Learn how to master your steno and your nerves to feel CONFIDENT in school and beyond!

Drop, Don’t slop!

This eBook will teach you:

How to overcome Five Common Stumbling Blocks that impede forward momentum by applying some of the most transformative tools and resources available:

1) Negative Self-Talk
2) Inconsistent Progress
3) Personal Challenges
4) Lack of Motivation
5) Lack of Support and Understanding

Five Golden Rules to develop exceptional steno writing skills. Experience CONFIDENCE by utilizing the step-by-step practices in each chapter:

1) Write Cleanly, Drop, Repeat
2) Punctuate As You Write
3) Finger Drills & Exercises
4) Slow Down to Speed Up
5) Write 50+WPM Above Your Current Speed

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My background:

Using the practices in Part 2 of this ebook, I took all legs of the RPR six days before all legs of the California CSR and passed both the first time.

During my 40-year legal career, I was a freelance stenographic reporter (now retired RPR/CSR); office administrator of the San Francisco office of a national court reporting agency; sales executive for two global reporting agencies; litigation secretary; and office administrator for a forensic psychiatrist / expert witness.

Since 2008, I have provided hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities for steno and voice court reporting students and licensed reporters to experience being reporters of record at mock depositions and mock trials in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. As a result, students dubbed me Mock Woman!

My program includes comparing interns’ unedited rough drafts with their completed or final transcripts.

Conclusion 50% of first-time apprentices’ unedited transcripts are full of steno errors and untranslates.

It is now common for students to take the California CSR exam between 5 and 11 (or more) times. Why?

Based on my 13 years of coaching students, I believe they struggle to pass exams because many are not writing cleanly, resulting in lack of confidence. They feel nervous, anxious, fearful, and worried before stepping foot into the CSR skills exam.

Some reporters and teachers advise students to read through their slop. Thus, they write sloppily, cannot read and transcribe their notes, progress in school, or pass qualifiers and state and/or certification exams.

Based on my experience and observations over four decades, this crisis arose from an archaic principle, mindset, and belief system:

Slap something down for everything you hear. Don’t worry about accuracy. Go for speed and figure it out later.”

The truth is we all have days we don’t write well (for myriad reasons), but not writing cleanly should be the exception, not the rule.

There is a deep need for radical change.

My 4-part comprehensive package of services includes:

#1 – This ebook, 0-225: Your Guide to Writing Mastery.

#2 –  5 Golden Rules to Steno Mastery course based on Part 2 of this ebook (links above).

#3 – Reporter-of-Record Apprenticeships for high speed reporting students and reporters.

#4 – Coaching to help students and reporters overcome obstacles to achieving their goals and dreams.


With years of experience in the field, Ana is a fountain of information and sage advice. She has seen the gamut of court reporting brilliance and blunders and has made it her mission to bestow her knowledge onto court reporting students. As an advocate for court reporters, Ana instills in her mentees a sense of pride in and awareness about the profession and is shaping the newest members of the workforce to be capable, professional, and informed.

As an apprentice at several mock depositions at BerkeleyLaw and the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association’s mock trial in 2015, I learned speaking up is valuable because it places in your hands the weight of importance of maintaining the integrity of the record. It’s not your pride or your reputation you have to watch out for; it’s the integrity of the record. There is no better place to practice this important skill than in mock apprenticeships. 

Katherine Schilling, RPR, Ca CSR 14163 (book cover artist)

Today is the first day of my practice based on your  instructions.  I now feel as if I have some type of plan to proceed and be successful.  I just needed some guidance and structure for my practice.  Thank you once again for your expertise and spending valuable time with me.  Your advice was PRICELESS!!!

Barbara Sanders, Court Reporting Student

From the very beginning of my court reporting school, I was taught to write something for every word, which frustrated me during read-back because I couldn’t read my sloppy notes. After interning with Ana, I have learned to write cleanly and drop, and I have seen a huge improvement. Now reading back and transcribing are a breeze.

Tobiya Abhaya, Court Reporting Student

As a former court reporting student, I can empathize with all of us who have to take the CSR exam. It is an incredible test of will and determination to even get that far. The CSR, like most tests, has its fair share of stress that goes with it. I took it twice. The first time, I failed. But on my second attempt, I was able to pass, thanks to Ana’s coaching. She helped me find peace and let the stress that would otherwise ensure my failure crumble. Now, the stress and anxiety that once controlled my ability to do well no longer exists. I owe all my success to her!

Sarah Maksim, Ca CSR 14053 (artist of Golden Rule #1 graphic)

Meet Ana

Ana Fatima Costa is a subject matter expert in the field of court reporting; published author; certified coach; and speaker. A former California Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) and nationally certified Registered Professional Reporter, she began her career as a freelance stenographic and pro tem court reporter in 1979. Twenty years later, she transitioned into managing the San Francisco office of a national court reporting agency; account executive for two global reporting agencies; litigation secretary for a 30-year partner; and office administrator for a 50-year forensic psychiatrist / expert witness.

Since 2004, she has presented workshops and webinars about court reporting services, technologies, ethics, and challenges at law firms; legal secretary associations; court reporting, paralegal, and law schoolscourt reporting associations; the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF); and StenoFest 2019 / 2020.

Commencing in 2008, in collaboration with law professors, law firm administrators, litigators, attorney associations, and private organizations, Ana began offering apprenticeships to court reporting students and licensed reporters at mock depositions and trials in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Unlike shadowing a working court reporter, her apprentices are reporters of record and are tasked with speaking up / interrupting as often as necessary to capture the best record they can; marking exhibits; and producing rough drafts or final transcripts. As a result, students dubbed her Mock Woman. More details HERE.

Are you ready to take radical action to achieve your goals? Schedule a consult with me to assess your needs.

To your success and enjoyment of life,

Ana Fatima Costa

Coach, Trainer, Author, Speaker
Costa Coaching & Consulting

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