I’ve been having some luck lately with dictation software. Does it give me those 5- and 10,000 word days other authors seem to get from it? No. And the problem isn’t with the software–it’s that I simply don’t think that quickly. Frankly, my prose is cleaner when I sit down at the keyboard and type. I’m a pretty fast typer when I know what I want to say, and thankfully, I’m not suffering from any repetitive stress injuries.
But my avoidance factor should not be underestimated.
I discovered myself in the kitchen making hard-boiled eggs in the pressure cooker* during my designated writing time. I have no idea how this happens. I just came to in the kitchen setting a timer and the pressure cooker hissing away. I realized there’d be several minutes of egg-steaming followed by several more minutes of egg-resting. Precious minutes where I could be working on my scene.
And then I realized my phone was at hand.
I don’t use any one method to dictate. If I’m at the computer and making a lot of typos, I might pop on my headset and turn on the dictation software (Dragon for Mac) and start speaking instead of typing while I watch the words scroll along the document. This isn’t an efficient way to do it. It’s more of a “my fingers aren’t cooperative” way of doing it.
But a better way to dictate is to record your voice on another device (such as your phone) and then transcribe the recording in Transcription Mode. By doing that this morning, I managed to squeeze out a few hundred more words even though I’d somehow blacked out and regained consciousness while pressure-cooking eggs. And surprisingly, all the beeping timers didn’t register.
“On a scale of one to ten, how anxious are you feeling right now Russian Mark”
Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how this Russian Mark dude fits into the whole scene.
*If you have a pressure cooker or Instant Pot and you like hard boiled eggs, I heartily recommend combining the two. The eggs are super easy to peel. Here’s the method I used.