Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Being Creative Just For The Sake Of It

When was the last time you did something creative just for the sake of doing it?

Creating something that isn't for your store, book, career, but just because doing it might make you happy?

I'm going to bet it's been awhile.  

We all need to fill that creative well. It doesn't matter if you don't create for a living, it matters that you enjoy creating.

I recently changed my website, wanting brighter and happier colors. I like it, but it's not quite right.  I know what I want, but I haven't the skills to make it happen, so I'm challenging myself to learn a new skill so I can be more creative.  Do I have to do this, no. I want to do this. For me.

A blog personality I follow is starting to learn how to create videos. It's a challenge for her, but she loves it. Yes, it may eventually play into her business, but she's doing it because she wants to, not because helping her business may be the outcome.   

She's having fun.

Wow, what a concept. 

Okay, I hear you all now. "I don't have the time, or the energy to learn something new, or distract me from my career."

My answer to you is that you're thinking about having fun, doing something new, in the wrong way. Yes, what you choose to be creative with can be a challenge, or it can simply be finding a coloring book and playing with that. 

My point is that a new creative challenge or simply doodling on paper allows a person to expand their potential. Why? Because it changes our perspective.  Often the way a vacation does that for us. 

So try something creative and let us all know what you're doing. 

I'm learning a new creative skill that yes, may eventually translate into a new website graphic...but it may not. Regardless, I'm excited to learn and be creative with it.  Will it change my life? I'm pretty sure in some way it will. 

The journey is in the never know where it will lead.

~ L.A. Sartor

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mental Can Openers & Writer's Hash ~He Was So Fantasy Minded He Was No Technical Good

 Brad Leach brings us another cool and maybe even mind bending on.

Many of you may remember from the television or movies where some individual dictates while a typewriter magically clicks away taking down every word. Some of you may think of the movie, The Bishop’s Wife with David Niven and Cary Grant. Grant plays an angel who, at one point in the film, dictates a Christmas sermon. I think of the original Star Trek episode where Gary Seven dictates his mission report to a typewriter. The Twilight Zone, Bewitched, and I Dream of Jeannie had something similar.
My younger mind eagerly imagined such machinery as typewriters and cars bound to my verbal command. I might helpfully tell the construction crane to go to work or have the nearest vending machine wheel itself over and empty itself of my favorite candy bar (Snickers and Baby Ruth being high on the list.)

Now that I have retired to write, imagine my delight upon learning there is a voice recognition system available to be used in place of typing. While speech recognition has been available for the past 20 years, it’s only recently become refined enough to see a 95% success rate, right from the box. Now the only limit to my “typing speed” is the speed at which my mind can compose sentences. My computing word processor composes even as I speak. I have the power of Gary Seven and an angel combined (well, maybe not quite an angel.)

It must be conceded that the 3% to 5% of errors do need correction, but almost all of the correction can be done verbally. Also, the punctuation must be dictated as part of the sentence. I don’t remember Cary Grant or Gary Seven having to do that! Still, for those who don’t type well or can’t type at all, this rivals the automobile replacing the horse, and a slightly dyslexic horse at that.

My system, Nuance’s Dragon Naturally Speaking, learns as it goes. It can be taught new or unique words and also studies your style of writing so it can better anticipate your word usage. I think of this like those movies where the English butler has learned that the master likes his eggs lightly basted and his bacon crispy. It took a computer, but now there’s something that hangs on my every word.

Now, the bad news. This won’t make you a better writer. It simply makes you faster. So if all you write is junk, you will only be able to write junk very quickly. With this tool helping you, you can quadruple your rejection letters.

The other factor not often considered is that you must compose the sentence in your mind as you wish it to look upon the page. Prattling on a mile a minute without thought leaves you hundreds of minutes needed to edit miles of prattle. I suppose even angels had to think about what they were going to say.

PostScript – this entire blog article was dictated, corrected, and formatted verbally. My fat little fingers never caressed the keyboard. I even had a suave, female, British computer voice named Serena read my article to me for editing purposes. Ah, the life of an angel.

~ Brad