I changed my writing process a while ago after I realized that when I write on a computer I am in editor mode more than I am in creative writer mode. In editor mode, I worry about word choice, sentence structure, and spelling etc. I found myself going back up to previously typed text in order to correct it, or change a sentence rather than just get through the draft. It tends to make my writing process much slower. So in an effort to explore the possibilities of getting myself into creative writing mode, I switched to writing out my chapters longhand. I discovered that I write from a different emotional place when I write longhand. My voice is different when I write longhand. I also don’t worry about sentences or word choice. I just write. I think that part of it is the knowledge that when I transcribe what I have written for the day, I can edit in the transcription process. Part of it is that writing longhand is just a different writing process that works a different part of my bran. It works for me.
After doing much transcription, I discovered that I don’t particularly enjoy it. I did it because I had to do it, but I didn’t like it much. I thought that there had to be an easier way. I am not much of a techie (though I do aspire to be) but after a bit of research I learned that there is speech recognition software embedded in Microsoft Word. After setting the Speech Recognition software and playing for a while using the program, and also doing the steps to train my computer to recognize my speech, I have to say that I am pretty pleased with the results. I can read my pages to my computer and it types them out. Magic! I still have to go in and tweak, mind you. It isn’t perfect. But, it is a great tool, and it works for me to help me get through my first draft of a manuscript.
To use speech recognition (for Windows 7):
Open Speech Recognition my first clicking on the Start button, then clicking All Programs. From there go to Accessories and then click on Ease of Access. Once you do that you will see Windows Speech Recognition. Say out loud “Start Listening” or click on the microphone button to start the listening mode. There will be a link that says Train Your Computer to Better Understand You. This will open a tutorial that will have you speak words and phrases that will allow your computer to specifically recognize your particular speech pattern. You can use a microphone, or just use your embedded microphone on your computer.
It’s that easy. And it’s also free. It does take a little while for the computer to learn to recognize your words, and sometimes you may have to spell out the words, but after a while, the computer gets better at understanding you as you speak, and you also get better at understanding the commands needed to create exactly what you want. It’s a little effort, but the effort is worth it. It was for me. Maybe it can help you too.
Here’s Microsoft’s official link http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/search#q=speech+recognition