Repetitive stress injury or RSI is the term used to describe pain suffered from undertaking a repetitive physical task on a daily basis – like typing. The hands become increasingly painful over time as the fingers and thumbs repeatedly strike keys. The mouth on the other hand seems to be free from affliction no matter how much talking a person does. At least I have never heard of RSI of the mouth although I have heard people speak so much that you would think that the jaw would demand respite through either pain or fatigue.
Seriously, RSI is an excruciating experience. Another afflicted writer describes his RSI experience in the guardian like this,
“My neck is crooked, one of my wrists feels like it has been trapped in a car door and there’s a rapidly calcifying knot of nastiness lurking around my right shoulder blade that caused a masseuse to laugh with sadistic delight, and which goes by the name of The Nub. This is the price one pays for hammering a keyboard like Jerry Lee Lewis all day, every day for 15 years.”
Ben Myers’ words will resonate with many writers.
I know this because as a freelance writer I have experienced days when so many deadlines loomed on top of each other that I seriously wondered at my hands ability to continue. During these times, I have invested in numerous aids in the pitiful hope of not suffering and still maintaining a decent income. The latest dictation devices and software regularly make their way across my desk. The dictation devices are ordinarily quite good, if not a tad inconvenient by virtue of being another item to carry in an already full briefcase.
The transcription software is ordinarily appalling no matter how many hours I dedicate to training. Training transcription software is a diabolical waste of time in my opinion. The only consolation is that the training time requires the efforts only of my tireless mouth and not my poor fatigued digits. Enough said, anyone who has ever used transcription software knows what I’m talking about; it is nowhere near good enough to be useful.
I have tried ergonomics as well. My kneeling chair bought online was dynamite for my posture until my natural slouch altered to accommodate my new positioning and then I am sure my new slouch style was actually worse on my back and in no way helpful for my hands. Next came ergonomic keyboard and mouse. Again, there was relief but only for the weary finger digits and now my poor wrist seemed to bear the brunt of my efforts and ‘The Nub’ is no less nubby.
When I heard about TranscribeMe, I was in for the whole nine yards. The package was perfect. No digital recording device required and all of a sudden, I could dictate to my Smartphone that I already have to carry – genius! My fingers could finally retire without jeopardizing my family’s ability to eat or enjoy their respective happy places. The company guaranteed 98+ accuracy and to be perfectly honest I couldn’t care less how they were going to achieve it. All that mattered was I wouldn’t have to spend hours proofreading and correcting the bizarre sentences produced by computer software.
It didn’t matter, but it was still pretty cool to hear about, and grasp with both hands, this unique hybrid version of crowdsourcing supported by some sexy new technology. At the end of the day though, it’s my fingers that matter and finally there is relief at hand. I won’t be alone in hailing the moment TranscribeMe goes public and I expect, viral.