Are Speech to Text Programs Useful to Writers?
I belong to a writers group called 20booksto50k. The ideology behind it, is that by the time one has published twenty books, one can be making 50k a year. It’s not quite as simplistic as that. Common advice in the group includes writing to market, having quick releases, etc.
One of the members who has had success with Indie publishing posted a list of things they suggested authors do to reach their writing goals. The point that interested me the most was the one about speech to text programs.
I’ve heard of programs like Dragon Speak before. I know a woman who has a medical reason for using speech to text and I know there are writers who use it as well. I’d been curious, but until recently was unsure if such a program would work for me.
I’m a terribly slow typist who uses 2-4 fingers to type. This has certainly slowed my production down, but could I get used to dictating out loud?
Looking into the matter, I saw that Amazon had Dragon Naturally Speaking on sale for a very reasonable price. That cinched it for me. It was time to give the program a try.
The program is extraordinarily easy to use. A short tutorial, and I was ready to roll. While I’m still learning some of the commands and still teaching my Dragon to cuss, it’s been easy as pie to use the program.
As for my fear that I would not be able to make the switch from composing on the computer to composing while dictating, I took to it like a duck to water. My last test will be to see if the beta readers can tell at which point in my book I stopped typing and started speaking, but I don’t believe they will be able to tell. My writing style seems intact when I dictate.
The proof is in the pudding. For me, an average day of typing on my work in progress was 1k to 3k words. If I had an all day marathon that lasted well into the night, I might manage 6k words.
Yesterday I had a lot to do. I had to go to the grocery, it was trash night, there was some housework that needed to be done, etc. I had three shortish writing sessions during all of this where I took advantage of my voice to text program.
I wrote over 6k words.
It’s true. The amount of work it used to take me all day to complete now can be done in a fraction of the time. I love my new Dragon. For the first time, I think I can become one of those writers who completes a book a month instead of a writer who takes a least 2-3 months to complete a project.
Voice to speech might not work for everyone. Some folks may never find any level of comfort in dictation. However, I have to say it is well worth getting such a program and giving it a try. At worst, you’ve spent a little money to find out if this will work for you. At best, you will greatly increase your production level.
Don’t forget to nominate Ghost in the Park!
My supernatural mystery, Ghost in the Park, is in heading towards the end of its Kindle Scout campaign. I’m giving out free copies of the eBook whether Kindle Press selects it or not. Last campaign, I gave away 1200 copies. I’d love to give away even more this time around.
All it takes to nominate is 60 seconds and an Amazon account. Amazon runs Kindle Scout, and they will ask you to sign into your account to nominate. It’s a great way to get some free reads.
Ghost in the Park is the first book of my first series, and I’m about to finish book two.
A killer, a ghost, and a cat named Billy.
Bryce’s favorite student has fallen prey to a vicious killer. He’s a mild-mannered college professor, but Bryce feels compelled to use his psychic insight and ability to talk to the dead to bring this murderer to justice. Enter Elizabeth. This ghost is distracting, pushy, and eighteen years old. While she needles Bryce to change his hermit ways, she also shows abilities that will aid him in his search for the serial killer. In the end, he’ll discover why Elizabeth is not your average ghost.