My Foray Into Voice Recognition Software

Do you ever get frustrated that you read so quickly but type so slowly? (Holy cow, I sound like a cliched infomercial!) Let me rephrase. I read fast. Really fast. But I type at what I think is probably an average speed (60 wpm). The combination of those two things drives me crazy. I’ll be writing one scene in my WIP for days, and I’ll start thinking, Good Lord, am I still working on this part? And then I bang my head on my keyboard and cry a little.

banging-head

Because. Writing. Takes. So. Long.

So then yesterday I had a brilliant idea: why not try voice recognition software? Surely, that would speed things up. Right?

Wrong.

First, when I looked into it, I realized that – holy cow! – this stuff is expensive! Dragon, the most highly reviewed software, is $100 or more, depending on the version you buy. Yikes! Then, I stumbled upon a little known PC fact: Windows has a moderately good voice recognition program that is part of most PC packages. So, since I have a PC, it was free!

It took me an hour to find it, go through the tutorial, and get my word doc up and ready. Then I dove right in. Imagine my chagrin when I realized that I was way slower with voice recognition than I was just typing my story out. Now, some might argue that, once I got used to the software and it got used to recognizing how I pronounce things, it would get faster. And they would probably be right.

But the bigger issue that completely took me by surprise was this: I am used to thinking out lines of dialogue, description, etc. several lines ahead of where I’m typing while letting my fingers catch up as I go, but, since I had to speak each line to enter it into my word doc when I used voice recognition software, I was stuck with only being able to focus on one line at a time. It completely disrupted my flow.

And that’s why, after writing less than a paragraph with voice recognition, I have returned to typing things up the old fashioned way. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so slow anymore.

Anyone out there tried the voice recognition route? How’d it go for you?

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