Speech Recognition Software Has Mind Of Its Own

August 8th, 2011

Welcome to Laugh Out Loud Monday (aka LOL Monday): because, like my favorite fat cat, I hate Mondays, I thought, “What better way to start the week than with a laugh?”

As I continue to snatch time to write my new novel, I find myself scribbling scenes in a spiral notebook — one of my favorite ways to write. Unfortunately that means I have to go back later and type what I’ve written. That can be very time-consuming.

I’ve tried using Windows 7 speech recognition software to speed up the process with some strange results. Apparently, I’m not alone in that.

Although the video was made sometime in 2006, I have to say from personal experience that the speech recognition software is still buggy.

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?

Craziness Continues With Win7’s Speech Recognition

August 8th, 2011

I don’t think I ask for much. I just want perfection. Of course, when using speech recognition software for the first time, getting it perfect from the start would be a miracle. This is my third or fourth time using dictation to compose anything. In fact, I’m taking a break from dictating a chapter in one of my WIPs to dictate this blog entry.

I was getting really frustrated with all the corrections I was having to make as I dictated a chapter in Apprentice Cat. Suddenly, as I was trying to get it to type “I got something even better”, it opened a web site called Club Penguin. Huh? I’m not opposed to a little fun time playing a Disney online game, but that wasn’t what I was trying to accomplish. I just wanted to get some work done.

Mad enough to throw the computer out the window, I thought I’d better do some research. Thankfully I found a great post on Ergoblog entitled “Writing Fiction with Voice Recognition Software?” Apparently it takes a couple of weeks for the software to really get to know your voice. Knowing that at least gives me a time frame to work in. I hate giving up on something too soon, but I don’t want to waste time on something that’s just not going to work. (Of course, it would probably work better if my house was a little quieter, too. :P)

I’ll be continuing the sometimes satisfying (more often frustrating) trial of using speech recognition software in my writing and updating all of you on what strange things my computer thinks I’m saying as the days go by.

Meanwhile, tell me what you think of SRS. Has it worked for you?

Is Speech Recognition Software The Next Step In Writing

August 8th, 2011

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?