The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#53

insecure-writers-groupPurpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

The co-hosts for May are: Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, MJ Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, and Stephanie Faris! Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG.

Quintessential Spec Fic AnthologyThe IWSG Anthology Parallels: Felix Was Here has at last been released!

What if the government tried to create the perfect utopia? Could a society linked to a supercomputer survive on its own? Do our reflections control secret lives on the other side of the mirror? Can one moment split a person’s world forever?

Exploring the fantastic, ten authors offer incredible visions and captivating tales of diverse reality. Featuring the talents of L. G. Keltner, Crystal Collier, Hart Johnson, Cherie Reich, Sandra Cox, Yolanda Renee, Melanie Schulz, Sylvia Ney, Michael Abayomi, and Tamara Narayan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will expand your imagination and twist the tropes of science fiction. Step through the portal and enter another dimension!

You can get your copy from these places:
Print: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Ebook: Amazon, ITunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo


voice recorderI love writing by hand BUT want to try something different. A question for the writers who have experimented with recording their stories. How often do you record? Is it same time, same place as the BICHOK mode… Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard…just that it’s replaced by BICVOR…Butt In Chair Voice On Record? Or does it allow for more flexibility? How do you transcribe from audio version to written version? What programmes are available? Are they expensive? Conversation is natural, story telling is engaging, audio equipment is cost effective (am I right?) It seems that this method is perfect for somebody writing an autobiography/memoir. What about other types of stories?

So what are your thoughts? Do you have any experience with audio? Since conversation is natural, do ideas seem to flow more freely? Any good audio programmes you can recommend? Any free ones? The A to Z challenge “fried my brains to a crispy crunch”. I’ll be doing my rounds over the next few days…


  1. Lexa Cain on May 4, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Congrats to all the authors in the Parallels Anthology!! I’ve recorded bits and pieces of novels (on my tablet when I’m in bed and too tired to hit the lights and write), but they didn’t sound nearly as impressive as I thought they were when I recorded them. I seem to speak in purple prose! LOL! But good luck to anyone who does it better than I do!

  2. Hilary on May 4, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Hi Michelle – I have a straight old-fashioned recorder .. that I need to transcribe from – but must get used to using that … and then in due course ‘train’ up Dragon-Writer or similar software. My thoughts when they come to me need to put down immediately – hopefully the tape recorder will do that for me … as I’m not always at the keyboard.

    Note taking using Siri could help too … haven’t really tried that …

    The IWSG – is a great resource for many … so thanks for all the ideas etc .. cheers Hilary

  3. Nicola on May 4, 2016 at 11:23 am

    I know of a few authors who have turned to recording their words and then using a program to type it up. I’ve tried but I like the physicality of typing. My brain seems better connected with my fingers than my mouth so I gave that technique up pretty quick. Maybe I’ll try it again in the future but for now, I’m glued to my chair and tapping away.

  4. Alex J. Cavanaugh on May 4, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    I’d have to play it back and hear my own voice at some point and I don’t think I could do that!

  5. Anna on May 4, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I’ve never tried it. But if I did… I’d record (voice activated recorder) as I took a road trip. I always see things that get my imagination going. Now how I’d get it written down I’m not sure. I’ve heard of Dragon. It’s a program that transcribes. Or if I had some cash I might hire a student willing to help me out. Last resort type it myself.

    Let me know how it goes. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  6. J.L. Campbell on May 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Hey, Michelle, I’ve heard good things about Dragan, but it comes at a cost. I tried with Microsoft’s programme, but my accent boggles it and it ends up producing all sorts of garbled stuff. That said, you apparently need to train any programme you get until it understands your voice.

  7. Pat Garcia on May 4, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Yes, I do have experience with audio but it is mostly after I have put my butt in my chair and written my story out. When I start revising I start my recording. It is very helpful because I catch so many irregularities with my dialogue and other peculiarities like missing words that I thought I had written in a sentence.

