Following up on my blog post “When Inspiration Strikes,” I am happy to welcome fellow blogger Kelly Hashway today, who will share her nifty trick for capturing ideas. Kelly and I “met” through the Writer’s Digest group “Today I Blogged About.” and have been commenting on each other’s blogs ever since. Kelly is a children’s author represented by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. Here’s her guest post:

Let’s face it. Ideas don’t always come at the best times. How often have you been in the shower, driving to work, or cooking dinner when an idea strikes? Inspiration is a great thing, and we need it to survive as writers, but what if you can’t get that great idea on paper at the moment? If you’re like me, you repeat it over and over aloud or in your head until you can write it down. On numerous occasions, I’ve run from the shower to my notebook or held my hand up when someone tried to talk to me while I was frantically repeating my thoughts so I didn’t forget them.

I recently discovered a solution to this problem, a digital voice recorder. It’s a tiny little device that allows me to speak my ideas out loud and capture all those great thoughts before I lose them. With the click of one button, I can record. I’ve used it while cooking dinner, in the car, and even on the treadmill. I bring it with me everywhere, and I never lose my thoughts to bad timing.

Digital voice recorders come in all levels of simplicity. Mine is very basic, but it still allows me to store things in different files according to which manuscript it’s for or even what chapter. Yes, there are folders within folders for chapters! Some of the more expensive models even transcribe your thoughts to your computer. I prefer to type my thoughts into my drafts myself. While you have the option to let your thoughts sit on the recorder for as long as you’d like, I typically get them on screen the same day. I feel better having everything in its place.

So if you struggle with inspiration striking at inopportune times, you might want to invest in a digital voice recorder. A basic one is only about $20-$30, and believe me, it’s well worth the money.