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I've heard that Dragon software is supposed to be a good friend to a writer... I haven't gone there yet but probably should as I talk much faster than I type!

I still struggle with pen or paper, but I couldn't bring myself to scratch anything out -- I think I am a bit too anal (lol) for that... I need the neatness, now you could never tell that by looking at my desk today...

I used to say "I think in ink". And it was OK because I do not type. Yes, really, even though that is unusual for my age cohort--- Class of “69. OK now, I'm not talking 1869. All girls were required to take typing --- only in case we would end up as secretaries to support ourselves as a backup to getting married. I lasted three weeks in that boring class before talking my way out of it. That was a mistake. School failed to tell me that I would regret it some 20 years later--- when I was working on my doctorate. Go figure.

Now, I do not to “think in ink" because a few years ago I taught myself voice-activated software, Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is what I am using right now. My Dragon is really fast.

Currently, my process of writing relies on my “thoughts to voice" process; that is, I seldom ink out an entire written piece. I go straight to my Dragon. Sometimes, though, my Dragon takes over and writes crazy stuff for me, in spite of me. (She doesn't understand me. That happens in relationships sometimes.) I just train her better and fix it. However, at times when random thoughts and ideas occur, I jot down notes and brief phrases, which I talk about later to my Dragon.

I do not worry about editing as I speak. Open mouth and insert Dragon.

How reassuring to know I'm not alone in this pen vs. 'puter struggle. For me, the journal is a place I can get messy--both in thought and ink--provided I have the right pen. Probably a peek into my bizarro world, but the feel of the pen on the pen is instrumental (groan) to the flow of the words on the paper. I don't erase. I like scratching out as opposed to erasing because when I look back, I can see where and why my thoughts changed. I don't like writing in pencil anyway, and I'm not fond of erasable pens.

The computer is, sometimes, too stark and official. But I learned, in finishing my book, that if I focus less on the look of the words on the screen and more on the thoughts pumping out of my brain, I'm less likely to hesitate or let the internal editor gobble up the words.

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