Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two Finger Typist

Hi folks,

If your considering writing articles or perhaps even your own eBook to one day publish, only your like me a "two finger typist", then I may have an answer for you.

I've been around computers since the days of the VIC20, that's a long time even in dog years. The only problem is I never learned data entry or typing and hence I'm still a "two finger typist". Its not terribly bad, I can still type pretty quick but I do have to watch those two fingers while they are doing they're thing.

Recently, I began helping my wife with a great undertaking, she wants to publish a cook book she wrote for both hard cover sales and now she would also like an eBook version of the same book to have published online. Only problem is she is a one finger typist and I'm a two finger typist so you can imagine how long it took to write the hard cover version? Anyways, with the book finally nearing completion, I gave my head a shake and the cobwebs that were clouding my creative thought fell away. And low and behold what popped into my head, I was thinking about the text-to-speech programs available for PCs. I thought to myself wait a minute, if someone wrote a program so you could type and the computer would speak it back to you, wouldn't it be cool if you could speak and the computer would write it down for you. I thought NAH, isn't going to happen. I was WRONG!

Pleasantly wrong I might add. I did a little googling one night and there they were such programs as Dragon - Naturally Speaking at or Express Dictate at just to mention a few. You can search more out and some are free while others cost from a few dollars up to allot more dollars.

Anyways, what a joy to find the software I chose would give my two fingers a rest. All I had to do was put on my Mic headset or hold a Mic in front of me while I read in normal speed speech, my wife's transcript. The computer kept right up with me and only made a few small errors which could be corrected quickly. Can you imagine my happiness though? No typing (period). We (my wife and I) projected perhaps 6-9 months to digitize her book, all 900+ pages of delicious recipes handed down from her family for eons. Now, we're looking at perhaps 1 1/2 to 2 months to dictate the book into the computer where I'll work my eBook magic on it.

Fantastic time saver! Oh not only that, some of these programs and there are allot to choose from come with the ability to execute voice commands in your programs too, like "erase last" or "open Outlook Express". WOW, no hands computing, My wife just shook her head and said "why didn't you think to look for these programs before?" then she gave me this sheesh, what a dummy look.

Can you imagine the uses though? Articles, eBooks, Dictation, Business letters, Memos, Calendar Schedules, the list goes on and on. No more hands and spending half of your creative energies on manipulating your fingers, now you just sit with your glass of "Liebfraumilch" and let the creative juices flow!

Ah well, for some of us it takes a bit to get the brain in drive. Don't get caught doing more typing than you need to, get some speech-to-text software now! Trust me your two fingers will thank you for it.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Writing your own check...literally

Many of us secretly wish we could write a novel or book and become rich and famous like authors Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Clive Barker, Anne Rice you name them. There are thousands upon thousands of writers etching out a living from putting words to paper. The problem is, most of us have no idea where to start.

What do I do? I can't think of a thing to write about my mind is blank, are these your feelings as well? In the old days, you grabbed a type writer and away you went building one idea upon another chapter after chapter. Then you hoped that after the several months or even years to write this novel or book that someone, anyone, will buy it.

That's almost the same odds as winning a lottery as to whether you'll be published or not. Well there is hope on the Internet in the form of articles. No, not books, magazines or novel articles, just simple articles on day to day topics, like mowing the lawn, baking a cake, or how to snag that 17 lb large mouth bass out of the river. General how-to articles also do really well and one site we'll talk about today actually pays you for your articles. I'm not saying you'll retire from it but its a start in getting published.

The site I'm talking about is called eHow and they are at once your there it's a fairly simple process. Sign up for your free account, Set up your free PayPal account at and then sit down at the PC and start writing.

The topics range from how-to tie your shoes to how-to build your own space shuttle, he he not really but just about anything. Its not difficult to write articles on eHow because almost any task you do in your life from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you hit the pillow again can be written as a how-to.

Some people write how-to's on subjects they are experts in for example their jobs or careers, or the area of the world they live in, even politics. Yuck. But, regardless the topic it can generate you money.

The idea on eHow is to have other people come read your articles, rate them from 1 to 5 stars and click on a few of the AdSense links on your web page. You find these people from a number of sources such as eHow's own add-a-friend list. This involves making friends on eHow then reading their articles and rating them and they do the same for you. Pretty easy huh? On top of that there exists the World Wide Web, you can utilize search engines, directories and blogs etc to advertise your articles all this adds up to even more people rating your articles even if they aren't eHow writers themselves.

Anyway, check out the web site and join up for no cost, and see if you can't start writing those articles. Who knows it may lead to inspiration and that multimillion dollar novel.