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Dave Caolo's writing setup

Iain Broome
Iain Broome
2 min read

Please welcome professional scribbler and all-round good egg, Dave Caolo, who has kindly offered to tell us all about his writing setup. You can find other writing setups right here.

Who are you and what do you write?

I’m Dave Caolo and I’m the news editor at The Unofficial Apple Weblog. I also write my own site, 52 Tiger and co-host the Home Work podcast for the 70 Decibels network.

Where do you write?

I write in my home office, which is the non-embarrassing way to say the desk next to my bed. It’s a nice, quiet spot that consists of my computer and a few favorite things, like gifts from my kids and LEGO space ships.

What hardware do you use?

I use a 11“ MacBook Air connected to an inexpensive, 27” ViewSonic display. The MacBook rests on a RadTech OmniStand, which raises it to a comfortable angle. I also use an Apple Magic Mouse and a wired Apple keyboard. Most of the time.

I also have a beautiful, clack-y Apple Extended Keyboard that I connect to my Mac with a Griffin iMate, though I use that keyboard less frequently than I used to.

What software do you use?

It really depends on the writing project. Day-to-day writing is done on Byword on my Mac. I write in Markdown and use Byword’s export function to convert an article to HTML. and then paste online. My process is different with large projects. I wrote my books in Scrivener, which I love. It’s overkill for short articles (1,500 words or so), but indispensable for large projects. I love it.

I’ve recently started trying to use my iPad for some serious writing. Writing Kit is a great app, with support for Markdown and several export options. I also have a Bluetooth Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for my iPad.

What’s your dream writing setup?

It’s more environment than tools. In my dream scenario, I sit down knowing I’ve got a full day with nothing else to do. No errands to run or other commitments that will pull me out of the house. I also like a quiet environment, so no TV or people talking. So a cave, basically.

Seriously though, I don’t really like music to be playing or a lot of activity. A glass of ice water, a quiet room, my beloved Mac and a paper notebook for notes and ideas is ideal.

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I'm the author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Every week, I send Draft Mode, a newsletter full of tips and tools that help you improve your craft and promote your writing.