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Processing Time to Extract Writing Process #LITdeveloping


Photo of writing workshop page from @topgold's Moleskine via Lumia to Flickr.

AS I WROTE a few takeaway thoughts (in the photo)  during a writing workshop at a staff development day, I realised my own process needs a peer review. That's why I expose my workflow to like-minded colleagues at events such as those run by Congregation and Dublin's e-learning summer school. [1]

I also ruminate inside social audio channels and as I started summarising my thoughts on my blog, Ian Kath in Brisbane offered a similar line of thought. Ian and I often share the same wavelength, crossing over spaces 12 time zones apart. Sometimes I feel telepathy at work.

Ian Kath: Forcing Some Form from the Mists [2]

Ide O'Sullivan from the Regional Writing Centre at the University of Limerick challenged 20 third level lecturers to reflect on their own writing practises. Some of those in the workshop might consider themselves "constipated writers", a term of endearment for some of the people with the most extensive array of pens in the audience. After five minutes of free form writing, we paused to share opinions. I offered thoughts about the value of unstructured audio recording because I know I can often extemporaneously explain an idea in complex terms better than I can write those same ideas. I use Audioboom for that process and Audio Recorder Pro on my Lumia 1520 for sampling lossless sound files.

Getting the spoken word to the written word can be a job for a stenographer or Mechanical Turk. Or if you have the pocket money, Read Write Gold (£320) or Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking (£145) might do the trick. I manually transcribe the core ideas and display main points as large (48 point or bigger) phrases on single Powerpoint slides. In many occasions, those Powerpoint slides form the basis of co-authored academic exercises for students.

I hope to compare writing workflows with other colleagues before the summer, possibly figuring out ways to consistently produce more than 1000 words of content every day. I prefer using Scrivener for my writing because it keeps me on projects, counts words and exports to Kindle and iBooks with a few simple compilation key strokes. I'm grabbing screenshots to show various parts of my writing projects as they unfold during the current semester. 

[Bernie Goldbach is the senior pilot creative multimedia lecturer flying out of the Limerick School of Art & Design.]

1. The highest value-for-money in any Irish event happens for me during the autumn gathering in Cong, County Mayo, Ireland.

2. This is the first time I've tried embedding OneDrive audio on Typepad. If you're reading this via subscription and discover the MP3 was enclosed with the blog post, please let me know. Thanks!

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