Talking while walking


talking while walkingI surprised myself on my walk yesterday when I started writing a book about a third of the way through (the walk, not the book).

Now, it didn’t surprise me that I was writing a book while I walked, I’ve done that plenty of times before.  What surprised me was that I was not even remotely thinking about a book, especially one that was not on my radar.

All I hoped to do on the walk, other than get some exercise, was to compose a blog for the day (they have been terribly intermittent due to a lack of ideas).  So, yeah, it surprised me when I started writing.

And I mean full writing, with character dialog and backstory. But there was this tiny problem – how was I going to remember all this by the time I got back?  I was probably 40 minutes out from getting home.

Most of my walks these days are still without my iPhone (for music), but I thought that the phone might be the solution to the problem.  It’s a recording device for movies, so surely it must be able to record dictation.

Despite owning a “smart” phone for many years now, I’ve never been all that smart with them.  I answer phone calls, get my mail and browse the net.  Oh, and I called Uber twice.  That is all.

That meant I needed to do research.  Didn’t take long, really, since dictation is apparently a popular feature for many phone users.  And here is where I got an even bigger surprise…it doesn’t just record your words…it types them!

Whoa Nellie!  Are you kidding me?  So I could talk to my phone while walking (yeah, these days that’s not as stupid looking as it used to be) and when I got back I would have written pages?  Sweet!

Of course, there are some challenges.  I haven’t figured out how to get things like quotation marks in there yet.  And it reaches a point of either length or confusion where it slips out of dictation mode and requires some form of manual touch.  But those are minor compared to the huge benefit of being able to type from talking. I found out it works with my bluetooth, too, so I can avoid wind distortion.

At this point, I don’t know if there is a length limit on the phone (I tested it with about a half-page of text). I also haven’t given thought as to how to transfer the notes from the iPhone to the desktop, but I’m sure I could, at worst, copy the text into an email and mail it to myself.

During these months where my beach attendance drops due to temperatures (yeah, not yet, but soon), it’s awesome to find this new avenue of writing that combines the freedom from the desk and the enjoyment of the outdoors.

I’ll be looking forward to plenty of talking and walking in my future!

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