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Walkin’ , Talkin’ and Writin’ on Vocal (Or Anywhere)

by Mike Singleton - Mikeydred about a year ago in advice
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How To Write For Vocal With No Desk

Practice, Man Practice

When I first started writing on Vocal I also picked up on using Google Docs because on my phone I can actually speak into it and capture what I'm saying while I'm walking and I thought that could be a very good idea.

When I actually got home from the first outings I just had this block of text to edit and correct the wrong words, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and all that sort of thing. It was one huge single block

I recently entered a piece for a Vocal competition, Coming of Age / Life Changing Event ,and I thought I would record my thoughts on it while walking around St James and St Basil's Oasis of Calm garden.

I'd given up on speaking and then editing it because it was too much, but I've realised that the simple solution of actually stopping, entering the paragraph, and then starting another paragraph makes it much easier to actually edit, and it means that I can effectively speak faster than I can actually write.

The editing of single paragraphs is nowhere near as bad as taking a huge block of text and then having to split and edit it.

So essentially if you've got Google Docs on an Android phone, and I assume there is the equivalent on iPhones and other operating systems, as long as you take breaks and manually make paragraphs your finished document will be a lot easier to edit.

This is just a small advice piece that if you want to write on Google Docs by speaking or dictating or you have a stream of consciousness so to speak, then this a good way of capturing a starting draft.

Everybody has their own way of writing. A lot of people have a notepad to jot down ideas, and that's a great idea ,although my writing is very often so bad I can't even read it, let alone somebody else. So it's ok for a couple of ideas but not a permanent solution for me. I've got a friend , Samantha Ciccone, and she always writes longhand and then eventually transfers it to digital format. So it's whatever you prefer.

I do find direct typing results in better quality writing for me, as you may see in this piece that was 95% done by me speaking into Google Docs for my draft article before moving it to the Vocal editor.

The vocal editor is not great. It's fairly simple and it just takes time to get to know it. Once you get to know it and format then you can actually produce stuff that is readable. There are issues with fonts and spacing and things like that but especially with the quick edit it has become more than adequate for what it does. It is a work in progress and the fact that it is so usable now is a testament to the platform.

I took an age to learn how to insert links and pictures. That sort of thing can help make it look better and more readable. There are things that I would like to do in it which it does not have yet but no doubt they will come in future.

This is effectively a Public Service Announcement for writing for Vocal when you are not at a desk or in a writing area. Sometimes autocorrect is an absolute pain , it just corrected “writing area” to “write are” causing the sentence to be nonsensical .With all the things I have mentioned it’s a case of keep using your tools , practice , practice practice.

I was just listening to “Li’l Beethoven” by Sparks and the song “How Do I Get Get To Carnegie Hall?” answers the question with “Practice, Man, Practice” so that is the video I will share with you.


About the author

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales,Poems,Music & Love

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