Using Dictation Software for Freelance Writing

When you're a writer, it can be difficult to deal with an injury that affects your hand, arm, or wrist. If you're in a tough spot you can use dictation software for freelance writing.

A couple weeks ago, while fencing with my son, my ankle rolled as I moved back into on the guard position. I fell down and caught all of my weight on my wrist. My right wrist fractured in two places and was displaced, and I needed surgery. Now I'm stuck with my arm in a splint and I can't use my right hand for another few weeks.

Dictation software for freelance writing

As a freelance writer, this can be devastating. But I am learning that I can use a dictation software for freelance writing. It's a completely different approach to getting my words into the computer, but is something I need to do because I enjoy being able to pay rent and eat food.

Finding Dictation Software for Freelance Writing

The first thing you need to do it is to find dictation software that will work for you. There is a lot of dictation software out there. A couple years ago I tried dictation software for freelance writing using Dragon. This is generally considered a good program for dictation. You can use it on your phone and take it with you wherever you go. For some freelance writers it can be very helpful in the terms of increasing productivity.

I actually discovered, that my computers come with the option to dictate. I have a Mac laptop and a Mac desktop and both of these, With dictation capability built in. So instead of purchasing dictation software for freelance writing, I am just using what is already on my computer. So far it has worked pretty well.

You could also use a dictation and transcription service. I briefly thought about this, but decided against it because I didn't want to pay extra for it. I have the hospital bills to worry about now, so the idea of paying someone to do something that can be accomplished on my computer doesn't appeal to me.

Pay Attention to Your Dictation

Even though you're using a dictation software for freelance writing, It doesn't mean that you can totally relax. You will need to pay attention to your dictation in order to reduce errors and the amount of time you spend editing later. I don't like to dictate more than one sentence at a time.

It's also important to speak clearly and sometimes loudly. One of the most difficult things for me is the fact that if I yawn in the middle of something I need to redo that portion. I find that if I used earbuds or a microphone my dictation is picked up better, And there are fewer errors. Also watch out for background noise. Running a heater and my room while dictating introduces more noise and causes problems with the process.

There are also commands that you can use while dictating it to avoid I need to go back and add punctuation. Commands like “period,” “new line,” and “comma” can help you punctuate as you go along. This makes it a little easier at the end.

Left-Handed Pecking and Mouse Use

Because it is my right hand that is impacted, and it is my dominant hand, I have also had to get used to you using my left hand with my computer mouse and for making edits. Sometimes if the dictation software hasn't picked me up properly, I have to go back use left-handed pecking to make corrections.

It's been a little bit of a learning curve, but I'm getting there. The process of dictating is different from just typing as the words come to my mind. It still takes me longer to dictate and edit a post than it does to just type it. But the difference isn't so great that it is causing serious problems.

Have you ever used dictation software for freelance writing? What did you use and how did you like it?

2 thoughts on “Using Dictation Software for Freelance Writing”

  1. Sherrill St. Germain

    I use the voice recognition feature on my iPad to dictate to a Microsoft Word document. This works OK, but quite a bit of editing is still necessary. Plus, I find that Word is more quirky about voice recognition than certain other apps. Would you mind sharing which word-processing software you use? Thanks & hope you are on the mend!

    1. I use Word on my Mac. It hasn’t been bad at all. However, still need to edit. No matter what I use, editing is still necessary, although it’s needed less with my computer’s built-in tools as opposed to outside dictation software. It’s one of the reasons I prefer to type whenever possible and avoid dictation.

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