Talk to Type - A Voice Typing Experiment

Does your brain go too fast for your typing hands to keep up? I have this problem all the time. By the time I can organize my thoughts into an actual coherent sentence that I’m about to type out, it disappears on me.

(Life would be so much easier if I could just download my thoughts to my computer through wi-fi. It’d be creepy as hell, and there’s a sci-fi dystopian movie to be made out of that idea – please credit me on that – but it might be worth it if I could make words appear on the page the second I think them.)

So when I heard there was a Voice Typing feature in Google Docs, I thought that it might be worth trying to see if I could speak my thoughts faster than I could type and decided to experiment.

I was a bit underwhelmed.

The first paragraph I wrote-spoke came out like this:

so this is a new series that I'm starting called marines and it shockingly is about what I am reading right now it is a generally give you a man's or any or Jeff or Hawaii but who knows what might end up coming up on in this series in the footer through in there sometimes my TV are pile is Rich and varied and slightly or okay completely random some of the time.

Gibberish. I can be a fast talker and I have a soft voice, but accuracy is seriously lacking here. The paragraph is actually a future blog post series about what I’m reading, not that you could really tell that. (I genuinely have no idea what I was trying to say with “a man's or any or Jeff or Hawaii.”)

It will put in punctuation for you, but you have to remember to actually say “comma” or “period.” I’m not used to dictation, so I continually forgot, leading to a very long run-on sentence.

It also censored all my swears! Granted, I usually didn’t want the cursing in – it was just a by-product of getting frustrated at myself for rambling or stumbling over my words – but any swear word came out as “s***” or “f***” or…well, you get the point. (I can be quite creative with my cursing.)

And that’s another thing: I found that I can’t just extemporize without planning or I’d fumble too much. I need to write out my thoughts to figure out what to say – and at that point, why not just write normally rather than add in the extra step of dictating?

I know there are a ton of people out there for whom dictation software is an amazing tool for their writing, but dictation software can be super expensive. If speaking your story works for you though, it’s bare bones but Voice Typing on Google Docs is totally free. If you’re a good off-the-cuff speaker and you can extemporize and keep your thoughts organized enough to keep the flow of ideas going, then definitely try it.

But voice typing’s not for me. I’ll stick to brain --> hands --> screen for now, at least until thought download becomes a thing.