Sunday, September 26, 2010

Trying to speak naturally

By this, of course I am referring to Dragon, NaturallySpeaking. I have been plagued by wrist problems for the last 2 1/2 years. Given that typing is such a large part of my life, it didn't seem like this is ever going to get any better. In many ways, it is similar to somebody who has a chronic sprain. Because they continue to walk on it, the problem continues to get worse and worse rather than better. They need rest in order to heal.

With this in mind, I chose to take matters into my own hands. (Or perhaps I should say, my own voice.) I purchased the program about a month ago, but it is only in the last week that I have been able to to train it. There are still a few kinks; for instance, the software just tried to say Kenyans rather than kinks. However, I am learning to compose what I want to say in my mind before I can actually say it. This will take some time but once I have it down, I should be able to deliver a full stream of thought all at once without pauses. My hope is that I will be accustomed to the software by the time NaNoWriMo rolls around in November.

All the reviews for the software were glowing, filled with phrases like "I wrote this whole blog post just by using Dragon, and it was fantastic." I think those people must've had some experience with voice-recognition software. I am not as lucky. I did write this entire blog post using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. However, I had a lot of errors to correct--simple little typos that didn't take much time. The bigger issue for me was learning to think with the software.

I like to think of writing as an adventure, and I suppose this is simply the next leg on that journey.

PS: I am very amused that the software correctly transcribes its own name.

1 comment:

Carissa said...

Awesome! I'd love to try one of these speaking text tools, but it would be so interspersed with "Just a minute, Kate; wait a sec, honey; Beau, stop barking!" that it would serve me no good.

A writer I read and whose blog I follow uses one and has written about it. Her blog is here: http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/ It's a great writing blog to check out just for all her tips and fun stuff.