Am I the only one who gets grouchy when I have to write a blog for myself? I probably shouldn’t let you see this side of me. But I know I’m not the only one. I spend all of my writing energy staying on good behavior for my clients. I put my all into it for them, pushing my brain to the limit. I put my heart into it! Then, by the time I have a few minutes to write my own blog, I’m spent. What’s a girl to do? Most of the time…I just don’t do it at all, as many of you know from the stale blog-promotion blurbs at the bottom of my email messages.
So, tonight I decided to fire up my voice recognition software and just sit here and talk to you. These days, the software is actually very accurate, especially after I learned to e-nun-ci-ate. As a matter of fact, I have been using this amazing, magical tool heavily in my work for clients. I’m not exaggerating when I say it has probably helped triple the amount of work I can get done in one day.
A new kind of writing: Learning to speak instead of type
It helps that the latest marketing writing style is much more conversational than it used to be. Therefore, it’s easy for me to simply sit here and have a one-sided conversation with you and watch it show up on the page. When I need to write something more formal, I flip a switch in my brain and become a technical, formal, stuffy, robot-like dictator (the non-political kind).
I admit, it took me a while to figure out how to do this. It sounds very strange from inside my head. I’m used to sitting at my desk 10 to 12 hours a day listening to music, or the sound of my fan (which I always have going the background), or the high-pitched laugh of the woman in the apartment below me. At first, I almost couldn’t think when I was hearing my voice say the words.
Now, I’m really good at it. As the Dragon NaturallySpeaking literature instructed me, I think of a sentence before I say anything. This not only makes me move faster through my composition, but it helps the program think better. It is more likely to be accurate. To be honest, I often cheat and dictate a phrase rather than a complete sentence, but that doesn’t seem to make much of a difference in accuracy.
Incentive for fast writing
Somehow, this whole voice recognition thing has helped me get over hump I’ve always had a difficult time with in my writing: just slapping the ideas down on the page without continually editing myself! When I was typing each word separately, I couldn’t help myself—I had to stop to edit or correct practically everything I typed. Because I was going so slowly to begin with, it didn’t seem like a big deal. With voice recognition software, switching from my voice to my fingers on the keyboard for correction seems like too much of a big cheat, so I don’t do it. I go back later, review the piece from beginning and polish up what I’ve said. Surprisingly, I have much less to edit than I would have guessed.
If you decide to use voice recognition software, I will caution you against the one big potential mistake: leaving the program on when you don’t realize it, and turning in what you think is a final draft, but it has many nonsense word-blemishes right in the middle of everything, wherever you have left your cursor. Very. Embarrassing. Especially if you are cussing out your client or the noisy neighbor or your bratty sister. (Thankfully, that hasn’t happened to me…yet!)
Hey! I just realized I have a blog-length piece of rambling that I can actually publish on my blog page. Okay, that wasn’t so painful. Thank you Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Maybe I can get another one done before the next six months go by. And maybe next time I’ll pay a little closer attention to keywords. (That’s for you, Ali!)