( Version B As dictated to Dragon) :)

Or The One Where Dragon Sits On Me…

My writing day.

Dragon 13 professional has finally taken flight and it has, without a doubt, saved my life. Scott Baker has been appearing on a few pod casts recently to support the launch of his Dragon Training School and his book, and also which joined the dots for me because I had been trying to get Dragon to dictate or transcribe Q3 and Q4 and it was hopeless.

Several weeks ago I actually went and bought paper notebooks – because I decided it was I might as well give up trying to get my Indie dream to work – and just write more longhand – as this is obviously just a friggin hobby – so the stories don’t need typing up!

I took them back and got my money back – and that was hard because I wanted to sit under a tree and just write on a proper bit of paper with a friggin pen…

I resigned myself heavily to the fact that I was going to have to sit down and do the 1500 – 2000 – 3000 even words/day to get Q3 and 4 typed up – because there was no point spending money on external editing by an Editor if those things hadn’t happened.

There it was – and it was always going to stop me. The fact that it wasn’t typed up and the fact I don’t touch type.

So Five/Six weeks ago this worked out at 11 ‘finished’ words per minute typing and that was fast as I could get – ‘finished’ = typed, spell-checked but not line edited  (as-I-wrote-it) copy that is also divided into Word Chapter files and Scrivener, Ywriter, and Novel Factory and printed and filed – which means that my remaining 175 K was likely not to be done this side of next Easter!

The thing that was very, very doubtful was whether or not I was gonna be prepared, to do the typing at all and that meant at best I was going to have to move the deadline of being ‘ready’ by a year Sept.

In which case I felt I was gonna lose all my credibility not just with perhaps other people, but with myself – and that’s hard. You can’t push yourself when you don’t want to be pushed because you think you’re making a mistake worse.

SO I’d got Dragon 13 out the box again – I’d done plenty of training last year out and about with it and the transcription was quite good then – but – I was really horrified to find that after the first three or four weeks  I printed it up what had looked pretty clean on screen (using Grammarly and Word Spell Check with just a glance at it) Only to come back to in high spirits and see the stuff that I thought was fine was absolutely full of what I christened Dragon Shit, it was horrendous.

Yes – the spelling was fine – I had searched the things I knew it did like calling ‘Doug’ dog or dug – but other these things I was word blind to and couldn’t ‘search for’ and they weren’t highlighted as they weren’t ‘wrong’ . It had changed the tense regularly – messed up when, were, where and will and added whole sentences of correctly spelt gibberish that it thought I said – I picked it up first when I printed out and 2nd when I got my kindle to read it to me OUCH!!!!

I couldn’t understand it because this time last year when the Scrivener iPhone App came out I was using Dragon REC with my RODE MIC and it was really good and I was very accurate – with it like that.

I couldn’t understand why now it suddenly was atrocious. In fact, when I applied my equation to it factoring the massive clean up time – the best I could do was three finished words a minute. I mean, that’s terrible.

Enter Scott Baker doing the rounds on the podcasts – Jo Penn’s, Mell Hammond’s and the SPP’s and SPF’s – the breakthrough came when he pointed out the best thing to do was to plug in your good microphone to your iPhone and use the free recorder application because the speech recognition software in your iPhone is better than is on the laptop!

I realised that the thing that had changed was WHERE I was – last year I was outside walking about using the iPhone and this year I had plugged the RODE into the Laptop as I happened to be at my desk !!! At that moment, I had a Ka Ching moment and I plugged it in and away I went and I discovered that I could get anywhere between 25 and 75 ‘finished’ words a minute and over the last five weeks I have been hammering away at it and I have now completely transcribed the whole of the remainder of the series.

I have about 10 chapters at the end left just to go through and divide up and print because I was doing one scene/ time read in/ transcribe it/ lightly edit/ divide it up/ run upstairs and print and file away/ write the count down and move on; but it appeared that I had rather more time at the weekends than I thought to actually do some work – but when there was no transcription ready I couldn’t do it – so  had  3 days I think of just simply reading and then transcribing to get to this point where it’s now done.

It’s an amazing feeling to have achieved something has been hanging over my head since I finished writing it three years ago and to achieve it apparently ‘just like that’- even though I’m completely knackered – and throat sore – it has opened up a realm of possibilities that I just had never thought of and the major point is that now I probably can be in a position to have that series, mostly edited, covered and ready to go out by 2018 autumn – 13, 14 months time –

If I had given up failing this wouldn’t be the case… but –

There’s no reason why I now can’t do that other than my own fear and inhibitions which have all come crowding round me. I must admit I am getting a whole range of negativity – might succeed/ might fail/ look stupid/it’s rubbish/ how embarrassing you now have to do this etc etc are coming at me thick and fast at the moment and I’m trying to deflect that.

