Hiatus

Hiatus blog maintenance

Updates and new blog posts will be erratic over the next few days due to an injury.

I sprained my wrist in a bicycle accident. It's a first for me, and I was a little surprised how an injury can skip over being painful and go straight to making me nauseous, sweaty, and light-headed.

I would deeply appreciate any tips about dictation software that works well for blogging. Thanks!

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

22 Comments

  1. ucfgrad932 October, 2013

    Hope you get better soon.

    Reply
  2. Henrik2 October, 2013

    Get better Nate!

    Reply
  3. Paul2 October, 2013

    The problem with Dragon software, is that it takes a lot of time to get it to learn your accent (you can also cheat and use Siri for some of it). I suggest that you use a combination. Use a tool that allows you to have shortcuts for words, i.e. option n = nook etc.. or if you say “your name” it automatically puts in a bunch of text connected to your name. This would speed things up a great deal. To help you get started, run a word map on your web site and create short cuts for all the major words or phrases that pick up.

    Hope this helps.

    Paul

    Reply
    1. dmc2 October, 2013

      +1 for dragon

      Reply
  4. MizzBee2 October, 2013

    Hi, Mr. Nate, with those symptoms please monitor yourself and have your wife and/or family and friends do so. Do not try to be brave and “gut it out” if you continue to feel like that see a doctor. Listen to your body, my friend. Have a great day.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder2 October, 2013

      I saw a doctor last night, thanks.

      Reply
  5. Bummer Nate! I hope you feel better soon. Will miss the morning coffee posts!

    Reply
  6. Charles Kravetz2 October, 2013

    I use an open source software called Dasher with a trackball much of the time. It is not dictation software, most of that works well on Windows, but I use Linux. Dasher learns what words you use most, and steers you to them. It also allows all punctuation marks. I have used it with both left and right hand mouse and trackballs, too.

    Reply
    1. Kaz Augustin2 October, 2013

      I was wondering about the Linux alternatives, Charles. Thanks a lot for mentioning Dasher. Shall go check it out myself. Oh, and get better soon, Nate. 😉

      (Nuance aka Dragon really has the corner on this market in WindowsWorld, sorry to say. No real alternatives.)

      Reply
  7. wayne leong2 October, 2013

    A sling made out of an old long-sleeve dress shirt/old sweater will help give the wrist some rest and support .

    Reply
  8. R2 October, 2013

    Take care. Remember to be careful. Hope that you will recover soon

    Reply
  9. fjtorres2 October, 2013

    The lightheadedness was adrenaline rushing into the system. The body saw the fall and impact as an attack and prepped you for fight or flight. 😉

    Take it easy and keep that wrist close in. If you’re an arm-waver try not to get too excited or you’ll be painfully reminded of the casual dings we routinely shrug off.

    If you can’t find dictation software to your taste (and Dragon would be my suggestion) you could try audio clips… 😉

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder2 October, 2013

      The lightheadedness, sweat, and nausea was at the doctor’s office when they told me to rotate my wrist.

      Reply
  10. Ralph Hummel2 October, 2013

    I would recommend DragonNaturally Speaking. Works like a chatm pretty much straight out of the box.

    Reply
  11. The Rodent2 October, 2013

    Hope it heals soon.

    Reply
  12. Name2 October, 2013

    Get better soon! If you’re a workaholic, why not just start an audio podcast while you’re unable to write? I.e., record what you’d like to say and publish the audio file as a download.

    Reply
  13. Chris Meadows3 October, 2013

    Ugh, get better soon.

    Dragon worked for me when I broke my arm. The only problem with any dictation software is that the thinking process for stuff you dictate is going to be different from stuff you write, because you’re using different parts of your brain to put the stuff down. So you may find you have trouble compositionally even if the software works fine.

    Reply
    1. Ralph Hummel3 October, 2013

      I pretty much do all my writing in German, English or French with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Whilst it’s true that the process is different then when you write with a keyboard, I found that after an initial adaptation period, writing becomes much faster and more fluid (and frankly speaking a lot more fun).
      As with any type of text-production, first you need to map out what you want to write before you actually start dictating. I usually do this by dictating a small bullet point-overview of what I want to write first and then develop from that into a full-blown text.
      The revision process becomes much more important, particularly in the beginning when the programme has not fully adapted to your voice and accent yet. The software has in the beginning some difficulty to decide which of two words to use if they sound similarly but have different meanings.
      This can produce some funny results if you’re not careful (and they are sometimes easy to miss doing revision). The thing to remember is, that you need to dictate full sentences and phrases fluently, not word by word. That way it easier for the software to decide what you actually wanted to write as it takes into consideration the content of your dictate in order to decide what to transcribe.
      Having said that, I have found that, if you engage with the software and use it regularly, after only a very short period of time the results are getting better and better and certainly text is being produced at a much greater speed than if you were typing by hand.
      Hope that helps in your decision making process and best of luck with your sprained wrist.

      PS: this text was dictated and revised with Dragon NaturallySpeaking in less than 10 minutes (and I sometimes have a pretty strong German accent producing extremely funny results!!!).

      Reply
  14. Rebecca3 October, 2013

    Nate, I’m a very fast typist & hate dictating, so I feel your pain and your frustration. Hope you feel better soon and heal quickly. As for dictation software. you are probably stuck with Dragon– it’s the best but not great. Example: had you used Dragon to create this post you might very well have announced to the world the painful fracture of your breast! (Actuall Dragon error shown to me by a colleague.)

    Reply
  15. Loretta4 October, 2013

    I use Dragon Naturally Speaking for scientific technical writing pretty successfully. It does take time to train the software and the writer but once that is done, and you leArn to ‘speak’ the punctuation as well, it works nicely. I broke my arm a few years ago when I began to use it, and like it well enough that I’ve continued to use it post injury.

    Reply
  16. Nate Hoffelder4 October, 2013

    Thanks for the well-wishes, everyone!

    Reply
  17. Igor Borski6 October, 2013

    Get well Nate!

    Reply

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