Natural Reader Continued…Converting Your Writing into an MP3

I don’t have a lot of excess time these days with family, a full-time career, and the piddly but necessary tasks of life. We all have errands to run, homes to clean. Date Night with the hubby is nice too.

Face it, there’s no getting around the fact that editing is a time-suck. However, I can squeeze more out of my time by using Natural Reader.

The Process

Here’s how to convert your writing into an Mp3 and put it on your mobile device. I can use either my iPod Nano or my Galaxy s5 phone. You can also put your writing on a tablet or listen to it straight from the computer. Play around with the program and see what works for you.

Admittedly, I got a little picture happy. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Launch Natural Reader (Click on pictures to enlarge them)

Step 2: Copy-paste your text from your favorite writing program into the window.

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For this demonstration, I’m using an old writing exercise. With all the crazy Twilight parodies out there, why not add The Terminator to the mix? Sorry, it’s just how my mind works.

Step 3: Choose your preferred Natural Reader voice. In this case, I chose Heather.

Step 4: Select the convert button at the top of the window. On the Mac, it looks like an arrow pointing to a music note.

The Convert Button darkens after selected
The Convert Button darkens after selected

Step 5: Natural Reader will ask you to save the file before it converts it into an Mp3. This will help you find it easier in iTunes.

I saved the file as Prologue, Twilight with the Terminator
I saved the file as Prologue, Twilight with the Terminator

Step 6: Import the Mp3 file into iTunes.

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Click OK

Step 7: iTunes will launch. Under the Music tab, search Songs for the file. I ended up with percentage signs between the words of the title.

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Step 8: Change the file name in iTunes. Right click on the file. Select Get Info.

Select Get Info
Rename the file under the Info tab

Step 9: Create a new Playlist. I called mine Writing Proofs.

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Step 10: Move the newly renamed Mp3 file into the desired Playlist.

Step 11: Sync iPod.

Step 12: Under Writing Proofs, the new file is ready to play.

Under the Writing Proof Playlist, the file is ready to play
Time to proof your work

On the Go

You can listen to your writing in the car, while exercising (action scenes are best for this), or around the house. Time seems to pass more quickly when your brain is occupied. It’s even better when you are enjoying what you’re doing. How often can you say that?

Keep a notepad handy, or use your speech-to-text function on your phone or mobile device for recording notes. I often play a chapter or two before I go to bed. Using the memo program on my phone, I note missing words, phrasing that sounds off, or ideas that spring to mind.

Natural Reader is one tool that works for me. It doesn’t catch those pesky homophones, but it’s a start. Later on, when I send my manuscript to my beta readers and eventually to a professional editor, I know the majority of the copy-edits are handled.

Good luck, dear reader. If you have any thoughts, questions, or suggestions, leave me a comment or shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help.