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Quick Tip: Talk Your Way to Faster Blogging

Read Time: 2 min

Do you suffer from the common blogging problem of never feeling like you have enough time to write? Do you type slower than you'd like? Do you wish there was a secret to faster blogging?

There isn't just one thing. But here's something that might help:

Let your computer (or phone or tablet) do your "writing" for you.

How?

Give voice-to-text apps a try.

Let me give you an example of how these apps can speed up the writing process:

First, keep in mind that typing speeds and writing speeds are very different things. My maximum typing speed is well in excess of 100 words per minute. But writing involves the process of creating something new. It involves much more than the typing itself. I can consistently write 1000 words per hour using a keyboard. And on a good day, I can turn around twice that much (in very rough draft form).

That's not too shabby when knocking out first drafts of blog posts (though my process is slower when working on fiction). But you know me. I'm always looking for ways to make even better use of my time. So I periodically turn to voice-to-text apps.

That includes Dragon, Naturally Speaking and the Swype Android app from Nuance (the company that makes Dragon).

More recently I've been using Android's built-in speech-to-text functionality with Google Docs on my tablet, which makes it easy to copy things over to Scrivener when I'm back at my laptop. At first I gave it a try simply to spend more time away from my desk. But then I saw the end result.

I wasn't writing a rough 1000, or even 2000, words in an hour. Instead, over several recent blog posts I found that I averaged just over 700 words for every ten minutes. That comes to 4200 words an hour -- more than double my best writing speeds. And that was with an app combination I had spent barely any time with, so there was still a bit of a learning curve in setting things up how I wanted.

Nice, right? Wouldn't you love to double or even quadruple your blogging? Heck, you don't even have to write for a full hour at once (you'll probably get tired of hearing yourself speak anyway). But you could spend just half an hour "writing" this way and still hit your usual hourly goal. And with more practice, I bet you could improve your productivity even more than that.

When I'm asked how I write as much as I do, I rarely think to bring speech-to-text tools up because I don't use them all the time. But when it's crunch time, or my fingers are aching from a marathon typing session, there's no better feeling than continuing to write even when I feel like I'm almost taking a break.

Give it a try. See if it helps you become a faster blogger. Even if it's not something you regularly do, it might help you push past instances of writer's block by letting you process ideas differently.

Do you ever use voice-to-text tools for faster blogging? If so, what tool do you use? How accurate is it, and would you recommend it? Share your thoughts in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Talk Your Way to Faster Blogging”

  1. Oh wow, that’s a HUGE difference. I’m definitely going to give this a shot – I use Android + Google Docs, too, but I’ve never tried the text-to-voice before.

    I can imagine it goes faster when you’re speaking, too, because it feels more conversational, instead of over-thinking every word you’re typing, which I tend to do 🙂

    Reply
    • There’s one important thing to keep in mind if you use Android’s native voice-to-text: there’s no command for deleting something / backspace.

      At first this frustrated the heck out of me. But after just a few posts, I found that I was thinking things out better before speaking. There’s a place for babbling to yourself to get through writer’s block. I record myself when I do that rather than using voice-to-text. But when you’re using this method to write, it’s not the best place for that.

      You’re right about it being conversational. And that’s a huge help. Previously the Swype app worked best for me (their premium version, though the free one used to do a good job too). But for some reason it’s been glitchy lately. That’s why I went back to the default from Google. And Google’s is much, much better at picking things up from a conversational tone. I had to be much more deliberate with other tools.

      Reply
  2. I’ll use voice-to-text tools from time-to-time. However, I’ve been speaking my words as I type them (I’m doing it right now.) This helps me to hear my words, my thoughts. I find that my writing goes by faster and even flows better. 🙂

    I like to change it up now and again, so I don’t get bored with writing. However, I don’t think that will ever happen. I love writing!

    Reply
    • I love changing things up too Amandah. I get bored very easily, so sometimes I just need a change of pace. That might mean writing from a different location. Or it might mean changing how I’m writing – like going from typing to voice-to-text. I don’t think I’d ever get bored with the creation process. But sitting at a desk typing? Heck yeah.

      As an added bonus, switching things up might help prevent carpal tunnel. 😉

      Reply
  3. I use Dragon all the time for my writing. It’s great for ergonomics and it doesn’t take very long to get into the swing of it. It’s also really great at picking out the right words. I’ve used some programs that make me feel like I talk in gibberish because they don’t pick everything up. I highly recommend it.

    It can make your computer kind of wonky if you leave it on for too long.

    Reply
    • I don’t know why Dragon seems to have a more difficult time with my voice than the mobile apps (including the one from Nuance itself). I’ve done seemingly endless “training,” have high quality mics, and don’t have a heavy accent of any kind. I have good days and bad days with it. While the bad days are frustrating, the good ones are priceless. 🙂

      Reply

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