One piece of advice often repeated to new writers is to "write like you speak." I don't know how valuable that advice actually is, but I'm in the process of learning to do the opposite, to "speak like I write."
Because I've been having trouble writing post-surgery, I've been exploring ways to change how I work. One idea I kicked around is the use of speech recognition software so that I could dictate rather than type. I sought opinions from other writers and found that, as a group, they had a vast array of experiences. The positive experiences and the negative experiences seemed to cancel each other out.
Ultimately, I purchased MacSpeech Dictate. I thought I had throughly checked the specs, but I hadn't; it won't run on my older Macintosh G5.
Another week of deep thought led to the purchase of a MacBook, one of the other ideas I had about changing the way I work. I thought not being tied to my office might inspire me.
The laptop was functional straight out of the box, I installed Microsoft Office and MacSpeech Dictate without any hitches, and I was soon able to dictate directly into a Word document.
Although I've only dictated a few things, I have learned the following about myself: 1) I don't enunciate my words as clearly as I'd thought, and 2) When I read back what I've dictated, it doesn't "sound" like material I've typed.
I've spent time "teaching" the program to understand me, and it does a reasonably good job of understanding what I'm saying; it's certainly no worse than my typing.
But will it ultimately make me more productive? Will not being tied to my office and not being tied to a keyboard make a difference? Will I regain my productivity by changing how I write?