Sunday, 17 April 2011

Going Digital

It's been an interesting week for me, writing wise. I've been out and about again, after a bit of a hiatus, interviewing people. This time it was to a local community centre where Age UK hold dance sessions for the over 60's. They had the Rambert dance company in doing a dance workshop and it was great fun. I managed to interview the woman from the dance company and three of the ladies who took part. I think I had as much fun interviewing them and watching them dance as they did dancing.

I've had my digital Voice Recorder for some time now and it's an essential bit of kit for me. Whereas before I would be scribbling what my interviewee was saying into a notebook (I don't do short hand and would have to try and decipher my illegible scrawl after the interview) now I just press a button and the hard work is done for me. Not only does it save me a headache and time, it also serves as evidence should I be accused of writing something that an interviewee said but then claim they didn't say  -  it's all in my magic digital box. It's something all writers need to be aware of. I tend to keep my recordings on there for some time after the article has been published, just in case there's a complaint and I need to check.

But using a voice recorder also protects the interviewee, and using one comes with certain responsibilities. I always, for instance, tell the interviewee that I have a voice recorder and I ask their permission before using it. Once I explain why I prefer to use it, ie, the interview will take twice as long without it and using it will prevent me from getting facts wrong as I can refer to it later on. But, if they don't like it, I don't use it. It's a pain without it but you have to respect people's wishes.

I've just finished transcribing the interviews I did from Thursday at the community centre and I also went back to an interview I did last year with one of the Morris dancers as I hadn't had the time to do that one yet and it brought back some lovely memories of when I was with them - they are so funny! It spurred me on to get back on the article writing wheel and get going with those articles I promised myself I would pitch and write but hadn't got round to yet. If I've taken the time and effort to go and interview people the least I can do is get down to writing about them!

So that's my writing goal of the week - to get the articles pitched and written so I can out there and get interviewing again. There's always stuff out there to write about if you can be bothered to look closely enough.

Happy writing


  1. Good for you, you sound so much more upbeat! Hugs... xx

  2. I'm currently writing an article about an audio tour, and I was able to use the Scrivener programme to import the audio files to and then type them up, as I listened to them, in the same programme. Orignally, i was merely going to listen to the audio on my mp3 player and sit there with a notebook and just jot down the facts I thought were more interesting.

    But actually, typing up all of the text has meant that I've absorbed all of the information better. I now feel more knowledgeable about the subject and more confident about what I shall be writing about.

    Going digital has its benefits!

  3. Hi, Carole

    I always do feel much better when I've been out and about interviewing people!

    Julie xx

  4. Going digital certainly does have it's uses, Simon. I think it allows you to relax moe and take in more of what the person is saying to you instead of having your face buried in your notebook - I think it saves time too.

    Julie xx