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Release the inner writer in you

Release the inner writer in you by sharing with peers and colleagues your secrets to balancing everyday life and a career by contributing to NCRA’s latest book currently being compiled. The project marks the second edition in a series of motivational books the Association has plans to produce and will join the Court Reporter Survival Guide: School Success Stories, released in September 2014, on shelves across the country.

This latest edition to the series will include not only tips on balancing a personal and a professional life, but also insights into what motivates others, how they release stress, and ways they persevere through tough times and challenges. Contributors can also share tips on where to find support to help maintain stability within their lives.

To date, more than a dozen NCRA members have submitted contributions including Betty Atanasu, a CART captioner and a coordinator for the disabled students program at University of California at Berkeley.

“This career position fits perfectly in my life. It allows me to develop my skills and continually look for new technology and work with a group of like-minded individuals who have the same goal — to serve our students,” she says. “Number one is take care of yourself. Make yourself the priority. Second, know your limitations and don’t be afraid to let them be known.”

NCRA member Janice Garrett, an official court reporter from DeSoto, Texas, attributed her motivation in the profession to her need to strive for excellence in every endeavor, including in “trying to attain perfect realtime translation, perfect transcripts, keeping up with technology. That is what we all strive for: to keep the record, balance family and work life, and make it look like it is easy and that we truly are the eighth wonder of the world,” she says.

Official court reporter and NCRA member Susan Horak, RDR, CRR, from Columbus, Ohio, wrote that she relies on family and friends for support to help maintain balance in her life. “Even though my family lives in other states, they have many of the same issues in their careers: difficult people, deadlines, budget cuts. They let me vent my frustrations, offer advice if they found a solution, and give me an outlet and distraction.”

To share your ideas, thoughts, tips, and insights in NCRA’s next book, go to and complete the questionnaire.

NCRA’s Court Reporter Survival Guide: School Success Stories, a collection of essays and tips about making it through court reporting school, is written by freelancers, officials, CART captioners, and current students. The true Chicken Soup for the Soul-type book offers advice and insight from the only people who really understand the ins and outs of court reporting: other court reporters and captioners. The Survival Guide includes essays and words of wisdom from more than 60 contributors, and features the eight chapters: Superheroes in Training; The Road Less Taken; Motivation; Learning to Juggle; Lean on Me; Practice, Practice, Practice; Testing Our Limits; and A Few Extra Briefs, and it is filled with rich content direct from the trenches. Insight and advice range from small snippets to essays that recalled the inspiration offered by friends, family, and mentors, as well as coping with the anxiety created by drills, tests, and hours of practice each day. The book also contains numerous testaments from contributors sharing the many benefits, rewards, and opportunities court reporting has offered them.

The Court Reporter Survival Guide: School Success Stories is available for purchase from NCRA’s online store.