    Patricia @

  8. joylene on May 4, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    I have no experience using this tool. I keep wanting to give it a try. Please keep me informed after you choose a method. I’m interested in learning what you think.

  9. Gisele LeBlanc on May 4, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Hi, Michelle!

    I’ve only dabbled a bit — simply used the dictation program that is included in Scrivener. I’m a pretty slow writer though (I process slowly), so although I can see it being helpful if my hands or wrists are tired, I don’t think it would help me write faster — and I can’t see myself using it when I’m out and about. But really, I haven’t tried it enough to be sure. There is a FB group called Dragon Riders – Authors Dictate that you might want to check out.

    There is also a free Dragon app for iPhone. I’ve played around with it too. Seems to work pretty well. I think for me, it might be more helpful to write blog posts than fiction, but I know of fiction writers who use it and swear by it. I think I probably need to experiment with it a bit more before I decide if it’s worth the effort or not.

  10. Carol Kilgore on May 4, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    I well remember the “crispy, crunchy fried brains” feeling 🙂

    I’ve never used audio writing, so I really have no comment. I’d love to talk to someone who has, though, and find out how it works and if I’d need to retrain my thoughts to come out my mouth instead of my fingers. I also wonder how sensitive it is? There is usually a lot of noise going on in my house while I’m writing. My office is an open space with no door.

  11. L. Diane Wolfe on May 4, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Have you considered the Dragon Naturally Speaking software? You speak into the headset and it transcribes it on the screen for you. I love it.

  12. Patricia Lynne on May 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    I have never tried recording my writing. Mostly because I don’t like the sound of my voice and second because I find it easier to translate my thoughts by typing over speaking.

  13. Madeline Mora-Summonte on May 4, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I’d be too busy cringing at the sound of my own voice to pay attention to the ideas/words. 🙂

  14. Cherie Reich on May 4, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    I know a few authors who dictate their stories via Dragon Naturally Speaking software. I can see the benefits of it, but I’m usually too stuck in my head to sound natural on audio. LOL!

  15. Murees Dupe on May 4, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    That is definitely an interesting idea. I’ve wondered about recording my story and if it’s easier to get the ideas down. I will definitely give it a try. Thank you for the idea.

  16. Crystal Collier on May 4, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I find the time it takes to translate thought to fingers allows for more poetry and beauty than simply speaking. I was going to try Dragon Speaking Naturally a few years ago, but then I realized that I need the time between brain and hands to get my thoughts right. I have used a recorder for transcribing melodies and occasionally harmonies/lyrics for songs though. Terribly helpful.

  17. Misha on May 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    I’ve heard great things about Dragon, but I’m afraid of buying it and discovering that it isn’t compatible with my South African accent. 😉

  18. C. Lee McKenzie on May 4, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    From one crispy fried brain to the other, congrats on getting your May IWSG post together and doing such a great job after April.

    I can’t talk my books. I even have a hard time with audio books. They translate into my head differently than the written word and not always the way I want them to. So I guess my answer is no. I wouldn’t be interested in Dragon.

  19. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor on May 4, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Wow, I had never even thought about recording one’s story, but it makes sense when you think about how we record oral histories. What an intriguing idea. I think I’d be put off a bit my hearing myself, but it sounds like it could be an effective technique.

  20. Julie Flanders on May 4, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    I never thought about recording my story but I agree with others that it is an intriguing idea. I hate to read out loud though so I don’t think I could manage it. If I did I’d be so busy critiquing my recording that I would never get the story finished!
    Good luck to you if you decide to do it! I will be interested to read how it goes for you.

  21. Shannon Lawrence on May 4, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I don’t think I’d be any good at audio recording. With my migraines, my speaking can get interrupted, and I more frequently forget words when speaking aloud vs. writing, which is weird, huh? I did try way back in the day, but I discovered after getting a significant way through that the auto-recording feature would kick in with a delay and cut out the end of what I said. Ack! Bear in mind, this was probably 15 years ago. I’ve heard there are great programs for cell phones, though I’m not sure what any are called. And I asked if there was a delay, and was told there wasn’t. Good luck with it! I’m curious to hear how it goes.