So yeah that’s been a lifesaver – Dragon 13 professional and my iPhone and Scott Baker have saved my life. 🙂

I noticed that Scott had said something else that latched in my brain; I had a notification from the iPhone -like you do – which said that Dragon REC App might not work when the phone updated…and I know that Dragon is going towards a subscription thing for recording microphone and etc and it’s quite expensive and it isn’t as accurate etc etc and as far as I can tell is very expensive. . . So I figured that that is a distinct possibility that it might be the case that the Dragon record thing might not work with the iPhone at some point in the future – and also I’m very aware that my iPhone might pack up – in which case, I’d be stuffed and trussed and in the oven. . .  I noticed what Scott said about using and ordinary dictaphone and I remembered that when I bought  Dragon- I also bought a dictaphone.

It was £9.99 on Amazon and is a tiny little thing it’s not even got a brand I think it’s called Steel, back in the day I had no idea what I was doing and it was still in the box in the desk. I fished it out and tried it and it works as good as the iPhone J

So there’s no reason why – should anything happen to my iPhone I will be stuffed J

Scott Baker also brought a Dragon training course – and I’ve already bought it because he’s already helped me and there is going to be more!!!

On the train of thought about life without an iPhone I have also taken a good look at my old camera – a little Olympus Traveller 14/25 – I saw that Darren Rowse’s team have a 31ay spin off about taking better photos and learning to use your camera so I printed out my 65 page manual and signed up. One thing that gets me blogging is activity and a picture – when riding the horse I can’t use the iPhone as it doesn’t have a wrist strap even to guard against it falling and it is quite big to hold etc – my camera just hangs on the saddle in a tough bag and if something happens it isn’t my life handler that has just cantered off without me or been trodden on….:)

Now I have achieved the impossible type up and publication is a real possibility if I show up and keep working on it I think it is time to get on with the two big courses I have but haven’t started – 1st 10,000 Readers and Mark Dawson’s similar one – both very expensive courses I got  because I think that they will both be utterly relevant to what need to do but haven’t started as they weren’t relevant to ‘typing/transcribing’.

Holly Lisle has plenty to keep me busy as well that is new for me and I found a ‘new guy’ – Scott Teague, another from the Alli website and he’s got lots of how-to videos -all very pertinent to my next stage/steps and he has a great podcast I am already binging on J

Goals and Plans?

My long-term goals – and my short-term goals – have largely featured the fact that this ‘thrilling’ 350,500 words had to be typed up!

It’s been a feature of my goal setting for three years and was finally what made me jump from a day job I really enjoyed as a carer for our local authority Social Services…And it also played a part in me getting rid of my sheep flock and ‘standing down’ as an active farmer.

Now that mass of words is transcribed – bar enough of the rest of the Quest series and Hacked that I can use them when I’m playing with Scott’s course so I’ve got something fresh to do  that isn’t  huge – I need to re calibrate everything.

There’s also the fact at the moment I have not finished writing the first drafts of Hacked Apart or Hacked To Bits – but then my goal for them was to finish by Sept 2017 – and that IS still doable and I am still on course…

Editor Eileen is saying that she will invoice me next week for the story edit read through of Hacked Off – I’m very keen to keep that going just on the story level. It will help me with HA and H2 B but mostly it will help with the revision and editing of the Quest series  as I am bound at this stage to have made similar mistakes.

I want to be revising and editing Quest from Sept onwards – and booking someone for the long haul of editing that series with me these next 14 – 16 months while I also  . . SO those of the ways my goals are starting to re- emerge so far

I’ve repurposed the Extensor laptop with Vista as a second screen. It might not last forever, but it should last for a while.  I threw out lots of software from it and  I’ve just put back in the software that I actually need so that when I’m using Dropbox so it will open the files – it’s also – I think going to really bring in the capacity to have a whiteboard on the table because I got Scapple and Free Mind on it and at the very least I can put either the to-do lists for plot points or ideas up on it – so I don’t have bits of paper everywhere – it’s is not wholly portable because it it’s too old now and it needs it needs power, but equally it fits the space and is big enough for me to see things clearly and has a brain – unlike a separate screen.  And yes, it’s got Vista so – bits of it may stop working at some point but as long as I don’t do any actual writing on it – it will be fine J It is important to have a bigger second screen because my eyesight is not good.

I have also got around the horrendous experience of finding my Broad Band was too slow – and the 4Gee too expensive – for me to move stuff out of Dropbox to work on my spare machines with when my main machine needed a fan clean – by getting 2 separate Seagate 1TB hard drives – I use one one week and one the next so the off site stored one is never more than a week behind

SO/ 🙂 That’s my update for my writing day…

This morning  I’ve dictated this and I will go in  and  edit it – take the horse bit and post that in ‘Riding’ and this bit I will post later  in ‘Writing ‘ – what I want to do is go in and actually sit and write a ‘pantsed’ normal blog update with the same subject – and then I will post this ‘dictated to Dragon version with a light edit’ later just to compare the two –

If you have read both you can see what I see – I talk way too much!!!!!!!!!!

