Tips: What To Do When You Don’t Want To Type

I want to write, but my mind is as blank as the paper or screen when I sit down to write.

You chat with your friends and all sorts of ideas for stories, personal narratives and anecdotes come to mind. When you sit down to write them, you can’t compose a single line or cohesive paragraph.

The blank screen or white paper make your mind freeze. Your good humor doesn’t translate well into typing on a keyboard.

Your wrists hurt. Typing is painful for you.

There are ways to still write when you your wrists or brain don’t like your computer.

1. Be old fashioned. Write your thoughts or stories in a paper journal.

2. Get someone else to transcribe your writing onto a computer.

Make sure to write legibly. Hire a local high school student and give him or her your penned manuscripts to type up.

Scan your masterpieces to a virtual assistant in India or the Philippines to transcribe and pay them $3-5/hour. You can search for an assistant on www.odesk.com and  www.elance.com. The assistants have profiles listed on the site with reviews from past employers. You pay using PayPal or a credit card.

3. Get an ergonomic keyboard.

Laptop and desktop keyboards are not designed for a human body that does not know proper typing techniques. Since schools rarely teach proper typing techniques, many people suffer from wrist problems because they are not typing in the right way and their wrists and arms are not in a natural alignment . Get an ergonomic keyboard that you can hook up to your computer. There are several types of ergonomic keyboards. You can read about them on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergonomic_keyboard#Split_keyboard.

I have an adjustable split keyboard and it has saved me!  It is designed into two pieces that are connected at the top. I adjust the angle between the two pieces can be easily changed so that I can adjust their height and move them around. When I type, my wrists and arms are in a natural position.

4. Get voice recognition software.

Dragon Naturally Speaking (www.Nuance.com ) is the most popular voice recognition software. I bought the Standard version ($99) six years ago. It took time for the software to get used to my voice, but I was pleased with the results. I spoke into the computer and the program typed what I had said. For words that sounds similar, but have different spellings, you will often have to go back and correct the spelling. The technology has supposedly improved over the years, making it less tiring to train the software to understand your diction.

If you buy the Preferred version that comes with a digital recorder for $250, you can record your musings into a digital voice recorder, download the audio files onto your computer and have Dragon convert your talk into a written document without your having to sit next to your computer. You will still have to edit the document and train the program to get used to your voice. With this option, you can sit in quiet park or somewhere you feel relaxed and just talk away into your recorder.

(I don’t know how well the software works for people whose native language is not English and who speak with accents. I don’t know if the software has options for different English language accents either.)

5. Talk out your story. Record it and send the voice files to someone to transcribe.

In the US, you may find a student who will transcribe your audio recordings for $8 or $10/hour or less.

You can also benefit from our global economy and send your voice files to a transcriber in India or another country to translate your talk into words. If you use a lot of American slang, you mumble, or don’t articulate well, the transcriber may have problems with your diction. Make sure to articulate and to record in a quiet place with good audio equipment.

Send your audio files to a virtual assistant in India or the Philippines to transcribe and pay them $3-5/hour. You can search for an assistant on www.odesk.com and  www.elance.com. The assistants have profiles listed on the site with reviews from past employers. You pay using PayPal or a credit card.

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Stop.

Write or talk out your story.

Move ahead!

Publish your work on BookRix.com.

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