  22. Stephen Tremp on May 5, 2016 at 1:16 am

    I totally missed it on Parallels: Felix Was Here. Meant to include it in my post but totally spaced it. I’m like the only one in Blogdom today not to include it in my post. D-oh!

    May 2016 IWSG Co-Host
    May the 4th Be With You
    Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

  23. Susan Gourley on May 5, 2016 at 1:18 am

    I’ve never tried that. I’ll be interested to hear about your experience.

    Susan Says

  24. S. Katherine Anthony on May 5, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Ackkk no, I have thing about my voice in which, well, I dislike it lol Which makes me self-conscious and I end up sounding even more unnatural than necessary o_O But I suppose at some point I should try it. Just to say I did lol

  25. Southpaw HR Sinclair on May 5, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    It’s not a bad idea, though I haven’t done it. The words may come out smoother when spoken.

  26. Denise Covey on May 6, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Hi Michelle! I have Parallels but have yet to do more than glance quickly through it. So many books to read! I’m not into audio at all! Hate audio books. I love to write straight onto my laptop, but I’m a firm believer that we write better pen in hand, but time is the killer for this luxury. I hope you sort out what works for you as everybody’s different!

    Have a writerly, happy month!

    Denise 🙂

  27. Louise (Fundy Blue) on May 6, 2016 at 6:37 am

    Hi, Michelle! Interesting question! I have not worked with an audio recorder. I don’t think I would either because I’m very visual. However, when I write, I hear the words in my head, and I am very attuned to the rhythm and flow of the sounds. I’m so used to writing this way, that it would be hard to change. The sounds in my head go right into my keyboard via my hands. Based on my misadventures trying to dictate messages on my new (and first) iPhone, using an audio recorder might be problematic. Besides, I’d still have to transcribe it all, so I might as well type it to begin with.

    I’ve ordered the hardcopy of the new anthology ~ Can’t wait to get it!

  28. Anne on May 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    You’ll have to let me know if you find something good. I have often voice-recorded while driving (hands-free, using my phone) and I do find that especially dialogue can be awesome. I’ve also recorded as a way of editing, a trick I learned while editing my M.A. thesis (it sounds cool when I say that) as a way to see how your story is going, catch errors. It worked for my thesis but it really works for fiction. I rarely transcribe later, because I usually remember most of it later (my memory is freaky that way – I can’t remember where I put my keys but I’ll remember that phone number I said out loud one time), but when I want to remember a few lines I do play it back. I’ve tried Dragon Naturally Speaking but it is really dumb with me due to having a lisp and other speech impediments such that I can’t even teach it (it gives you the option of trying,) I’ve found it’s faster just to type. Good luck finding a system that works with you.

  29. Elise Fallson on May 7, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I don’t have much experience with audio, the only time I’ve done recordings is when a bit of dialogue or idea pops into my head while i’m out or driving. At stop lights for example, I’ve switched my phone to record and voiced my ideas there. But recording and entire story is an interesting idea…. . Anyway, congratulations to all the contributors of the IWSG anthology!!!

  30. NRRN on May 8, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    I know of an author who has arthritis in her right hand and uses the voice recording for her books. It does sound it comes handy in such situations.

    Congrats to all the authors in the anthology!

  31. Quanie Miller on May 9, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I don’t have any experience with audio. I think that if I tried recording myself I’d just go off on a tangent and end up not being able to use it!

  32. Loni Townsend on May 9, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    I can’t dictate my writing. All I’d end up with would be “Derek…” over and over again, even if I’m writing a Cera story or I’m working in a different POV. Plus I’ve been known to have issues verbally articulating, and I’ve got made up words and fancy names. Hope your recording goes well!

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