So if I am thinking of using Dragon with a few plot cards in my pockets to do first draft on – if it follows this non fiction voice/style difference then the ‘voice’ of HA and H 2 B will change drastically and they will rival War and Peace in length!!! Because in a 38 min walk I ‘wrote 4270 words!!!!! Happy Days!!!


Great Fun…

‘It isn’t what you do it is how you show up…’ (Brendon Brushard)

Couldn’t agree more!

This writing week…



Busy. Having re organised my horses again so they are very happy in a new field I set about re starting the revision of’Hacked Off’ which I am using as my course material to take through Holly’s Writing School HTRN course – I have now added the first in my Quest series to that ‘In Plain Sight.’ – it is a course that is stretching me and having been through the mill of Holly’s excellent other courses before – I trust her to get me where I want to go with these two MS.

However I still have to do the work, feel the angst that what I wanted to write might not be what I wrote and then find a way to bridge the gap. Not that I am a Drama Queen – MUCH 🙂

My Take Out This Week?

Even when working alone – get on the right team.


Back At IT Then…



My commitments for the next 3 months are…

1. Continue to take Hacked Off through Holly Lisle’s revision course HTRN – 22 weeks roughly. With the view to then formatting that and working out covers etc and getting up here as an example of my writing and as an exercise in working out ‘how to’ and to prove to myself ‘I can do.’

2. Continue to type up the long hand manuscript for Q3 and Q4 at the rate of 4 sides /day / 5 days/week.


I finished the first read though and first two exercises just now – I had started before the break.


I started on the type up Sunday – so I felt I was ahead by Monday! Which was just as well as with the horses now in I was rediscovering the joys of stable duties and realised I had not ever factored in 6 hours of that in my day – even if Rescue Time logged it under ‘Fresh Air’ – Hum – not been in many stables then.


I suppose it could be described as a work out and yoga with aromatherapy thrown in, the dog’s walk now consists of checking the electric fence and scaling the muck heap.




Given how keen I was to get back to this I am finding it hard – especially the typing up – I have been leaving it to the end of the day as it is fairly mechanical – but of course I am tired – however it leaves my fresher time in the day for the reading and revision of HO which requires thought and creativity.




I have found Brendon Bruchard helpful for keeping myself focussed as he is cross denominational and up beat – he also has pertinent personal development ideas that I can learn from so he makes easy listening and good company in a phase of the year when most folk are trying to push you into goal setting/ consequences of failing to goal set or have you failed yet? Content.

My usual online mentors are still unrolling after Christmas and I have yet to catch up with Michael Hyatt or Darren Rowse, Jeff Goins course Intentional Blog Course has a busy online group so there is always something to see and do at coffee time and I did sign up for extra groups in my online writing group – Write Words.

(Not affiliated to any of these)



– When working at home it is very important to have support  outside the place of folk travelling in the same direction as you as it is easy to get fed up and put off or dismiss all the effort as ‘pointless’ especially in areas it is hard to directly correlate time and money…



– Jump in and say Hi. Google your interest spectrum and see what you can join in with  – the only way this will fail to connect you is if you don’t do it.


The Courage Of Your Convictions…

Sometimes it is necessary to say things to folk we admire when we think they are wrong – however Great And Good they may be – they have feet of clay just like the rest of us and constantly agreeing with folk doesn’t lead to the development of good relationships nor future strategies.

Advice on doing this –


Keep eyes on the horizon over rough country.

Courage comes with action.

Be brave – nothing ventured nothing gained.

Be respectful – after all no one is always right not even you and certainly not me.

Agree to disagree and move on to the things you do share.

Be prepared to leave if necessary.

All relationships are give and take  –

Customers and Service Providers,

Mentors and Mentees ,

Group Members and Group Leaders,

and even Business Owners …

Just because you ‘follow’ some one or join in doesn’t mean you have no view – especially if you have parted with cash.

As Business Owners, Service Providers or Group Creators it is wise to remember that the customer is always right and can always leave if your message isn’t one they want to hear and you ignore them too long or demand money back if your content is worthless or becomes useless to them.

A mentor of mine when asked what a definition of authorial success was said

‘When you sell a book on line and they don’t want their money back…’ ( para phrase Holly Lisle) It seems to me this applies to most things.

As customers we need to be able to give constructive feed back and be brave enough to do it.

If it falls on closed ears, closed minds or automated software – so be it – but have courage – it isn’t always that way. Most of us need each other – dialogue is always best.



Back to work – yesterday.

Back to writing days – yesterday.

Holly Lisle was running a webinair which I joined – as usual inspirational and interesting.

Today I set down a plan to keep my productivity up till 1st June while packing house and office up and moving to mobile home so that our old home can have some much needed TLC. I plan and everyone laughs but at least I try, regroup and try again…