It happens all the time. I set aside time to write but nothing comes. I sit at my desk and glare at the screen, wondering why I call myself a writer.

Why can’t prolific inspiration come when my coffee, computer and keyboard are all in alignment? Instead, amazing ideas come at the most inconvenient times. Like just when I’m about to nod off, or when I’m in the car or, ahem…on the toilet.

For a long time, I kept a notepad on my nightstand. With grand intentions when inspiration hit, I’d reach over to record my thoughts only to wake up the next morning and wonder how to decipher my sleepy scribbles. If I was driving, I’d reach for a napkin or receipt or whatever else I could find and hope the console would serve as a temporary table while I kept my eye on the road. Squishy vinyl, however, doesn’t make the best writing surface. Fortunately, if inspiration came while I was in the bathroom, there was always paper there, albeit rather thin and hard to write on.

I’m happy to say that I’ve found a work-around for those moments of writing incontinence, when words flow at inappropriate times. It’s the handy notepad on my iPhone and the microphone. In fact, I now have written the first drafts for entire articles using this genius method when I’m sitting in my comfy chair and well…too comfy to get up.

Here are three easy steps I use that will help you pen your thoughts with ease no matter when you are.

  1. Use the Notes app on your iPhone and open a new note. Touch the microphone to activate the recorder and then just speak. Be sure to dictate punctuation as well. Say the words period, comma, question mark, colon, etc. wherever you want to insert them. Most of us can talk a lot faster than we can type so the efficiency of this method is wonderful. You can dictate about the topic on your mind unfiltered by fingers trying to correct or edit.
  2. When you’re finished, press the Done button in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Use the Send button at the bottom of the screen where you can select the Mail icon to email your note to yourself.
  3. Open your email and copy and paste your text into a Word document. Here you’ll have to do some editing and review the text to correct any words that Siri misunderstood and add punctuation.

Of course, this will be your first draft, but it’s so much faster than typing and allows you to record and write your ideas when they come. In fact, the idea for the title of this post came while I was in the parking lot walking into the doctor’s office. I whipped out my phone and recorded it. I knew if I waited until after my appointment, half of my thoughts would be long gone.

Don’t let your ideas fade away. If you always have your phone with you, there’s no reason to let a good idea slip by. With your notepad and microphone, you’ll be prepared when the inspiration hits. No matter where you are you’ll always be ready to write…even in the bathroom.

Christy Johnson is a soul health life coach, popular conference speaker and author of Love Junkies, 7 Steps for Breaking the Toxic Relationship Cycle. She’s appeared on numerous radio and TV programs including Trinity Broadcasting Network and her inspirational stories have been featured in several anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Christy holds an MBA from Central State University. She has three grown children and lives in Edmond with her husband and several ceramic dogs.