Me and My New Dragon

I know I said in the last post that I was going reveal my prestigious superhero novel collection. However, I wanted to let you guys in on what’s been going on behind the scenes here at R.I.U. Central.

A few weeks ago, I made the announcement that we were going to be going in a different direction in terms of how things were going to operate here. With this new direction we have new goals and strategies. It’s all very exciting. To accomplish those also have new tools to help. One of those tools is a Dragon. That is not a typo. I am using a Dragon.

Now some of you may have already discerned that the Dragon that I’m speaking is Dragon Dictation, a dictation software that I’m using right now to write this post. Let me tell you, I’ve only had it for a short amount of time and I’m telling you right now that this is a God’s blessing when it comes to productivity.

As a writer, you are concerned – if you’re serious writer – about your productivity and how much you get done per day in order to complete your projects. That is measured by word count for the most part. There are myriad other things you can do to be productive but when it comes to the actual writing portion of it, that is the main thing. Word count. There are writers out there who complete 2000 words a day some that complete 3000 words a day. But there are other writers who are cranking out 5000 to 10,000 words per day. These are the guys that are coming out with books at a phenomenally fast rate especially compared to how fast traditional publishers come out with their books which is like once every two years or something like that. So how is it that these writers can crank out all of these books is such a short amount of time and also keep the quality up? Well for some, it’s just a matter of working all day, being able to do it full-time and being dedicated to stay in the chair for 5 to 6 hours until they have their word count for the day. For others they use another kind of system.

I was listening to a podcast on the Self-Publishing Formula podcast and this particular episode had a guess whose name was Scott Baker and he was talking about Dragon Dictation. Now, for a split second I fell into the mindset that dictating something is not really writing. And the reason why I fell into that is because there is this stereo typical, romanticized view of what it means to be a writer. We have this vision in our minds where the writer is sitting at the computer typing away furiously as the words just flow from their mind to their fingers with no problem whatsoever. The reality is that that is seldom true. It takes a lot of thought, a lot of planning, and a lot of just pressing and on through to make sure that you are being productive.

The more I listened to this podcast the more I realized that maybe I was doing something that was less than productive for me. I listened to a lot of podcast and some writers have said that they don’t use Dragon Dictation because it doesn’t work for them. This is more of a subjective personality thing. And there is nothing wrong with that. You have to have a particular goal as a writer and then you have to use whatever tools are available to you to meet that goal. Many of these writers write on Mac and the Mac version of Dragon Dictation according to Baker is a nightmare. So it’s very important that you use the right version and that you begin to use it on a regular basis and to use it with the goal in mind that this is something that you are actually going to try to used to the best of its ability to see if this is a tool that you can actually use. People who use the software and then only use it for a few days or a few times and then pack it in and say that it’s not for them are not using it properly. That’s not how the software works. It needs time to learn, to get used to your voice and accent and to train itself so that it gets highly accurate.

It also takes time for you to understand all of the commands and the nuances of the things that you will be using the software for. I have been using the software for short amount of time and I’m telling you that this software is awesome. My productivity goes through the roof because I’m writing words 3 to 4 times faster than what I would write them if I was just typing at the keyboard. Now the only way that I know that is that I actually have written down my word count for small amounts of time, 10 minutes here and there for an hour or more. Lots of them. The more I use the software and get acquainted with it, the more I get accomplished.

So I will probably be coming out with more material as I learn the software because I like to talk and there are a lot of words that come out of my mouth as I’m talking. That can come out rather fast and I can get done with quite a bit in a short amount of time just from speaking. This post, all in all, only took me about 10 minutes to write. And I’m looking at the word count at the bottom of the post and it’s telling me that it’s over 1000 words. So if I were to talk like this for an hour…well… you do the math.

If you are writer then I highly recommend trying Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium. It is a wonderful tool and if you use it with the mindset you are going to use it to the best of its ability, you are going to find that you can get quite a bit accomplished and that the software is going to be able to be used for more than just your fiction writing. You can also use it for your nonfiction or other things like essays, letters, or blog posts.

Next time, I will definitely reveal to you my awesome superhero novel collection. Until then my friends, see you in the Tapestry.

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