This is not what I expected…

There are many Indie authors who advocate for the powers of dictation. It markedly increases daily word count and carrying a small dictaphone about with you means you can record thoughts, ideas and pieces of your first draft at any time with the press of a button. I thought I would give it a go, and if I liked it, perhaps invest in Dragon software. I bought a cheap 8gb thing at the basic end of the spectrum, not wanting to spend hundreds when tens would do for a test.

I tried it out this morning to record the start of a sci-fi/horror story that came to me over breakfast. It worked well, the pause button allowing me to stop and start as I pleased while gathering my thoughts and choosing my words. It was fast. I liked it. It felt a little odd speaking punctuation and line breaks, but it is something I can get used to. The problem started when I played it back, not from any technical or creative perspective, but it was damn dangerous.

My cat, Lucy, got very confused that my voice was not coming out of my mouth. First, she knocked a speaker, my mouse and a couple of other things off my writing desk in an effort to get to the source of my voice. Then she picked the thing up in her spiky little teeth, mewling in her throat, and ran off into the kitchen with it. I rescued it as it was being batted across the tiles.

I then decided to listen to the recordings while holding the dictaphone in my hand. Lucy could not steal it if I had hold of it. This did not stop her from trying. Back onto my desk she jumped, wrapped her front paws around my wrist and started gnawing on my hand in an effort to release my voice from cruel, grasping fingers.

I raised my hand above my head to get it away from her. She tried to climb up my arm, all the while making her weird meow. I gave up, turned the thing off and sought out antiseptic for my scratches. Lucy is now curled up on the top of my printer keeping watch, satisfied she has saved me from the Dragon.

Lesson learned: If I am going to use dictation software, lock the cat out of the room first.

Do you use dictation when writing? Have you got any weird stories to tell? Let us know in the comments.

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