Follow up on using a digital recorder to write my novel

In January, I wrote a blog about using a digital recorder to help me write my novel. I received an Olympus digital recorder for Christmas with the hopes of brainstorming as I walked to get the kids from school or drove to the store. I envisioned dictating ideas or scenes in situation where my hands would otherwise be busy.

It has been over two months since I received the recorder, and I love it. Being able to record my thoughts as I run errands or clean the kitchen has been great. Right now, I am really using it more for the planning out of my story. I don’t work off an outline but rather let my story build and change as I write. This means I often need to brainstorm what will be happening next before I sit down to write. The recorder has been invaluable in that aspect.

A few times I have tried to dictate out a whole scene, but it hasn’t worked out as well as I would hope. I have no problem envisioning the scene in my head but trying to verbalize it seems to cause me problems. It seems I am better at typing down those thoughts.

I have even used the recorder to get down my ideas for future blog topics. I can just brainstorm aloud and then transcribe them later. And this is how I have been using the recorder. I play back – usually with headphones on – my recording and type the information into my Word document, often expanding the idea as I type. I have not tried using any of the software that would automatically input my recordings into Word. I kind of like having to type it in because it allows me to not only expand the ideas but put them in the correct order since this is basically my novel outline.

So if you are considering a digital recorder, I would say to go for it. For just over $50, you can get a great little recording device that is easy to use and carry with you. I am just happy to be able to work on my current work in progress when I am away from the computer and without needing a pad and pen to do it.


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