Sunday, March 5, 2017

To Dictate, Or Not To Dictate...That Is The Question

With the crazy schedules we have, plus responsibilities at work, home, kids, just plane life, time is more an important commodity that it's ever been. As a writer, it's hard to find time to do something creative--sometimes the muse (or whatever...) doesn't suddenly appear when you've only got a few minutes to "be brilliant." And I've been to enough writing conferences and heard many authors say that finding time (and even a muse...) is all in the mind--we make time for what's important.

It's hard to argue with that. Deep down I think we all know it's true. We make time for what's important to us.

About ten years ago I was given an assignment at work to test the latest version of Dragon Dictation software. They gave me the money to buy it. I tested it and presented a report to management. Their conclusion: not quite ready. They were looking for a way to make the employees more efficient. Having them speak instead of typing was certainly one way to do it. Too bad the software wasn't up to the task.

But, in technological terms, a decade is like a millennium. I've toyed with the idea of trying out dictation to see how it will go. I know many authors to whom I look up who dictate their texts. And, boy--can they crank out the words! I asked one successful author what he does. I asked specifically about software/apps. He said he doesn't use dictation software, but instead, he speaks into a digital recorder then sends the files to a typist. It definitely works for him.

Back when work wanted me to check it out, it cost $100 and even came with its own microphone headset. Tonight I checked out the latest version of Dragon Dictation. You can download the app for free. I haven't tried it out yet--it may be just okay, and I might find out dictation doesn't work for me. But I'll never know until I check it out. I'll let you know what I find out.

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