Cory Doctorow on writing and the web

Tom James @ 12-01-2009

doctorowThe inevitable New Year’s Resolution wear-off has begun: I resolved to write more and spend less time procrastinating by (amongst other things) surfing the web.

As ever things haven’t quite worked out like that but whilst procrastinating on Lifehacker I saw this article from Cory Doctorow, science fiction writer and Internet panjandrum, on how to avoid getting distracted by teh webz whilst writing:

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.”

It’s all good stuff.

Now if only I could make good on my resolution to end all blog posts with a snappy and/or incisive comment…

[at Locus via Lifehacker][image from eecue on flickr]

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2 Responses to “Cory Doctorow on writing and the web”

  1. Screen Sleuth says:

    Nothing wrong with mixing real facts with opinions. I prefer facts sometimes over the inane stuff people write on the web at times.

    PS I struggle with the snappy/incisive comment thing at the end too. Only the really good writers can do that well, I think.

  2. Tom James says:

    Indeed: Chris Dillow wrote a post rubbishing opinion:

    Opinion is over-rated. Sure, I like a neat turn of phrase or a new perspective. On a good day I even like the occasional fact. But mere opinions are like arseholes – everyone’s got one, and I don’t want to hear any of them.

    But as someone in the comments pointed out, that is just his opinion…