There’s a book—no, more than a book, lots of books—inside of me, just begging to pour out of my head. Mental illness and neurodivergence have been some really terrible, almost life-ending roadblocks to pursuing my writing dreams, but my new therapist has been a real help in getting me back to believing that I can be the writer I hope that I am. In our last session, she suggested that since I get so scared by trying to start something on a blank page but find talking out my book so easy, I should try talking out my writing and using a transcription service. It seems like a perfect solution; however, I’ve been so scared that a transcriber would find my book dumb that I just … can’t. (And I really need to use a human transcriber because of course my unusual accent plus mild speech impediment has led to some really terrible auto-dictation results.) What if they think my book sucks? Or the fact I use a hilariously bad approximation of a British accent when I “write” the love interest’s dialogue—how could they not find that idiotic? Or worse, hurtful, like I’m making fun? I know dictation is the solution to get back to writing again, filling the void that this years-long writer’s block has hollowed out in me, but … how do I manage that feeling of judgment I know is coming any time I hit record on the Voice Memo app?
—One Day a Writer