Great post about the benefits of taking shortcuts in writing. It makes me think of a quote by Harlan Ellison I had for the longest time above my computer as a reminder; it’s in the interview on his website, the first three paragraphs after the third bolded paragraph. At that point in the interview he’s ranting about why PCs are bad for those who write in a creative manner. I wanted to disagree with him…then I thought of the Wheel of Time series. I’ve heard the same rumblings about Song of Fire and Ice by Martin (still have yet to read it so it might not be true), and I realized that’s why I always print out a story when I revise it. When I do that, my focus increases. I’m more likely to take shortcuts and ask if I really, absolutely need this bit or that line. Though taking this to an extreme is obviously a Bad Thing, I think there’s something to be said for limits and difficulty.
I still use my computer to write. I can’t think of it as a typewriter, but I do try to get as much worked out in my head and in notes before I start typing. I hope that balances out the instinct to gush.