Amy L. Boukair

Author of the time-travel romance novel Indigo

 

The Nifty New Gadget

I'm writing this post with help from a new gadget that I'm trying out before I buy.  It's called Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, and it types whatever I speak into the microphone attached to the headset now sitting on my head, or half of it anyway.  Only one ear is covered, and I feel like I should be taking orders at McDonald's in the drive through, or answering your customer service questions. Either way, it's taking some getting used to, that's for sure.

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As you might have read in my previous post, I repel technology, so God only knows how this is going to work.  I'm liking it so far, but there is a huge learning curve both on the software's part and on mine.  It needs to learn how I speak (which is not very well), and I need to learn how to command it to do what I want it to do.  I'm hoping as I train it to understand me better, and as I learn how to maneuver around it we can find some common ground.  I will say, it is a very good speller, and even if it gets a word wrong it's at least spelled correctly.  I'm finding that most of the issues that I have with it are in punctuation, which is always a problem for me anyway.  I'm always putting in commas, where they don't, belong, so maybe this will help with that problem.

On top of all of my technology problems, I'm also not much of a speaker.  I'm very quiet and reserved and don't speak unless I have to to be honest, so this thinking out loud thing is really new to me.  Not that I don't occasionally talk to myself out loud, who doesn't?  But to do it consistently where you're supposed to be writing is really strange. Also, I tend to use a lot of slang which the software doesn't understand.  So I'm going to sound a lot more formal than I really am.  It seems to be picking it up pretty quickly though, so maybe the future isn't so bleak.

The reason for this new endeavor?  Yet another way for me to try to get myself writing.  I'm hoping that maybe if I can think out loud with a stream-of-consciousness kind of thing with my writing, maybe I'll do it more.  We'll see.  I really need to get over the thinking out loud hurdle first. I tried it a little earlier in both Ghosting and Indigo, and actually got some work done.  New chapters have been started in both.  So that's an accomplishment.  I really hope I can get over the awkwardness of the whole thing, because it is really kinda neat.

What technology do you use to get yourself writing? Have you ever tried this kind of thing before?  Do you file things away in your head?  Or do you jot things down in a notebook? I'm curious if there are any other writers out there that use this type of software for their writing. It seems like it would be pretty useful except for dialogue.  Having to dictate the punctuation separately is kind of a hindrance, but for just getting the story down, and the words on paper this seems ideal.  I may just have to dictate all of my blogs from now on.  Ha ha.

Original Publication Date: 11/21/10

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