Reflection: Spoken Thoughts and Speech Recognition

Sometimes, I’ve noticed that when I write my stories, the ideas come much smoother when I’m thinking of them, or thinking out loud, but I start to lose pieces when I sit down and type.  Telling a story, even to myself, is a completely different experience from writing it, and sometimes, I’ve found ideas come out smoother when I’m speaking them than when I’m writing them.

So, some time back, I thought of using speech recognition technology, to see if I can translate my words into something written, and capture a story I told.  I had mixed results.

Now, I know the technology worked quite well.  It clearly understood much of what I was saying, but there were still a lot of errors.

For one thing, having to say the punctuations often interrupted my train of thought, and if I forgot to say some punctuation, the words would come out wrong.  Other times, I had to mention some unusual character name, or some word that is easily misunderstood.  Regardless, these issues led to there being a lot of bizarre errors.

With all these errors, I found myself jumping back repeatedly to correct them, and many times, I ended up being forced to correct them by hand.  Unfortunately, this interrupted my train of thought too.

Now, I could just forget the errors, keep talking, and correct them later.  Unfortunately, I’ve always been a bit OCD about my spelling and grammar errors, and always try to fix them as quickly as I notice them, or I’ll just end up staring at them, which is also a distraction.

So, unfortunately, the whole idea of using speech recognition to write didn’t really work for me.  The only way I would be able to get my spoken words directly to the page would be to hire a secretary to take dictation, which is a bit out of my budget.

I could handle the dictation myself, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I’m a decent typist (~65 WPM), I doubt I can keep up with my recordings.  Still, it may be something worth trying later.  I might even correct things while doing the dictation.

It also might have worked better if I invested in a dedicated speech recognition software rather than use what came with Windows, but that’s also quite expensive, especially considering that it still might not work (and I very much dislike trial versions).

But in general, I find speaking the story to be a completely different experience than writing it down.  Because of this, I’ve recently started recording some notes on my stories into audio files, for future reference.  I’ve even considered doing entire stories like this, but decided it was too difficult to edit if I changed my mind later.

Anyway, I think I’ve said all I can on the matter.  White Rakogis, signing off!

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