When the word “writing” is mentioned, most people imagine someone using a pen to write on paper or typing words on a keyboard. However, at its basic definition, writing means transferring thoughts from an author’s brain to text format. Pens and keyboards are simply popular mediums used to transfer this information, just like quills and typewriters were decades ago.
Writing is not confined to typing on a keyboard or using a pen to transfer information from your brain. You can also capture your thoughts by dictating. Thanks to advancements in technology, dictation is increasingly becoming popular among writers.
There are many well-known writers that used dictation and produced remarkable books. Barbara Cartland, Henry James, Dan Brown, John Milton, and Winston Churchill have all written in dictation. Therefore, there is no reason why dictation should be considered a lesser medium of writing.
Benefits of Dictation
Why should you be dictating information?
There are various reasons why you should consider writing through dictation:
i) Health Reasons
When writing a manuscript, you may have to sit down for hours as you try to conjure the perfect words to type. Some authors sit on a chair or the bed the whole day as they type on their laptops. The problem is that most writers do not maintain a proper sitting posture. After hours of typing with your back curved or slouching, you can develop posture-related aches. Follow this routine for a couple of months and you may end up with severe back pain.
On the other hand, dictation gives you the freedom to write your thoughts without being restricted to sitting down. You can dictate information while seated, standing or walking. Moreover, you do not need to be in your usual work environment to write your manuscript. You can dictate when walking the dog, while on the subway, hiking up the hills and mostly anywhere you are and at any time.
ii) Increase Writing Speed
Dictation also helps you write faster than you would when typing or writing by hand. At the end of the day, you will have to go through your manuscript to edit the grammar, spelling and address clarity errors. However, the speed at which you can get the fast draft complete is faster than you would by typing.
When dictating, you can easily hit 5000 words per hour. This is more than three times the number of words than the average writer can type in an hour. Think about how quickly you can get your first draft manuscript ready for proofing and editing by dictating!
iii) Increase Creativity
One of the major stumbling blocks that authors have to overcome is perfectionism. As a writer, you probably are aware of your critical voice in any first-draft writing you produce. There is always the feeling that you can write better content. This perfectionist syndrome can make you delay your creative manuscript. When you are always critical of the words you type, it can be months before you finally write your first chapter.
Dictation helps to eliminate the critical voice when writing your first draft. When dictating, you do not have time to edit the manuscript on the fly. You simply get the thoughts in your brain put down in words by speaking. The ability to just start is critical for any writing project.
When you have the first few paragraphs dictated, it becomes easier to continue with the flow. Sometimes, you can dictate for hours as the story simply flows from your brain and gets conjured into text through your spoken word.
Get Started with Dictation
Still on the fence on whether dictation is right for you? If so, there is no better way to find out how you will fare than by trying.
At first, you may struggle to get the software to understand your words. However, everything has a learning process. If you get past the initial barrier of thinking that dictation would not work, you’ll make progress.
There many apps and equipment you can use for dictation. If you are just starting out, try your first dictation using your laptop’s inbuilt microphone and speech recognition software. This will give you a feel of how dictation works.
As you start getting comfortable with dictation, you can move to some advanced apps or buy better voice recording equipment. Also, check out the wide range of speech recognition software available to find out how they work and whether they would be right for you.
Finish Your Manuscript Faster
After dictating your content, it’s time to transcribe and then edit it. To do that, hiring a transcription services provider can always be a great help. Hiring a professional transcription company, to transcribe your manuscript will also save you time, which you can use to dictate more information.
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Beth Worthy is the Director of Operations for GMR Transcription Services, Inc an Orange County, California based company that has been providing accurate and affordable transcription services since 2004. GMR Transcription has worked with over 8,000 clients spanning myriad industries and prides itself on its customer service and quick turnaround time. Their services include audio transcription, video transcription, and digital transcription, as well as Spanish and Mandarin translation. Google +