Friday, September 1, 2017

Writing Success Through Cooperative Adaptation

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

Find Writing Success by Using the Tools Available
Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas (Acts 16:6-8 NLT).

That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there (Acts 16:9-10 NLT).

In these verses, Paul and Silas made plans based on their known mission to spread God’s word to all people. However, they forged ahead without first getting God’s approval. That’s when the Holy Spirit stepped in and altered their idea to fit God’s intention.

While this applies to the words we write, it also pertains to how we write them. We’ve all experienced the moment when our inner voice has told us to change the direction of our stories. And taking that new direction usually results in better stories. But do we resist when that same voice tells us to change the way we write our stories?

I love the tactile sensation of tapping my fingers on the keyboard and watching the words magically appear on the screen. Like Paul and Silas, I want to reach others for Christ, and like Paul and Silas, I often forge ahead with my own plan of how I’ll accomplish that—by “typing” the words because the experience gives me pleasure. So, I’ve resisted the promptings of others to use alternative methods of writing.

Until now.

In May, I received a contract for the novel I’m working on. Shortly thereafter, I found myself flat on my back with little time out of bed until recently. And when I could get out of bed, most of that time was spent in doctors’ offices.

I discovered it’s near impossible to type while flat on my back.

I’d made little progress on my novel. This upset me because I had promised to deliver a novel to my publisher. And, I hate making a promise I can’t keep. To add to the pressure, the CEO of the publishing house is a friend, so I feel I’m reneging and letting a friend down.

However, as He did with Paul and Silas, the Holy Spirit stopped me from doing things my way. He showed me His plan—use speech to text, at least for the first draft.

I argued with the Spirit, not wanting to give up what I consider to be one of the most enjoyable parts of writing. I reminded Him that I didn’t fight against His telling me to get better organized by adding Scrivener to my writing tools.

He responded by telling me to use speech-to-text.

Now, I’ve argued with the Lord before, and never won. So, I don’t know why I thought I’d get a different result this time.

So, I got Dragon NaturallySpeaking because it easily integrates with Scrivener. Since I’ve tried Microsoft’s speech-to-text before, I know Dragon won’t be perfect, but is easy enough to learn and use. I also know my progress will be slowed by the necessary learning curve that goes with both programs. However, the learning curve won’t be as long as the time I spent incapacitated.

I’m feeling better now, but my cancer numbers are disputing my improved physical comfort. I suspect there may be more days of little energy and time spent in bed. Yet, I’m confident that once I master my new software, I’ll be much more productive during my “downtime.”

For those of you shopping or just wondering, I obtained both Scrivener and Dragon for just under $80. Scrivener’s price is set, but Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home can be bought on Amazon for $35.

How about you? Do you use either of these programs? Do you love the feel of your fingers tapping the keyboard? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments section.


Bruce Brady is an author, writer and playwright. His work has appeared in Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family,, and on stage. Currently, Bruce is working on a Young Adult Novel about a boy who must deal with the death of his dad, being bullied, and helping his mom through her grief. His first five pages took third place in the ACFW South Carolina Chapter’s “First Five Pages” contest.When he’s not writing, Bruce spends time learning from and helping other writers. He serves as Mentor of Word Weavers International’s Online Chapter, and as a member of Cross ‘N’ Pens, The Writer’s Plot, ACFW’s National and South Carolina Chapters.


  1. Congrats on your contract, Bruce! Well deserved, my friend. Prayers continue... ((( Hugs from the Upstate )))

    1. Thank you, Cathy. I miss my Cross N' Pens family. Give everyone my love.

  2. Keep recovering Bruce. We will keep praying for you.
    Not a fan if Dragon or most speech-to-text programs since they don't agree with my heavy accent.
    I bought Scrivener but I am not a fan. I find it complicated rather than intuitive.
    Thanks for the post, happy Labor Day weekend!

    1. Thanks, Ingmar. I know there will be challenges but it's better than not writing. As always, I appreciate your continued prayers. He's listening.

  3. Bruce, I'm so proud of you. You continue to serve the Lord and others. I pray daily for you. It's funny how we argue with God. Past history, tells us we won't win, but we give it a try anyway.

    1. Thank you, Yvonne. I think we give it a try because we believe that maybe this one time we might be right. When we step back and think about it, we don't know what's going happen a minute from now and He knows our entire future. Yes, it's funny. Hope you're doing well.

  4. Congratulations on your contract, Bruce. I've heard of Scrivner and Dragon but have never tried either one. This may have been the prompt (urging of the Holy Spirit) I've needed to seriously look into both of these. Praying for you!

    1. Thanks, Debra. My thinking was the $80 bucks wasn't that big a risk. I'm not proud of it, but I've wasted much more money than that in the past. One thing I didn't include is the fact that with a long enough cord, it will allow me to walk around, something most writers don't do enough.

  5. I hadn't crossed paths with you before now, tho I often get good info from Edie's blog. Good to see subject of your WIP, as I was that boy. I was 11 when we lost Dad.
    Thanks for your contributions to other writers, esp. in the midst of your health challenges.