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Wake me up when September…oh wait.

So, yes, I listen to Green Day. Sometimes.

Writing a ton of stories last month was an utter flop. I figured out a lot of stuff, and I did write some fiction, and I guess I identified some challenges I’ll need to deal with. So…not a success, but on the other hand it’s better than the previous month.

Dictation runs more smoothly now. All sorts of little things go into that. If you’re using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a few of these tips may be useful to you too:

  1. “Handheld device” and “digital audio recorder” are not actually the same.
  2. When running Windows in a virtual machine, there may be a difference between “mic in” and “line in” for directly connected microphones.
  3. Again in a virtual machine, the widely-recommended suggestion of a USB headset turned out to be less than useful.
  4. If you happen to be running XFCE, the built-in timer panel applet works well for Pomodoro sessions. Adding sounds via paplay works well too.
  5. It’s far cleaner, workflow-wise, to dictate text directly into something like Notepad. However, emotionally–for me–it seems better to record all text and transcribe later. Also, it utterly frees me from the computer. Which is especially useful if I don’t want distractions.
  6. When Dragon’s voice recognition seems to get worse instead of better over time, exporting vocabulary and starting over with a new profile seems to work better than trying to fix an existing profile.
  7. I now skip the bit about reading other people’s words to “train” Dragon whenever possible. Reading/dictating my own stuff seems to work better.
  8. Using (this is a Linux thing) avconv in a script to auto-convert .m4a files to .wav format seems to work well.
  9. Being careful to always use the correct audio source (in other words, not transcribing a recording unless actually in the “handheld device” sub-profile) seems significantly helpful.
  10. Dragon will never learn that when you say something like “Hi, how are you?” in the midst of a sentence, it isn’t appropriate to capitalize the first word after that quoted question mark. Fix it in editing, or learn to use the capitalization commands as you go. Both approaches are painful.

Further, I guess I can say again that I have learned (again) that nothing even vaguely resembling outlining is helpful. Someday I may be able to apply that lesson without re-learning it.

Another take-away: it’s probably more important to write a little something in the morning, even if it’s only a couple of hundred words, than to focus on anything else.

That’s about it. I have some ideas for this month, but I just don’t feel up to telling you folks about them until I can demonstrate to myself that I’m making progress. So…we’ll see.

Have fun out there?

1 Comment


  1. // Reply

    Stored the link away – audio is in the future, but I want to do it myself, and time is difficult to find. Writing comes first.

    Thanks for the helpful info.

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