Is Speech Recognition Software The Next Step In Writing

headphones photoI think any writer can tell you that, when you stop writing, life becomes nothing but shades of grey. That’s what my last few weeks have been — nothing but shades of grey. In short I’ve been miserable. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write. It’s just that I’ve been very busy. I usually have just enough time to juggle all my responsibilities, including working on my current project, but I’ve recently picked up a few hours at work and its severely limited my time.

And so I am once again faced with trying to find a creative work around to my lack of time. I’ve heard that voice recognition software can really speed up the process of writing. However, as I test this new software today, I’m finding it more than challenging. Why? Because I’m used to letting the words flow through my fingers and talking in my head, not out loud. I’ve found staring at a blank screen to be daunting as I try to decide what words to say. I usually close my eyes and “let my fingers do the walking,” but with speech recognition software you have to keep track of what the machine is doing. (Of course, that could just be the perfectionist in me. :P)

I have to wonder if this software is more for people like my husband who likes to talk things out rather than write. He’s a very auditory person. I’m very visual. In fact when I talk in my head I actually see the words as they float by. Strange, I know, but then I wouldn’t be a writer if I weren’t a little strange.

So far I’ve spent more time trying to get this software to do what I want than getting any work done. It would’ve been faster to type this than use voice recognition. Still, I don’t like to give up on something new, so I’ll go through some training with my computer and give it a little more time before I decide to chuck it all.

I’m curious to know, is there any writer out there who thinks voice recognition software is the greatest thing since sliced bread? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Is this the next step from pen to typewriter to computer to speech?

3 Responses to “Is Speech Recognition Software The Next Step In Writing”

  1. Naomi Bulger says:

    I’m like you, I don’t know if I could think verbally. Although I remember a time when I couldn’t write typing – I had to write everything out longhand, then type it up later. (Mr B still does this). So I guess I could learn. I do however suggest something similar to taxi drivers. If I had a dollar for every taxi driver who’s said “I have a great story, do you want to write my book?” I’d be living in my mansion in the British countryside by now. I always tell them they should record their story as they drive along, then give it to a transcriber to write up. I don’t know if any have followed this advice. Maybe they can’t think verbally, either.

  2. vripple says:

    Yeah. I’ve seen that suggested before. In fact, there are some SRS like Dragon that will transcribe digital recordings for you. Sounds pretty cool.

    I like longhand writing when I’m having trouble with a scene or find myself wanting to edit as I type and getting nowhere. Breaks the creative juices loose.

    Thanks for the suggestion and the comment!

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