TKTKTK

/ San Francisco, California

Back in 2009, Cory Doctorow described how to write like the wind:

Researching 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.

I have no idea where I learned this but it works extremely well for me. Often I’ll half quote something I remember like “Thoughts whither have ye TKTKTK” and I’ll often do this for someone’s last name (Jane TKTKTK) or the title of a post (An Ode to TKTKTK).

It keeps the momentum up when you need it the most, when the page is the emptiest and requires the most acceleration to get off the ground.




Reply via email