Friday, 5 November 2010

Where are we?

Good morning everyone, this is posted early as I am off to Carcassonne this morning. I still have time to offer fresh boiled eggs and freshly baked bread along with freshly brewed coffee. As you can see I feel fresh this morning, the 'facadiers' have gone and we have a fabulous 'fresh' house.
Anyway back to todays subjects. Firstly a question, has anyone tried Dragon Speech Recognition software. I am looking for a reasonably priced product which will allow me to get my wip onto my computer rather faster than my inadequate typing. But I am wary of this as it seems cheap compared to other software I have looked at.
My second question is 'where are we' by that I mean where is this group heading? I have been a Novel Racer just about since it was started and I think the Coffee morning was as much for all Racers to have a chat as it was to discuss 'writerly' topics. I try to pop by most weeks and leave a comment even if its fairly banal because I don't have any expertise in the topic being discussed. Recently the number of comments has been around the 10 mark that is only about a third of Racers, so where are the rest of you? I realise people are busy and can't always stop by but if you don't come along for Coffee mornings then what else is this group about?
I realise that I am poor at visiting all the blogs of the Racers on a regular basis but think that this blog should be the bridge that joins us all. S what does everyone think?
Where are we going?


Annieye said...

Well said, Sheepish. I have been really bad at visiting the Novel Racers blog just lately simply because of a temporary change in my routine.

On Fridays, I don't have to leave for work early as a general rule, and can have a leisurely browse. Usually the NR Blog is my first port of call.The last few weeks I have had to rush off early on a Friday for various reasons and have forgotten to pop by later.

I promise I'll improve!

Leatherdykeuk said...

You're quite right. I'm rubbish at commenting on blogs. I really want Dargon Dictate as two friends swear by it but I can't afford it yet.

Amanda said...

Great post Sheepish.
I know I was so chuffed to become a Novel Racer - and will try hard to get more involved!

Graeme K Talboys said...

Well, until recently I was busy with my three non-fiction books. That's all done now (apart from an index to repaginate) so I should have a bit more time and energy.

I'm wondering, with people saying they do not have the knowledge to comment on certain topics, whether we might somehow try to put together a set of answers to all those things we wanted to know about writing/publishing but were always afraid to ask. I'm sure between us we could do that and it would make a great resource for others visiting NR.

Anonymous said...

Are you getting a bit fresh with us, Sheepish? Ahem, right, {slurps coffee}...

I have no experience with speech recognition software, though my operating system seems to think it's dictatorial. I've heard some funny stories about misinterpretations by Dragon Speak.

It's funny you should mention people's reduction in, or lack of blogging. I posed a similar question on my blog today. I don't have the answer but I suspect busyness is often the culprit. That's certainly true in my case.

As to where we're going, there have been a few suggestions such as writing exercises, but I don't get the feeling people have time for any more commitments. I still think we should have another face-to-face meeting soon, even if it's just for fun.

Graeme, that's a great idea about a knowledge base, however I think it would end up being a big project. Nothing wrong with that; I'm not trying to put the brakes on it, but I think people should realise that it's likely to be big and complex. There are often no real "answers" to questions about writing and publishing and there are many contradictions, as I'm sure you know. I really like the idea in principle though, and have had some similar thoughts for other writing-related arenas.

Debs said...

I did have dragonspeak on an old laptop but it was slower than my typing, so I never used it. However, I know that Victoria Connelly uses something like that, although he has said recently on Fb of some funny/frustrating mistakes it makes. I think some form of it (no idea which one though) is very useful.

I suppose people are probably very busy with other things. NR is one of the first things I look forward to on a Friday.

Denise said...

I've been wondering about where this is going too. I'm not really sure why it's changed. Although I only joined this year, I'd been reading this blog for a year or so before that and whilst some people have left, others have joined. I think you're right, that we need to get some of the chattiness back. Should coffee posts be as much about where you are at the moment, rather than just a question?

I have an ancient version of Dragon (abour 10 years old!) and I was impressed with it then. I've not tried a recent one but have heard good things. I've not gone for another version just becuase my typing has improved and I don't always want to work in the silence that voice software demands. They used to offer money back guarentees if you didn't like it.

Cathy said...

Can't help with the Dragon software, but am actually interested in learning more myself.

I think there seems to a drop in interest in blogging generally, with Facebook and Twitter taking over. I know I have been feeling that way and even blogged about it a week ago.

I don't really know what can be done to encourage people to take part here. Perhaps there should be another discussion in the private place about what people actually want/expect from the group now the dynamics have changed?

andewallscametumblindown said...

I don't know anything about Dragon, but I did notice on Twitter this week that Jane Smith, aka @HPRW, recommends it.

I guess I should come here earlier on Fridays. I didn't get an explanation of what coffee mornings are all about. Things that are supposed to be obvious aren't always obvious to me. Now that I think I understand it, I'd be happy to host one. ~Miriam

Anonymous said...

I've noticed the change too. I'm not a member just a silent (well, most of the time) reader.

There was a time when I used to look to this blog and its members to get inspired and to rekindle the writer's spirit when I was struggling with a WIP.

Lately though, it really has been feeling kind of flat. I always look forward to reading your posts and the replies. I sincerely hope you can rekindle what you had. Just know there are people out there that are cheering you on.

Graeme K Talboys said...

I agree there are often no correct answers to many of the questions that arise, but I was thinking more about those things that do - things we often take for granted that less experienced writers might not be certain about but feel embarrassed to ask about. Plus useful tips and suggestions (for example, I started a while ago to keep a list of reference books I thought should be on a writer's shelf, with special sections for specific genre). That sort of thing.

HelenMHunt said...

I don't know anything personally about Dragon software, but when I wrote an article recently for Writers' Forum about writers and their use of technology the issue of voice recognition packages came up. People had mixed views on them. Positives were that it's very good if your typing is restricted by RSI etc, but it can feel a bit unnatural and make people feel disconnected from the writing process.

I also need to try to be better at coming to coffee mornings. I suspect that like a lot of others sheer weight of work is the main problem.

Jenny Beattie said...

I agree with what everyone says above. I don't think change itself is bad but I do think it's sad that we've gone flat here.

I'd be happy to contribute to a conversation about how we can gee ourselves up again over at the private blog.

Karen said...

I enjoy reading every week and feel disappointed when there aren't many comments, but I guess like others have said it's a combination of people being busy and having other commitments.

We need a kick up the bum!

Talli Roland said...

I wonder if we could do a member spotlight or something along those lines, so all the new members can get to know the older ones and vice versa? I'm new member and sometimes I feel a bit lost here... not quite sure who everyone is and all! Just a thought.

andewallscametumblindown said...

Like Talli said.

And Tania Hershman blogged about her Dragon experiences here. ~Miriam