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The Power of “TK” in Content Writing (and How it Can Help You)

Posted By Guest Blogger 10th of October 2014 General 0 Comments

Sometimes blogging is just slooooww…

If you’ve ever been struggling (painfully) to write a couple of paragraphs that would make sense, only to find yourself with 400 words after two hours of effort then you know what I mean.

There can be many reasons why this is possibly your reality at the moment.

Maybe it’s just not your day.

d1

Maybe you have some kind of a
writer’s block.

d2

But maybe you’re just
slowing yourself down
by getting hung up
on a missing word
for minutes at a time.

Yep, maybe that’s the case …

But the problem here is that
it’s against human nature
to leave blank spaces
or to keep writing when there’s clearly a word or phrase missing.

We – humans – just don’t like such [_ gaps _]!

d3

This is where
the concept of “TK”
comes into play.

It’s the oldest trick in the book that all of our journalist friends have known for ages (shush!).

In short, TK stands for “to come.”

Here’s how to use it :

Whenever you have a word missing
(any word, verb, noun, specific name) …

… put “TK” in its place
and keep writing like nothing ever happened …

… With some practice, this will allow you
to continue going forward
without breaking your flow.

Some examples:
(1) “There are tons of people who TK at blogging because they took too much TK upon themselves.” (2) “You can get such functionality with a plugin like TK.” (3) “It performs a number of checks against things like TK, TK, and a lot of other stuff.”

d3

Then, once you’re done writing,
you can go back to every instance of TK
and replace it with the actual word or phrase.

“But wait a minute, ‘to come’ is TC!” You say.

Right, but the combination of
the letters “T” and “K”
is much more practical
as it almost doesn’t occur
in the English language
naturally.

Therefore, when you’re going through your piece
during the editing phase,
searching for every TK
won’t get you any false positives
.

d3

How about you? Do you TK much?

Update: read part 2 in this series – How You Can Make Your Writing Twice as Fast by Making It 3x More Time-Consuming; Wait, What?!
.

Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a freelance writer, published author, founder of NewInternetOrder.com and a blogger at Bidsketch.com (delivering some cool freelance blogging and writing tools, advice and resources just like what you’re reading now). Whenever he’s not working, Karol likes to spend time training Capoeira and enjoying life.

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About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.

  • Well, I do TK a lot especially when I have ideas to write, but the words just don’t appear. I once learn from the late Gary Halbert that whenever you can’t think of words just write blah, blah, blah until you have words to write and it works for me though.

    • “Blah, blah, blah” sounds like a nice idea as well. It’s funny how easily our brain can get tricked into working properly. :)

  • Karol,

    Super post!

    I never heard of TK before. I’m sure it’ll help in the coming days.

    P.S. What tool do you use to create these fancy posts (the lines and pointers etc.)

    • The lines and pointers are just images placed strategically. There can be a plugin involved which makes it easy to create them, but the end result is an image; so, you can do it manually too.

      • Just to clarify. Everything that looks like text is actually standard selectable text. It’s all done with CSS and HTML. The pointers, right, those are images.

    • Thanks!

      I’m afraid there’s no tool. Just HTML prepared by hand. :)

  • I’ve been writing for a very long time, and whenever I can’t quite make out a proper sentence or phrase here and there, but don’t want to forget what I’m saying, I use a triple asterisk *** to remind myself to go back and fill in the gap. It helps me more than TK would I think, as I can visually scan through to find the asterisks (they stand out from the text). I also stick a little (cite) message to myself if I’m in the middle of writing a thought, but don’t want to forget to come back and cite my source later. Helps a lot.

    • Asterisks are a nice idea as well. Essentially, the core of the idea is the same – to have a placeholder and then come back to it later.

  • Oh man, I need this! I almost always end up changing the words later anyway. I could also use it for links, I distract myself from writing by making sure I get the link in there right away. I will be using TK from now on!

    • Thanks! Links are probably the biggest time waste when writing. Right now, I use TK for every link I want to include later on. It makes a huge difference. … I’m actually surprised it’s THAT huge.

  • That’s a TK good concept. I’ll have to TK try that. I take too much TK usually, but I’ll try to TK that.

    Awesome idea. I’m going to put it to work.

    • Thanks! Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best!

  • This is one of the most TK posts I’ve ever read.

    • Thanks! By the way, can you share some links to other TK posts you’ve seen?

