How to Use Voice Recognition Software to Write More

Posted on February 17, 2014


ImageHave you ever had one of those days when you really don’t feel like writing or you can’t write? Maybe you’ve been working hard on your manuscript for a few weeks and your wrist is hurting. Or maybe you are injured and your ability to write and type is temporarily impaired.  We’ve all been there before, staring at the blank computer screen or bare piece of paper. Your hands are a bit achy, your eyes hurt from the straining, and you just need a break. Voice recognition software may just be the answer for you.  This is a great solution for those days when you don’t feel like typing and you want to talk your story out.  It’s been said that the only way to become a better writer is to keep on writing, and when you are done, keep on writing.  This software enables you to do just that without having to pick up a pen!

Voice recognition software (VRS) has come a long way. Nowadays many people use voice recognition software to send text messages, search the web, and speak to major corporations, such as your phone company. Voice recognition software is a system that takes your speech and transcribes it into text. One of the most popular programs on the market today is Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which is available in home and premium business editions.  This software enables you to talk into a microphone that can be worn on a wireless headset, allowing its users to talk orally while it transcribes in a program such as Microsoft Word. Dragon is not the only voice recognition software available, but it seems to be the one of choice for most people.

Two other types are free of charge and are preprogrammed into most PCs and Macs. They are basic but still have a lot to offer to the average writer. If you are always typing on Microsoft Word, sending emails, or writing a lot of papers for school, you may benefit from learning how to use the free software.

Voice recognition software has its pros and cons. One pro is that many say this software saves a lot of time. If you are not a fast typist and have a lot of writing to do, VRS helps cut your time.  A simple email may take up to 10 minutes to write, but with VRS it can take no more than five. If you are a busy professional and the amount of writing you have to do cannot be done in the amount of time you have, then VRS would allow you to accomplish more. A con to this software is that some say it slows them down because they have to stop too much to correct the software’s inaccuracies, which interrupts their flow and creativity. Old fashioned pen and paper helps them keep the flow.  

But the longer you use VRS, the better it becomes. When beginning with VRS, the user goes through a process called training, in which the software learns your unique voice and allows you to add new words to its vocabulary. This should lessen the amount of times you will need to stop and correct mistakes.  VRS also may be frustrating to learn at first, because you have to learn all the commands it responds to and what will make it function at its optimal potential. The cost for this software ranges, because it is dependent on the version you purchase.

Another pro of this software is that it eases the amount of stress and pressure on your wrists and hands.  Ever suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis? I have, and I know that doing the same things everyday to your wrist can put it under a tremendous amount of stress and pressure. As a writer you want to protect your great assets, and one of them is your hands. Give them a break from time to time with VRS.  Finally, you may find that you are a better storyteller then writer. VRS helps you here by retaining your speaking voice in your writing. 

We all have our days when we don’t feel like writing or we physically can’t, but don’t let that stop you. If you have dreams of becoming a published writer, you will only accomplish them through discipline and lots of writing. The only way to become a better writer is to write, and write some more. When you are aching or just tired, put on that headset and get to writing.

Rachelle Legentus, Writer and Editor, Asta Publications

Asta Publications has a long history of helping writers tell their stories and get published. Since 2004, Asta Publications has helped hundreds of authors bring their book concepts to life and we are ready to help you too! Our dedication to our authors is unmatched. We deliver first-class products and services that are accurate, high quality, and exceed our authors’ expectations.

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