Exploring: Writing on the Go!

fisheye view of trees and sun

Happy 2015 to everyone! This feels like an exciting year. I  like the sci-fi-ness of 2015.

This morning I woke up and did a nice morning stretch and a little strength training. While in the shower, I pondered how to be more active in my daily life without taking away from my writing time and I had a very interesting idea. My laptop sometimes tells me its Bluetooth is ready (which made no sense to me because I hadn’t ever thought about using Bluetooth with anything but a cellphone while driving) and I have a Bluetooth ear piece for my old cell phone.

Could I connect my Bluetooth ear piece to my computer and dictate stories to my laptop while I walked around the house? If so, I could write while cleaning; I could write while pacing; I could write while jumping up and down!

After my shower I found my earpiece and . . . had to charge it. But once it was charged, I searched Bluetooth under all programs in the start-up menu,clicked it and my laptop recognized my device. I was happily surprised. So far, so good. Then, I went to the control panel on my laptop and clicked  speech recognition. When setting it up, I selected other for my microphone and my Bluetooth earpiece was now my microphone. I continued to follow the steps for setting up Microsoft’s voice recognition software that came free with my computer.

The tutorial was thorough and kept my attention. I received instant gratification by saying “Next” and seeing the tutorial move to the next screen. After the tutorial, I went through two sessions of reading to the computer to train it to my voice. I probably should have done more, but I was running out of time before my writing group meeting. I wanted to write a short piece for group using my exciting new dictation technique.

I talked to my computer a lot this morning. I used every correction command from the tutorial and obviously need to learn some more, but ended up with an interesting paragraph and a half. It didn’t feel like I was talking to myself until the first member of my writing group arrived and I was still talking to the computer. He didn’t say anything, but he probably thinks I talk to myself, strangely, when no one’s around.

I was very excited to share my new (to me) writing idea with the group. It turned out the person I thought would be most interested already bought Dragon (speech recognition software), but gave up on training it. She said she found the headset cumbersome and hadn’t wanted to buy any further microphones. This made me even more excited about my Bluetooth idea. She also said she felt more focused at the keyboard and didn’t feel like the words came as freely when speaking into the microphone. She presented the different natures of storytelling I’m hoping I’ll capture. The oral story teller vs. the written word.

I’m hoping, once I get my computer and I trained, I’ll be able to capture my voice as an oral story teller and see if it is different than my typing and/or handwritten voice. I imagine that I might say things that I would hesitate to write; even avoid writing because I would think about it too much.

So, here we go on a new adventure, using available tools in new and exciting ways. Wish me luck!

Have any of you had success using your Bluetooth to get your computer to type what you say? Any tips?

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