- 7/29 - 268 words, total 70 min, edits 41 min, transcript 605 words
- 7/30 - 348 words, total 51 min, edits 28 min, transcript 551 words
- 7/31 - 365 words, total 86 min, edits 60 min, transcript 713 words
- 8/01 - 645 words, total 115 min, edits 89 min, transcript 691 words
- 8/02 - 343 words, total 68 min, edits 45 min, transcript 530 words
- 8/03 - 764 words, total 74 min, edits 58 min - did not actually transcribe the video because it went on for 15 minutes, just wrote the post and edited at the same time
- 8/04 - 335 words, total 85 min, edits 54 min, transcript 773 words
The basic problem is I felt like it took an excessively long time to edit my “speaking voice” and turn it into my “writing voice.” I had some hope that I might get better at pre-editing at the time of speaking, but that didn’t happen. If anything it got worse every day. One day I rambled so badly I didn’t even use the transcript.
So today I’ve gone back to the tried-and-true method of clicking “Add Post” in WordPress and typing until I’ve finished a post. Normally this would result in either a long post that I edit for up to a week before publishing, or an unfinished post left in my Drafts folder for years. (I currently have 143 Drafts.)
However since I’ve also set a goal of writing shorter posts for Blaugust, I’m going to start wrapping this up. Short posts always leave me feeling like I’ve left a lot of things out that need to be clarified or augmented. But on the positive side, they also leave me feeling more motivated to write again the next day.
Unfortunately I’ve just broken the cardinal rule that I usually set for myself in writing challenges: I’ve written about writing. At least I didn’t write about how hard it is to think of stuff to write for the writing challenge! That’ll probably be tomorrow, because yes, it’s only day 5 and I’m struggling to think of things to write already.
Photo is from a trip to Tangier Island on the Chesapeake Bay.
This page is a static archival copy of what was originally a WordPress post. It was generated from Markdown files with Hugo, a static web site generator. There may be formatting problems that I haven't addressed yet. There may be problems with missing or mangled images that I haven't fixed yet. There may have been comments on the original post, which I have archived, but I haven't quite worked out how to add them to the new site.