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Monday, August 12, 2013

Brain Freeze by Paty Jager

Tink my co-pilot.
I wish my mind didn’t freeze up when I click a tape recorder on. 

Years ago when I told my mom that I carried a notepad and pen with me in the car to jot down story ideas when they came to me, she bought me a mini tape recorder. She didn’t like the idea of me driving and writing in the notebook.

The only problem with having the tape recorder, is no matter how I tried to outfox myself, as soon as I heard the “click” of the button to start the recording, my mind would go completely blank. It’s as if I can’t think of things to say if I’m not using a pen or a keyboard.

As much traveling(driving myself with Tink as my co-pilot) I do, I could get so much more writing done if I could just talk and have my stories on tape and then plug that into my computer and have it transcribed for me to then go through and clean it up.
I imagine there are such technological devices available, if only my mind wouldn’t freeze at the thought

I’ve mapped out scenes while driving. Had scenes play in my head between characters to show me more about them, also scenes from their past that will never get into the book other than as a mention to show the reader a more rounded character or why they act like they do in certain situations.

Story ideas have come to me while driving along, sometimes because of things I see, or people I meet at rest areas or small towns. As a writer everything around me is fodder for stories, and I keep my mind open to all possibilities. I take photos, I jot down snippets of a person’s description, or a phrase I heard. If a town, building, or area captures my attention, I take photos, write my impressions and file it away for future use.

Do you know of an application I could use that would possibly click on quietly when I start to speak so I can outfox my mind? 



  1. Paty,

    I loved your post. It hit home for me since I spend so much time behind the wheel. I would love to have a mic that fits my ear like a Bluetooth jawbone, that would record just at the push of a button!

    Let's invent one!
    Have a fun day bogging here!

    All the best,

  2. Hi DeLaine, I like the idea! Thanks for stopping in!

  3. I think many phones record and there wouldn't be the loud click recorders make. Although, if you asked at Best Buy or someplace of the sort, they might be able to help you with exactly what you need.

  4. Caroline, I guess I need to check out some Geek stores. LOL But my last encounter with Best Buy left me sour. :p

  5. Paty, years ago I also tried the mini-recorder on the way to work. All went well and good until I listened to what I'd said. The result was inconsistent and disjointed, not to mention the fact I just sounded stupid. LOL I don't know what the answer is, so I'll continue noting crazily. Good luck with your end results!

  6. Carra, That's another thing. Will my thoughts, what I say out loud be coherent when played back? My mind can hop all over the place and when a scene plays out in your head, how do you capture it all verbally? Good point!

  7. Paty, I've been messing around with speech recognition software. The results are hilarious but not in the way I intended. The last half of my next book is written that way. It's weird, because just like you said, when I click the Listen button, I can't think of a thing to say. So I just start rambling--found out that works, and I just delete all the stupid stuff. And all the totally wrong words. It's a hoot to read the raw copy.

  8. Jacquie, I need to look into that software. I guess I need a trip to a electronics store...

  9. Paty, I feel your pain. Have you tried a small hand-held voice activated digital recorder? It would start recording as soon as you started speaking. Also, if you have a smart phone, I bet there's an app for lengthy recording -- probably voice activated.

    I use Dragon dictation software, but I can only use it if I'm alone in the house. *g* Too inhibiting otherwise.


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