Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Dominique Dickey

Dominique Dickey

Writer, editor

in editor, game, mac, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Dominique Dickey! I'm a writer, editor, and consultant working in RPGs, LARPs, video games, and fiction. I'm also a full-time student at Johns Hopkins University, graduating in May of 2021 (woohoo!). As a Woodrow Wilson Research Fellow, I'm completing a thesis on the representation of nonbinary genders in speculative fiction.

What hardware do you use?

I do all my digital work on a MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, space gray). My desk is an IKEA MELLTORP table, and I sit in an IKEA TEODORES chair with a footstool. I have a two-drawer IKEA MALM dresser under my desk as storage. I also have an iPhone SE (2020).

I do a lot of developmental and brainstorming work by hand, and for that I favor hardback dotted A5 notebooks - recent favorites are the Rhodia Webnotebook and Leuchtturm1917 - and fountain pens. I could go on about fountain pens forever, so I'll narrow it down to my top two: a Lamy Safari with an EF nib, and a TWSBI ECO with a F nib. These were the first two fountain pens I purchased when I got into the hobby, and they're the most reliable and non-fussy ones I own. As far as inks, I've been having a lot of fun with Goulet sample packs lately, because they enable me to try out a lot of colors without committing to a whole bottle. My most recent favorites are Diamine Oxblood, Organics Studio Nitrogen, and Robert Oster Tranquility.

I tend to use cheaper spiral-bound notebooks when taking notes for class, and that low-quality paper rarely plays well with liquid inks. In these cases, I use Zebra Sarasa gel pens in 0.3mm; the majority of my notes are written in blue-black, with black and viridian green as accent colors. I'm also fond of Zebra Mildliner highlighters.

And what software?

I used Google Docs to write my tabletop RPG TRIAL and my forthcoming tabletop RPG Tomorrow on Revelation III. I also use Google Docs for most of my copyediting and consulting jobs, to easily pass files back and forth to clients. I wrote my Wilson thesis in Google Docs so that I could send each chapter to my advisor as I'd finished it. Once my advisor gave notes on each chapter, I imported all of the individual documents into Scrivener to edit the book as a whole.

I use Scrivener to draft fiction. For short fiction, I export to Microsoft Word to edit. For longer works, I use Scrivener for the entire revision process.

I do a lot of ideating and outlining in the Notes app on my phone.

What would be your dream setup?

I've heard that the 2021 MacBook Pro won't have the touchbar - which is fantastic, as the touchbar is the bane of my existence. So, that's definitely on my wishlist.

I'd love a desk that's more.. desk-y. I have my eye on the IKEA LINNMON/ALEX (you may be noticing a trend here: I love IKEA furniture). I'll be sticking with the TEODORES chair and footstool, though.

I also have a long wishlist of fountain pens. Someday I'd like a pen with a 14k gold nib, as I've heard it improves the writing experience.

Uses This is supported by ZSA, makers of the Moonlander, ErgoDox EZ and Planck EZ keyboards. They also publish an awesome newsletter.