I had my first experience with Dragon NaturallySpeaking in 2011 when some very dear friends bought it for me because I had been seriously injured, and had lost much of the use of my left arm and suffered nerve damage in my left hand. At that point we weren’t sure whether I would ever be able to type again. While I was in the hospital, some very dear friends pooled their resources and bought me the software.
For any number of reasons, I was unable to use the software efficiently. For one thing, the computer. I had at the time was somewhat primitive. For another, the DVD player I had at the time would play only music DVDs and not installation disks. My neighbor copied the software to his thumb drive and installed it on my computer, but we could never register it, and it never worked right. It probably also didn’t help that I kept trying to teach it Latin.
I found that yes I could type and did so, and forgot all about Dragon. Recently, however QVC had an excellent sale and I decided to try it again. My computer genius friend installed it on my computer. This past Monday, and I have been playing with it ever since. I am very impressed with what this new version will do, and I am determined to make it my primary source for writing posts, and answering emails. I do find that using it relieves the pressure on my arm and hand, and makes writing more physically comfortable.
However, I have also learned that I have Mike fright! This is absolutely absurd! I have been a classroom teacher, given lectures, have spoken publicly, and certainly have no problems talking!!!
I’m not sure what the problem is, other than the fact that I am so used to composing while typing that I find it hard to talk and think at the same time. This may be harder than talking and chewing gum at the same time, which I can actually accomplish. I am trying some exercises, for example, I have an open Word document that I called Dragon chat which I used to just talk about anything. I wonder if I am distracted by hearing my own voice, and not thinking ahead, even while speaking. I should be able to do this, and I will.
One of the things I love about this software is that I can use it to post status updates and comments on Facebook, something with which I have always had technical difficulties. In short, I really like this software and I suspect at some point I will be as comfortable with it as I am with typing. I certainly hope so, and will do everything I can to make it so.