It was a bad idea

Today I wanted to try something different. One of the problems I have with writing blog posts every day, is that it takes me a lot of time. Now time is one of the most valuable resources I have, in the sense that I only a finite amount of it. Obviously, as is true for most people, I spend most of my time sleeping. I’m not saying it’s not important, time spent on sleeping is time well spent. However, it is 8 to 10 hours cut out of my daily budget. Obviously, working a full time job takes me another 8 hours a day on weekdays. That leaves me with another 6 to 8 hours to spend on other things.

Among those other things, I count my family, physical activity, writing, reading, and socialising, which is mostly on social media these days. Probably a good 2 hours in the morning, and an additional 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon to evening are spent with my wife and son, non-negotiable. In the remaining time I want to write. However, I also don’t want to turn into some sedentary plant that doesn’t move at all. As writing sometimes takes me an hour or so there is very little time left to go out for a walk and often it’s even dark. (And I got bored to death with my Yoga with Adrienne sessions on YouTube) So as you can see there is a bit of a conflict there. The daily blog and the daily walk compete for my precious time.

So, today I thought I’d try something new. I have used Dragon speech recognition software for many years (it’s perfect – I dictated my PhD thesis with it in no time), and the only reason I’m not using it for writing much these days is that it will drive everyone around me nuts – which is an issue when you share your home office and paper-walled house with a working partner (and a noisy kid, for that matter). But I thought it might work to use it to write during walks. So, I’m currently on a walk dictating my blog into my phone using Google boards, combined with the WordPress app. I was somewhat sceptical at the beginning. Well, no, I am still very sceptical. The voice recognition is generally quite good, but there are some drawbacks. Using punctuation is horrible. That is always horrible anyway. You need to learn to speak including the punctuation. On a pc this is fine, and you can combine with keyboard use. The annoying thing on the phone is that you cannot combine speech recognition with use of the manual keyboard. So, every time I need to add a comma or a period, I need to switch. In addition, the microphone picks up well only if you put the phone almost inside your face, which is uncomfortable. I guess that’s what you get with free software. Dragon also provides a pricey subscription app that is additional to the two pc versions I already use (and are also quite costly). I’m not sure if I’m willing to make this continued investment in an app of which I’m not sure whether I’ll use it often enough to be worth any of it…

The walk is good

I’m by now (one-third into my walk) totally annoyed by the Google boards speech recognition, so I’ll quickly finish this one off manually using the phone keyboard, while walking. I guess that’s another alternative for combining writing and walking. I must say that at least the WordPress app is quite alright for writing on the fly.

I’ll probably stick with the writing hour at home 🙂. Fuck it, it was a bad idea. But the walk is nice!

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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