A Dictator Dictates En Route To Work

A Dictator is Born En Route to Work

davinci's hourglass

I travel a long and winding path to work every day.

I take over an hour to get from my front door in Yuanlin to my school in Taichung. And the journey involves a scooter, escalators, stairs, a train, a bicycle, and my pair of hairy legs.

This month I am working on increasing my writing time so I can finish my 80,000-word novel, Davinci’s Hourglass, by mid-December.

It is National Novel Writing Month (more commonly known as NaNoWriMo), so I am not alone in attempting this challenge of writing a novel in a month.

How could I use my commute time to write more? I needed to write hands free, and without staring at a screen or a page.

So I gave voice typing a go. I see people talking to their phones all the time, therefore I was sure I wouldn’t stand out too much if I talked to my phone and dictated my words as I traveled.

On Monday morning I parked my iBike. I plugged in the earbuds, pressed the microphone icon, and started talking as I started walking the last 10 minutes to work. I recorded 456 words while negotiating a park, traffic lights, and turns. Wow. It usually takes me at least half an hour to write 500 words. Voice typing is much faster than keyboard typing.

Apparently the average person can type a thousand words an hour. That same person can dictate five thousand words an hour. That makes sense if you think about it. I speak much faster than I can write. I’m sure you can, too. Try it out!

Here’s a poem that first started life as dictated text on Monday morning. It was fun to ‘write’ poetry while on the move.

On Dictating this Morning

A Diary Style Poem

Dictated While Walking to Work Through the 228 Memorial Park

by Quenntis Ashby

One day (while walking)
I find my voice 
In my mouth;

From down in my lungs 
I squeeze the air out through my throat,
And, as my breath exits my body,

I record and transcribe 
The sounds my voice makes,
Sounds in the form of words

And sentences,
Spelling out a kind of magic.
And as I try to find more time 

To write (when to sit and type
On a keyboard at a desk 
Is not always possible)

I can write the world 
I know anew 
While not lifting a finger.

I find my voice 
Walking around
In my mouth

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