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Okay, the title may be a bit misleading, depending on how fast you type. But keep reading. If you type as fast as me, then the math works out.

I was recently reading were sci-fi author, Kevin J. Anderson, will use speech-to-text to write his novels. I found this interesting and began some light investigation into what it would take to convert one’s speech to text.

As a matter of fact, most of this blog post is being “written” as I’m dictating through my phone into Evernote (which is where I do most of my writing these days).

dictation

I haven’t spent much time on it, but I quickly found two options out there for speech-to-text:

  • There’s the big name in dictation, which is Dragon Naturally Speaking software – a bit pricey, but comes with many features you really can’t get anywhere else.
  • What I’m doing today:
    • Using a smartphone
    • I opened Evernote
    • On my android phone I selected the note to edit and when the keyboard came up I pushed the microphone icon next to the spacebar
    • Start recording directly into Evernote

What’s the big deal someone may ask?

One way to answer that. . .when I’m writing for NaNoWriMo consistently, I can punch out my goal of 1,700-2,000 words a day in about forty-five minutes. Yes, I know I’m only typing around 40-50 words a minute at that speed, but for me it seems fast as I’m doing the creative writing process with fantasy and/or sci-fi elements that didn’t exist before those words met paper.

Apparently, the average person speaks about 150 words a minute! Thus even if I was speaking slow at 100 words a minute, I’d still be averaging 6,000 “written” words through dictation! Nearly TRIPLE the output!!

That kind of efficiency improvement for me warrants investigation into this method and heavy consideration on investing the time to learn how to use such a method effectively. Worse case scenario, I dictate 6,000 words in one hour. Then I spend another thirty minutes on the computer cleaning up the dictation and adding in punctuation. I’ve still saved myself hours of effort versus if I had tried to type the same amount of words by hand.

I do realize, that if I’m going to use dictation and transcription for storytelling, that the lost art of telling a verbal story will need to be something else I learn and practice. This is starting to feel like a fun new adventure.

Whether dictation is something for you or not, keep writing!

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