The Week of the Dragon


You may have noticed that I didn’t write a blog post this week.

I can explain.

This was the Week of the Dragon, when I tried to harness the cosmic energy of my technology to resolve a metaphysical problem I’d encountered.

Since the publication of Found in Translation in paperback, I have been working on a variety of writing projects while traveling more than usual. Because my travel included driving significant distances—alone in my car with my thoughts—I have had ample time to reflect, and insufficient time to record these reflections in my writer’s notebook.

This week I discovered there’s an App to address my issue: Dragon Dictation.

In the Week of the Dragon, I tested the voice recognition technology of my iPad and found it to be quite impressive. The dragon transcribed my words with 98% accuracy, and I was able to speak in a normal tone of voice. The voice of the transcription, however, was wooden and uninspiring.

I recognize that one week of experimentation constitutes a mere test-case rather than a double-blind study.  Nevertheless, the Week of the Dragon validated my deeply held beliefs about writing and strengthened my commitment to the ritual practice of taking pen to paper.

I tossed my dictated piece into the virtual trash can—despite the compelling idea it contained—because I couldn’t muster enough interest in my own words to develop the theme and revise the prose.

Maybe I will try again in the Week of the Knight.

For now, I lay my pen to rest, unplug the gadgets and honor another weekly ritual:

Shabbat shalom, wishing you a peaceful Sabbath!


Comments (4)

Pamela, thanks for this. For me, too, something about the physical act of writing brings forth words and ideas. A bit like drawing with crayons, I guess.

I have an urge, Reb Laura, to break out the box of crayons. Half are broken, the other half melted and stuck together, in an old cigar box that Saba Gene gave to my kids more than a decade ago. Maybe I could find some good ideas in that cigar box, if I sift through the worn-down crayons.

There is great power in the act of writing. I do find, however, that I’ve got lots of great ideas that zip through my head…and straight on out and into the netherworld. Never to be seen or heard from again.

What to do, what to do…

Funny that you mention this issue, Frume Sarah. I just read somewhere (but I can’t remember where!) about the importance of writing those ideas in the notebook and then letting them go. The author was saying that he doesn’t reread his notes about those fleeting ideas, but instead writes about the ones he remembers, because they are the ones with staying power.

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