Say Hello to Dragon

After listening to Joanna Penn’s podcast the other day, in which she discussed dictation techniques and her use of Dragon, I took the plunge.

In fact, this entire post has been written, well dictated, through Dragon.

I am sitting in front of my computer with my headphones on. Not the crappy headphones that the program came with. Unfortunately, those didn’t seem to work. However, my husband was kind enough to rustle up his Skype headphones for me.

I’m still learning the software, it’s difficult to speak out loud the words in my head. I found that surprising, and I know I’ll get used to it with time. One of the interesting parts about using Dragon, is that you have to tell it punctuation. Well I suppose you don’t have to but it makes the finished product look better and require less editing.

So, why dictation?

While listening to Joanna’s podcast I had this sudden daydream of working in my yard, pulling weeds, whatever, and dictating the Great American Novel.

Side note: My daughter just came in, I looked at her, and immediately said the magic words to turn off the microphone. I can’t say the exact words, because then it would turn off and my dictation would end!

I doubt that will happen, dictating the Great American Novel while gardening, but you never know!

It is rather amazing what the software can do. The fact that it can decipher my words, understand the difference between grammar commands and words, and even go back and capitalize certain words, is amazing.

The technology available to us these days is staggering. Think of those people who suffer from Parkinson’s or severe arthritis, hack even those without hands, who could with this technology be able to write.

It isn’t just for writing in blogs, or  manuscripts, you can even use it to send emails or surf the web. How cool is that?!

In any case, this is both practice and evidence for me that it works. I certainly need the practice, it will take some time for it to be fruitful.

Another benefit to this software, is my typical open-door policy in my office. I don’t like to have the door closed but my family tends to just waltz in at any old time and begin talking to me. If I’m in the middle of a thought, or a detailed passage, or even just organizing facts about the story I’m working on, it sends me all a-kilter and I often lose my train of thought. Hopefully, everyone except Little Miss, who is 2 1/2 and doesn’t have the sense to be quiet, will see me talking and enter quietly. It just might give me the buffer that I so desperately need.

I’m going to play went around with this new technology through this weekend. I’ve already dictated several paragraphs in my manuscript When God Laughs. I hope to get a good part of the next chapter in The Hired Gun done as well. I have a new chapter due a week from Monday.

Which reminds me, if you haven’t been reading the chapters posted here on my website, please do. You can find the chapters under  The Hired Gun tab.

I’m going to wrap this up now and continue to experiment using this voice recognition app. I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

p.s. The links take you to the best price on Amazon!