If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may been wondering why it’s been so quiet since the spring. And if you’ve joined us more recently, you may be wondering whether it ever gets much noisier than this. Sorry about that. It wasn’t my intention. As well as running my business, I’ve been preparing for the launch of Lateral Action, which I’m pleased to say is now well under way. But that wasn’t the main reason for the slowdown at Wishful Thinking…
Basically, I injured my hands and haven’t been able to type for the last six months. Which has obviously restricted my ability to write blog posts. And use the computer generally – even keeping up with reading other people’s posts has been a real challenge. Rather embarrassingly for someone who has written an e-book about time management — including whole sections about e-mail — I fell way behind on my e-mail. So for a writer, especially one whose blog is a major source of new business, to say it’s been a frustrating summer would be an understatement.
So what caused the injury? I changed my keyboard. Seriously. You would not believe how much damage you can do can do with such a simple change. Basically, I went from using my laptop — which kept my wrists straight as I typed — to a desktop keyboard. And stupidly didn’t get a wrist rest, which meant my wrists were bent back as I typed. And carried on typing for several hours a day. The analogy my physiotherapist used was that it was like someone who was really good at long-distance cycling suddenly deciding they could run a marathon with no extra training — not realising that they were using different muscles in the legs. With painful results.
So dear readers, be very careful about your typing posture. I don’t want to sound like that fussy person from the IT department, but take it from me it’s not worth making any sudden changes. I think it’s blatantly obvious that I’m not medically qualified, so if in doubt consult a qualified physiotherapist for advice – it could save you a lot of trouble.
Anyway here’s the good news — my hands are nearly back to normal and I’ve discovered some amazing speech recognition software. I’m a pretty fast typist but I’m dictating this blog post much faster than I could ever type it. It’s so good that I don’t think I’ll ever go back to typing for drafting articles, I’m having so much fun dictating them. It’s about 95% accurate — so if you see any funny looking words or typos in my blog posts, please let me know!
The software is called Dragon NaturallySpeaking. The only problem with it is that it’s Windows only, so very reluctantly I’ve installed Windows Vista on my Mac. It turns out that the one area in which Microsoft wipes the floor with Apple is speech recognition. (Mac devotees will however, be pleased to know that in every other respect Windows Vista is the usual garish Microsoft rubbish. Apart from a cool 3-D effect when you switch windows.)
More good news — there are further generous helpings of Wishful Thinking on the way very shortly. Tomorrow in fact, when I kick off a new series about motivating creative people — a hot topic for some of the managers and creative directors I work with.
In the meanwhile, if you haven’t subscribed to Lateral Action yet, please rush over there and subscribe immediately. If you like Wishful Thinking it should be right up your street. I’ve just finished writing a series about Creative Rock Stars — using rock stars as an analogy for exploring the ups and downs of the creative life. And Brian Clark has just written a terrific post explaining why Kurt Cobain was a top-class entrepreneur (yes, really).
So thank you for your patience and on with the show! See you tomorrow …