RAW VOICE: SPEECH-TO-TEXT AS A FREEWRITING WEAPON

Oct 24, 2017 — Leave a comment

“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”

— Neil Gaiman

For those who are able to make a grand career writing about their travels and the things they eat – I’m envious of you. Wouldn’t that be a dream? Travel the world and taste the wonders and spent glorious amounts of time taking photos and making a living off that!

Maybe on my next travel, I’ll write about my own views of how I am able to survive and spend the days across the city. To be honest, I’m not sure if you would get much out of my own travel writing but the hope of sheer insight and entertainment and amusement. That’s the only hope one would hope for.

The one thing I could say for sure, the modern times is making it much easier to travel and write about it compared to Jack Kerouac’s time on the road. Now, we got cheaper devices like Chromebooks and the trust that most of the developing world is addicted to the internet to almost guarantees that there will be a wifi connection somewhere. I say Chromebooks because they seem to be the most durable of the lot and that my work doesn’t really demand so much use of the computing power than what a photo editor/video editor or even a graphic designer would… I’m sure I would suffice enough to use a machine of such.

Goodbye to the times of using physical notebooks and pens. I mean, I still use them to great extent and picky enough to try to choose a suitable pen for my uses (I’ve been using Uni-ball’s Signo Micro 207 pens… as I wasn’t able to get a hold of the ultrafine tips but these have been a pleasure to write with that isn’t gel).  With a good enough connection and the right amount of resourcefulness and trust, all your content can be uploaded to the cloud and you can continue on your way with the freedom of less weight and concern about losing your shit.

I can’t imagine lugging around the MacBook too much as I did before. To be honest, we didn’t really use it much the last outing Bunny and I had in Hong Kong. It was there but mostly there for having a reliable way of getting on the internet to check some things and book some hotels and flights.

With a Chromebook, you can do all that but at snappier pace and without the freedom of not having it stolen (which would still suck but not as much as losing something like a Mac).

One of the things that held me back from sharing more was that fear of nothing to say or worse, the fear of being criticised. And so, the dream had faltered and the lack of output happened and thinking about it is depressing. Not anymore, I say! Here’s one of those attempts to push back and really gun for the chance to just to remain playful with the words and spread my wings to new heights of expression.

Besides having a Chromebook on my mind for traveling around the world and the city (I have my sights set on the latest Asus C101, which seems affordable and well-liked enough), I have a need to upgrade my pocket supercomputer – basically, my smartphone. This, as humanly pleasures could do, been on my mind for some time and it’s annoying as they could be and I’ve been frustrated on how something so technically useless can make me feel so much pressure to get something so expensive. Anyway, I just need something for my media consumption and checking emails and making notes when I need them. As a writer, it isn’t always the best device to get writing done but I have found an alternative method to help get some thoughts down on the fly.

Speech to text apps!

One of my own experiments has been the use of using speech to text apps to try and transcribe my rambling feels before I polish it up on the computer. It’s been a mixed of results but I can tell you that it has given me a faster output when I’m struggling hard against my own laziness. I could lay in bed and comfortably knock out 1000 words using the app called SpeechnotesWhat’s great is that you just control the punctuation with your fingertips while you go ahead with the spurge of thoughts. Sometimes it feels a little rambly and not really great, but it sure digs deep and helps with the whole thinking aloud aspect.

After that, I just copied and paste it to a draft and had it uploaded to WordPress. Which makes it easier to jump on the laptop the next day and edit the darn thing. It’s quick and easy and makes the whole blogging on the go a faster experience.

I highly recommend trying this method if you don’t mind talking out your feelings. I haven’t tried it in public but it’s definitely great when you’re laying in bed and want to “write” but you don’t want to get out and turn on the computer or lights.

It’s intimate and personal and you really get to show your raw feelings. There will be a ton of filler words and repetitive phrases that we tend to latch onto when we are speaking, but that is nothing to worry about when you get to chipping away those pieces to focus on the good bits of what you want to say.

It’s like the classic old-school writer with the little recorder and getting ideas down for the next session at the old typewriter. Instead, it’s more efficient and more direct and, in a way, less work and writing.

Less writing? Really? Isn’t that against the whole love of writing?

Sure. Yeah, whatever. But it sure saves time and gets you at the good parts like remixing your notes and connecting new thoughts. For me, I’m open to the thought of writing and connecting myself to the computer. Some older writers are having a hard time keeping focus but for me, a little jazz music and some coffee and a timer are all you need to have a good time working away.

So, next time you are out and about, a small device can be a quick way to get some ideas and if you can’t get the words down fast enough. Maybe it’s time to let go of old romantic ideals of what writing truly is based on the merits of the tools of the old and embrace and learn the new ways. I still have my typewriter in the closet and I’m writing on a 30-year-old IBM Model M keyboard – but I’m trying my best to optimize all the tools at my disposal.

Because think about. We humans started storytelling without the written word and were oral storytellers, so doesn’t it make sense to embrace the method and use it to our advantage? To hear the rhythm and music of our words as we try and create something addictive to the ears? I think that is something we should all do.

In the future, I will experiment with a longer speech-to-text session, as I have only begun to discover other people who have tried this – even for writing books and possibly screenplays! It would bring a whole new meaning to dialogue writing for sure.

 

 

Advertisements

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s