How to Train Your Dragon: Using Dictation to Turbocharge Your Writing

Posted by Arthur Gutch
Published On Sep 30, 2015

If money is one of the reasons you have for writing books, your income is regulated by how fast you can write your next volume. Be it non-fiction instruction manuals or romance novels, the best way to increase your income is by putting out more books or eBooks.  Most people have something in their life that takes up time: a job, children, or other claims on their time. If your writing time is limited, the only way to increase your royalties is by increasing the words you produce per hour. self_publishing_dragon

If you're a poor typist, typing lessons can help. But most authors already know how to type well. It's just a matter of getting more words into onto the screen, and their hands simply won't move any faster. That's where speech-to-text technology comes in. Dragon Naturally Speaking is the clear leader in this market, but you may be able to find others. Using this technology, most authors can double their daily word count or more.

Why is This Better for Authors?

Fast authors have been known to type 2,000 words in an hour when working smoothly without interruptions. That averages out to a little over 33 words per minute. A study of a representative sample of TED talks showed that people average around 150 words while talking. Clearly, people think and talk a lot faster than they can type. Even allowing for the delay is takes to think of your next line before speaking it, it's clear that doubling your speed is well within your grasp with speech-to-text.

How Does it Work?

The Dragon setup is simple. Attach a microphone to your computer after installing the program and it will type anything you say into it. Dragon works in most operating systems, and if yours isn't compatible it pops up its own text box to work in. You can transfer the work to your page in one click from their text box when you're done. Dragon types as you speak in real time, so you can see your progress and stop if any errors occur.


Dragon takes practice and dedication to work well and get the most benefits, but it's well worth it. Just like the time you spent learning touch typing, the time you invest in "training your dragon" will pay for itself many times over. Your best bet is to practice for 8-10 hours on nonfiction. Try dictating emails, articles, blog posts, or social media posts. This will give you a chance to get used to thinking out loud, as well as saying the punctuation as you create. It will feel awkward at first, and very slow. But most people are amazed at the speed they achieve even ten minutes after installing the program.

Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!