During NaNoWriMo, I trained my Dragon. I know you are thinking: “NaNoWriMo is supposed to be about writing words.” Silly you.
I got Dragon Naturally Speaking software a couple years ago. My husband knew I wanted to try speaking my writing. The next year, he bought me a new computer which had the Microsoft version of voice control, whatever it’s called.
To this day, I don’t use either of these tools.
Hey, it’s not my fault! I tried to train this silly Dragon, but not as regularly as I should have. I let it import my emails, my documents, and anything else it wanted in order to help it learn my writing style. Too bad it didn’t learn too much from that.
Several people recommended that I just read some of my writing to it. Because, yeah, I’ve got lots of time for recreational reading aloud. Don’t they know I’m supposed to be writing?
A few weeks ago, I saw this book titled 5000 Words per Hour. I thought the author must be crazy insane. But no, he had even managed 6000 words in an hour to add to his manuscript-all using Dragon software.
Okay, I write 1000 words per hour. I know this is a professional writer pace because I know professional writers who tell me that’s how much they write per hour. Shouldn’t I be happy with a thousand words per hour?
And then I remember that I have this awesome tool. The same tool Chris Fox, the amazing 6000 words per hour man, uses to do so much incredible writing. Shouldn’t I use this tool?
Obvious answer: yes.
So I decided to give it another try. That was on October 29. Yes the same October 29 that is exactly THREE days before National Novel Writing Month.
I must be insane. And why not? November, when I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, is all about insanity, isn’t it?
As soon as I got done with my Skype meeting with the amazing Chris Fox, I tried to use the Bluetooth headset that came with my Dragon Naturally Speaking. I never actually used it before, and apparently my computer did not recognize it.
So I pulled out my old Logitech headset and plugged it into the USB port. Aren’t Í cute?
And then I started talking. These are the words I said. Can you tell this by looking at them?
I think not.
While they were coming up on the screen, I felt so foolish. Shouldn’t I be typing? Isn’t that the way I get my words on the page?
While I speak, Dragon pad doesn’t tell me how many words I’ve spoken. I tend to think that I don’t know how long I’ve talked, but I could’ve typed it all faster.
In any case, I agreed with the masterful Chris Fox to give myself a goal every day during November and use Dragon.
Starting Monday, I will speak into this dictation box for ten minutes (slightly less time than it took me to speak this blog post). Then I’ll copy and paste my lovely words into Scrivener. And I’ll start the real writing (a.k.a. typing).
Depending on how well it goes, I will increase the number of minutes that I use Dragon every day. After all, I can’t get better if I don’t use it, right?
What’s your bet on this situation, reader? Will my Dragon be well-trained enough by the end of November that I can use him for my regular writing?
Maybe you already use Dragon. If so, give me your advice. It’s pretty apparent that I need it.