Okay, so here’s the thing about having rheumatoid arthritis. Things hurt. Yes, I’m managing the pain, but i’ve only just recently been diagnosed and am still working with my doctor to figure out the best drug combination. But all the treatment stuff aside, I am still experiencing joint pain. I will probably always have some sort of pain. Yes, that’s depressing, and I’m sorry if you feel bad. Don’t. I’ll be okay. I’m still happy, still working, still living my life.
My point is, though, that I’ve been using dictation software for nearly a year now to augment my writing because typing sometimes hurts. Over the last several months, I’ve been using it more consistently and getting better and better at it. I find that it really makes writing a faster process, and my cat is quite fond of it because it leaves my hands free for scratching her ears.
This is great, right?
Speaking and writing are two different neurological tasks. They use different pathways in the brain and it feels different, mentally, to do both. I’m getting better at dictating the story that I would write by typing, but it still feels different to do. And I’m definitely more fond of the tactile act of writing.
So yesterday, I decided that I would rather deal with some pain to have the tactile experience than do exclusive dictation. I managed to write 5.6k words, which is more than I’ve managed on my dictation software for nearly two months. It felt really, really good.
I worked primarily on the fourth book in my On Behalf of Death series, wherein my main character Cal Thorpe has to act as Death’s proxy while he is on holiday in the tropics. Things, as expected, go wrong. I’m about 25k words into this book, which puts it at a little less than 50% (maybe 45? Somewhere in there) complete. I’m very excited about this, because I really love working on these stories. They take my irreverent and sarcastic nature and add magic. It’s fun. 🙂
I also started working on a new story, which I am titling The Strategist. This is going to be the first in a trilogy of epic fairytale reimaginings. I’m starting with The Princess and the Pea, only there’s going to be an invading army, a rebellion, and a main character who has pain like I do. Then I’ll go on to Snow White (I think) and focus on such things as social anxiety and similar issues. The third will be a reimagining of Vasilya the Fair, a Russian folktale about a girl who gets sent to fetch a light from Baba Yaga, the witch of the forest. This series is going to get dark, and it’s going to be very, very frank about chronic illness, mental illness, and other social issues. It’s completely different from my Cal Thorpe books, and I love it.
So, yeah. That’s my quick update. I won’t do typing all the time. There will be days where it’s better for my health to do dictation. But I really enjoyed getting back into the tactile feeling of writing.