I’ve got some pretty exciting news.
A few years back, I bought a program called Dragon Naturally Speaking by a company named Nuance in an attempt to boost my writing productivity.
The idea that I could simply dictate what I wanted to write, and it would appear on the screen in front of me, was an intoxicating thought. Because naturally, I can speak much faster than I can type. Unless you’re an absolute speed demon, I think most people are in the same boat. Plus, there’s no chance of developing any kind of carpal tunnel syndrome or anything like that when you’re just talking into your microphone.
Unfortunately, Dragon came with a hefty price tag. I think I paid about three hundred bucks for it when I purchased it myself. I found that it was okay, and it really did boost my productivity when I was writing Rise of the Crimson Order, but family life in a loud household, and heavily reduced driving times, meant that it wasn’t as valuable as it once was to me.
The money that I spent was not worth it.
But there has been a bit of a game changer that I wanted to let everybody know about. If you are thinking about experimenting with dictation, and seeing if it’s right for you, there’s now a much cheaper alternative that I have found is actually better than Dragon.
And what is it?
Good old Microsoft Word.
If you’ve got the most recent up-to-date version of Microsoft Office 365, then in your Home ribbon you will now see a section titled voice. In that section there is a single button called Dictate. Click on that, and suddenly you have your very own dictation software that you can use, and it’s built into the world’s most popular word processing platform.
A lot of other authors are using the dictation option on Google Docs, but I personally don’t like writing in Google Docs. However, if you use that platform it might be worth checking out.
So if you already have yourself a Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office subscription then you have access to a fantastic dictation option.
And the kicker?
I wrote this entire blog post simply by talking.
There was barely any editing required, outside of a few little spacing issues, and places where I tripped over my own tongue.