Yes, I Am The Blogger With The Broken Finger
Two weeks ago today, I had an accident that injured my left middle finger. I was working with some large old hand hewn barn timbers. I needed to roll the timber over to be able to clean it up. For some reason (still not real sure what I did!)I put my hand underneath the timber, and the timber slipped off a piece of wood that I did not see. The timber came down on my finger, OUCH!
It was one of those situations where you say yourself, "oh man, I have to go to the ER". Unfortunately these things happen so fast that we hardly have time to think. I did know however after feeling the ouch, that it was indeed time to go to the ER.
Been There Before
I have been in this situation before, so I actually knew what I needed to do this time around. I had an accident in 2006 that also required a trip to the ER for my right hand and also required immediate surgery. It was kind of a mess!
I did know this time around that things were not as bad, but I did know it could be serious. I really wasn't too sure. But after the hour and a half wait at the emergency room, I figured it must not be too serious!!!
Oh, By The Way......
I will leave out the gory details, let's just say that I lost my entire fingernail and had a fracture in the very tip of my finger ( I do have the pictures if you are into those kinds of things...)
While they removed the fingernail at the emergency room, they did forget to mention that I had fractured finger as well. So after getting cleaned up and wrapped up at the emergency room, I went home and started taking pain medication.
My instructions were to visit my family doctor three days later. It was here that they informed me that I indeed had a fracture and needed to see the Orthopedic Doctor. All along I had been thinking that this wasn't too serious and would be back to my normal self within a couple of weeks.
It took nearly a week to get into the Orthopedic Doctor, and that appointment was last Thursday.
I was thinking I would get a splint or something, but instead I was a bit shocked when the doctor told me he would need to do surgery on the finger the following day. Yikes! I guess you could say it WAS serious.
This Is My Third Hand Surgery In Six Years
As you can imagine, most of those who know me when they found out that I had injured my hand, said "OMG, not again....". I haven't had the best of luck working with my hands in the past six years. The surgery in 2006 was to repair damage from the accident.
I had surgery in 2008 to replace a joint in the hand that was injured in 2006. Now in 2012, I had to have surgery on my left hand. Yes, I know I need to do a better job of keeping my hands out of the way!
When I Realized I Can't Type...
After the initial shock wore off, it was about two hours later while sitting in the room at the ER waiting for treatment that I had the aha moment, "holy s#@t, I can't type!".
Well as you know in this day and age, with technology, typing is a very important part of most peoples jobs, including mine.
As a blogger, it is even more critical to be able to type because you are creating content on a regular basis.
So What Do We Do Now?
With a nail missing, and a fracture in my middle finger you can imagine how easy it is to type....its just not going to happen!
I thought one of the positives from the situation was to help other bloggers or people who rely heavily on their keyboards, to plan ahead for the unthinkable event. Trust me you don't plan for these types of things to happen to you.
Even though I had this happen in the past, I still was not prepared for the accident that happened in a fraction of a second. I should know better!!
Here are the 7 options that I have looked at or am working with to get things done over the next 6 to 8 weeks;
1. Don't Blog For 6 to 8 Weeks
Unless you have a huge following, this is probably not the best idea. Back in June, because of kids and baseball I did not blog as much on my website. I paid for that by losing over 30% of my traffic and 50% of my leads to the website. So I already know that is not a good idea.
Even at a minimum, you should plan a post for at least one time per week for the period of time that you will not be able to use your keyboard. Since I realized quite quickly that this was not a good option, I came up with six other options.
2. Use Dragon Naturally Speaking Software
This is amazing software. I actually have the software installed on my laptop over a year ago, and I used it a little bit. I got somewhat frustrated with all of the corrections that I had to do, so I hadn't touched the software in over a year.
If you are not aware of the software, it allows you to speak into a microphone and the text will appear on the screen where you want it. I am using the software within my blogging platform, but I am able to use it in many other places such as Microsoft Word, e-mail, and even my social media platforms.
It takes some practice for the software to get used to you as the speaker. I didn't have the patience at the time to continue practicing, so I simply gave up.
Well now, I have lots time to get it figured out and quite honestly really don't have many other options. I started working with the software once again last week, and it has been both fun and frustrating to get the software working once again.
I am using the software now to write this blog post. I have to say, in writing this blog post, I have had the best luck so far using the software. Because I was thinking that this was not going to work, I did come up with other options that you will see below. You may need to combine some options to get things done. It will likely depend on how comfortable you are with technology.
I would highly recommend that you purchase the software, and begin doing some writing using the software because honestly you never really know when you may need it.
3. Hire A Virtual Assistant
I have used Virtual Assistants in the past with success. This is something that I was in the process of at the time that I had my injury. The difficult part is finding someone who specializes with working in the software that I am using, which is Hubspot.
If you are someone who is working with WordPress, you have a much easier time finding someone who can help you get things done virtually. Most people don't realize that there are thousands of freelancers out there who are willing to work quite reasonably to help you get things done. check out elance.com or fiverr.com.
This is something I plan on doing in the next couple of weeks.
4. Have Content Written For Me
You can also have content written for you based on your own unique, specific needs. I have actively used writers remotely in the past to help me build the core of an article. But I have found, that the articles still need my touches to make them my articles. That still requires use the keyboard.
While this is a great option, you just have to keep in mind that you will still need a way to make adjustments to the articles to fit your writing style and convey your message.
5. Create More Videos
Video is something that I have been experimenting with for several months. I haven't spent a lot of time on this because quite frankly it takes a lot of time to develop video into a final form that I am happy with. But I think that I may be a bit too picky, that has been my experience up to this point.
But since the injury I have reached out to some knowledge experts for some advice on how to get some videos produced while my one hand is out of commission. I am planning on producing more educational screen casting videos over the next few weeks.
6. Hand Write Articles, Have Them Transcribed
Another option you have is to handwrite your articles and have those handwritten articles transcribed for you. Now, this assumes that you're injured hand is not the one that you commonly write with. Fortunately for me, this injury happens to be on my left hand so I am still able to do some handwriting.
I have also found that handwriting is effective in using the Dragon naturally speaking software because the software works better when you speak in complete sentences. While taking pain medication, you may not necessarily always speak in complete sentences. So I've been using handwriting to get my thoughts on paper, and then using the Dragon software to get my thoughts to my blog or e-mails.
Transcription can be done quite reasonably. Check out Elance, and you will easily find transcriptionists from all over the world who can complete your job usually within 24 to 48 hours.I have had hour-long webinars transcribed for less than $75.
7. Have Content Scheduled Ahead Of Time
This is something I wish I was a little better at. While maintaining the content for my own three blogs, it's not so easy to get ahead. I have often thought about setting up blog posts for at least the next eight weeks ahead of time. By doing this I would at least have one blog post finished each week. But, I haven't gotten there yet.
But let's just say I have learned my lesson and will be using this strategy likely after I can once again use my hand effectively.
Does That Help?
So if you are one of those people who are sitting there thinking that will never happen to me, you are wrong. You never know when you might lose a loved one, have a heart attack, get sick, have an injury or anything else that will prevent you from getting your writing done.
Content marketing is all about creating fresh content on a regular basis. If you can't type, or get sick then your ability to maintain that fresh content on a regular basis will be hampered.
All that I am telling you here is that while you are healthy, you should be thinking ahead about how you get things done if something happens to you.
I hope nothing does happen, but if you plan ahead and prepare you will not be as impacted if the time comes.
Learn More About Blogging And Content Marketing
When I did have all my digits working for me, I wrote an e-book all about content marketing. If you're not sure what content marketing is check out this free download.