Yes, it’s true. I have found a new love. Believe it or not, it’s voice recognition software. Years ago, I purchased voice recognition software and I attempted to use it. It didn’t seem to do that great a job and I was disappointed. I’m a fast typist and the software made so many errors that it just wasn’t worth my while.
Recently on one of the writing forums I follow, several writers were raving about voice recognition software. I read the information and wondered if the software had improved but I didn’t really take any action or investigate.
Six weeks ago, I was blessed with the birth of a new child. When that happened, writing came to an absolute standstill. Despite Herculean efforts, I could not get any work done.
One night about 3:00 AM as I was feeding my daughter, that thread on voice recognition crossed my mind. I was desperate. I went back and reread that everyone had said. I was determined to try it.
I dug out a combination headphone/microphone set and decided to start with the Windows built-in voice recognition. I had absolutely no luck. The operating system did not recognize my microphone in the standard microphone jack. A few days went by and it occurred to me maybe I needed a USB microphone. I didn’t think I had one and I didn’t want to buy one. Unbeknownst to me, I’d did have one. I had the microphone from Guitar Hero; it is a USB microphone. I dug it out and plugged it in. Guess what? It works. In fact, I’m using it right now.
I went to the tutorial and was pleasantly surprised at the level of control you could exercise with voice recognition. It went way beyond dictation. Believe me, you cannot help but feel productive if you can feed an infant or fold diapers while simultaneously dictating a blog post, scanning a web page and responding to e-mail.
A few things that I want to do have not worked out. Nevertheless, I am so confident in my newfound skill that I ordered some software and a new USB headset.
Am I getting more writing done? Yes and no. I do find I need concentrated times to do real writing, that is to say, fiction. However, I can get a lot of business and personal work done while doing other things. In the last few days, I have finally gotten letters out that have needed to be written for weeks (if not longer). I have managed to catch up on some e-mail correspondence. These are things that were becoming increasingly urgent and when I had to do them, it took away from writing time. My hope is over the long term, dedicated writing time can be used for fiction writing and that my promotion and personal things can be knocked out while I’m doing things around the house.
I think this will be a huge boon to my productivity. What has been successful for you when trying to increase your productivity?