Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Making time to write

A couple of years ago I bought a copy of Dragon, the voice recognition software. I bought it for transcribing my data for my Master's thesis, as it was taking me me about one minute to transcribe one second of my recordings.

Once I had trained Dragon to recognise my voice, my transcription process speeded up quite a lot.

However, it did take a bit of work to get Dragon to understand most of the things I said, and I also had to allow the software time to crawl some selected file folders in order to add in words that Dragon was unfamiliar with.

So now, when it comes to writing my 750 words each day, I do this either by using Dragon on my PC, or by using voice recognition on my phone. Using voice recognition software enables me to write my 750 words in about 20 minutes. This results in either (a) the basis for two or three blog articles, or (b) a single blog article and some reflection, or (c) some reflection.

By simply being able to 'talk' my pieces in, it allows me to get my ideas out quite quickly, leaving the editing for later. It also means I can get a long way ahead on my blog posts, so if I have to put my attention elsewhere, I don't have to worry about posts not going up.

Why I am telling you about this is that I recently had a conversation with a friend who is trying to start blogging. However, he has work, family and volunteer roles to juggle, so is finding it difficult to make the time to actually sit down and write.

As he likes to go for a walk every morning, I suggested that he get voice activation software on his phone, and talk in his thoughts - to either his own blog CRM or to a text file - as he walks in the morning.

He was saying that he has an older iPhone which is not Siri capable, so currently is unable to do this. However he did say that my idea was the best reason he has had so far to update his phone.

An alternative is that, as he works for a university, the uni may have a licence for Dragon which he could use to dictate his normal work, speeding up a lot of keyboarding, and reducing his risk of occupational overuse syndrome (OOS). If he arrived half an hour early in the day, he could talk in his blog posts, directly to WordPress, using that technology.

Anything to save time.


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