ARE you worried about privacy? : Not really. I use Rev only to transcribe on-the-record interviews. I turn off my recorder when people go-off the record.

 SO your phone has reading tools and reporting tools. Do you have writing tool, too?

Actually none. With the exception of breaking news, when I write with a keyboard and in a fugue state, I start all my stories longhand on yellow legal pads.


Writing is all about getting started and keeping going, so whatever system helps you do that is the best system for you. In my case that's paper, preferably yellow, but I can be flexible on that one.

When I am typing on a keyboard, I have that thing that a lot of people have where they compulsively backspace and correct things until each sentence is clean, which is great in editing but messes up the flow of first draft composition.

Word processors are sort of paralyzing to me .

At one point I looked into getting the Freewriting Keyboard, but it seemed a little expensive.

At this point I've gotten so used to writing my first drafts longhand that I feel that typing would mess up my rhythm.

You're very particular.

I am very social and easily distracted - I love chatting with my colleagues, though I am not sure if they love it back - so when it's time to really go for it it, I try to create conditions that help me do better and more efficient work.

The best conditions are what I might call manufactured silence.

In the days before a big headline, I have this little system that where I print out all my notes and go into a conference with a stopwatch [$5.99 on Amazon] and put on a set of ear protectors [the kind people use at a gun range ] and outline the story on paper, then write the first draft longhand.

Later I enter what I have got into a word processor , which doesn't feel like a waste of time because it's sort of like the first round of elf-editing.

Anything else?

Sticky notes are also great. I put a lot of sticky notes in my books.

The World Students Society and Sam Daily Times is very thankful to journalist Conor Dougherty.

The student journalist will re-think most of their writings, and compositions.


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