Using voice to text to write blog posts

I am sitting in our car with the dog while my wife has gone into the food store wearing a mask to buy groceries. I’m experimenting today to see how well writing a blog post using voice-to-text on my phone works.

As far as I know, there aren’t any good inexpensive or free ways to do this on my Linux-based desktop computer, which I usually use for writing blog posts. But I find the voice-to-text feature that my phone has works extraordinarily well.

I’m sure there are similar options for users running Windows or Mac OS, but it doesn’t matter. This post isn’t about the availability of voice-to-text on different platforms.

So what I’m finding is that it works pretty well. All you have to do is spend a few minutes thinking through the purpose of the blog post. Then, you spend a few moments before each long sentence or paragraph thinking through what you want to say next. Then you narrate it.

Editing works the same way it does all the time, which is to say that you touch the screen where you want to insert text, or you select words that you want to delete.

I find that I tend to do a lot less editing this way because my spoken phrases tend to be very natural and clear.

To summarize, I find the process pretty natural and easy. It seems to go a lot faster than typing blog posts. I’ll try composing blog posts this way more often.

Why I write about me instead of you

As a technical writer, I’m accustomed to telling users what to do using imperative phrases such as “do this or do that.” More recently, in my tech docs, I’ve adopted the practice of directly addressing the user by saying “you.” Many organizations have embraced this practice because it improves comprehension and establishes a warmer relationship with the user you, the reader.

In this personal blog, telling you what to do feels arrogant and high-handed. Instead, I want to move things further along that continuum of trust and familiarity. You know what’s best for you. If you find something meaningful in what I share, you’ll find a way to use it. If I still use imperative phrases, I do it out of habit and because that is how I tell myself to do things.

When I’m talking to you, I’ll say “you.” Nothing I say here is written in stone. I adapt and improve the ideas I discuss here to fit different needs and circumstances. It would be best if you did the same.