Locus Online Features: Cory Doctorow: Writing in the Age of Distraction: "Don't researchResearching isn't writing and vice-versa. When you come to a factual matter that you could google in a matter of seconds, don't. Don't give in and look up the length of the Brooklyn Bridge, the population of Rhode Island, or the distance to the Sun. That way lies distraction — an endless click-trance that will turn your 20 minutes of composing into a half-day's idyll through the web. Instead, do what journalists do: type 'TK' where your fact should go, as in 'The Brooklyn bridge, all TK feet of it, sailed into the air like a kite.' 'TK' appears in very few English words (the one I get tripped up on is 'Atkins') so a quick search through your document for 'TK' will tell you whether you have any fact-checking to do afterwards. And your editor and copyeditor will recognize it if you miss it and bring it to your attention."When I'm finally writing, all my research and data gathering behind me, I just write. FAST as I can. (No editing, either. Just write.) When I come to something I have to look up, even in my notes, I type a question mark or two and highlight.Then I keep writing.
The yellow highlighting makes the points that need attention later stand out, but the action of highlighting takes me away from the keyboard. I wonder if I can use TK and highlight all the TK's later with a "find and replace."
I'll try it out today. I just finished a big YouthBuild grant last night (I don't need to remind those of you working on it that today's the deadline!), so I'm cleaning up and playing today.
BTW, Corey's whole article is worth reading. I can't imagine writing without Word, though.