  • What a great idea! I have just started writing fiction and it sooo needs more descriptive words than with my blogs! I am totally going to do this, thanks Darren! Absolutely TK brilliant!

    • I’m glad the post helped you, Serena!

  • This is me! Brilliant advice that I will incorporate immediately. Thank you. :)

    • I’m glad you like the advice. You’ll be surprised how much quicker you are able to write with this.

  • I tk this post was tk, but now I’m not tk whether this is tk or tk. If we could tk this tk and made a tk, I’m sure we could tk it and more.

  • I could barely get through this creative, eye-straining post design. But I love the idea. :)

  • Awesome post. I always Tk while writin any post on hubpage or bubblews to reach the minimum words count

  • Wow!such a wonderful post you made here. TK a complete new term to me and for many others I guess.So creative you are.Hats off.

    • Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. And it doesn’t get much simpler than TK. :)

  • Imaging post.TK is very advanced for us . and i will use it on my work.

  • Yes, we know TK is one of the best for us and i use it with my work.

  • awesome totally
    tk concept is mesmerizing, i want to add onw from my side i am rtk-ready to come :D
    thanks for the great post

  • This is perfect. I often will get hung up on a word or know something isn’t phrased well but just can’t get myself to move on. I am going to have to try TK and see if it works for me and if it does this will most definitely be passed on! Thanks!

    • I’m afraid you will have no other choice than to pass it on because TK is fail-proof. :)

  • TK Love the way you wrote this blog post.

  • Great post. Yep learned about TK at my first internship. I really do have to remember to use it more often. I can get hung up forever because of a wrong word.

    • It happens to all of us. Even though I’m using TK all the time, I still find myself getting stuck on a word every once in a while.

  • TK..wow thatz a different idea brought to blogging after all..i can so relate to the idea of getting stuck so frequently that i end up procrastinating and leaving my article midway,hanging in the air.

    • Yep, that’s a big problem. Sometimes we just can’t get past those obstacles so we lose the motivation to write altogether. TK does a really good job helping out with this!

  • Just an awesome one.Learned something great form this post.Thanks a lot.

    • Me too.
      Amazing post.

  • OMG I so needed this! I find that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get to everything I need/want to so the busyness acts as a barrier to creativity. I reckon a stream of consciousness approach (throwing TK in as needed) is just the ticket to get the writing flowing freely again.
    Thanks!

    • Sure, you are right. From my own experience, using TK has allowed me to remain creative even if I keep missing small pieces (words) along the way.

  • Hello Guest, I think that if we are use copyright content on website then we are wasting our time on seo because we all know that we copy any also post but he is already publish on search result and user search about our post then he gets other website whenever write best content without copyright and killer articles then we can make successful pro blogger…

    Thank You

  • Super,
    I have been using *** for so long as I thought I invented it. Glad to know that it already existe and was called TK. I am happy to know that I think like a great writer who invented TK. ☺

    • You should probably put a trademark on this. :)

  • bkhan

    Super post! I never heard of TK before. I’m sure it’ll help in the coming days.

  • I get blocked up inside like this frequently … thanks for this suggestion, I will try this when I sit down to write from articles for my site tonight!

    • This happens to all of us. Even though there’s no way to prevent the blocks from happening, we can still use tricks like TK to find a way around them and be able to keep going.

  • Hi Karol,

    SUPER creative post. I struggled with writing 300 words, years ago, and now I churn out 6,000 daily using the approach of diving in, writing, and returning to complete the job later. Think not of first drafts, just write, and write, and leave out areas to come, per your smart tip. Keep on writing. Form the habit of writing. Let words flow. In time your 300 words will be 3,000, believe you me, because you’ll form the habit of writing. On a subconscious level you’ll churn out content as a force of habit.

    Writer’s block will die in your mind, as will the idea that you’re not talented enough to publish long form posts. You are. Believe me, anybody is, because I would be in tears after not being able to write 300 words in a sitting and I published my 5th eBook in 3 and a half months, not 2 hours ago. You can do it guys, and hey, listen to Karol’s advice. The person is smart, creative and a darn talented writer because anybody who makes an impact in so few words is on the ball.

    I usually write, and write, and keep writing, and if anything, I’ll leave header sections that need completing, or fleshing out, later on. My little version of TK, which helps me churn out a steady flow of content each and every day, through my eBooks and my blog posts. Thanks Karol, love this super smart idea, and tweeting now.

    Signing off from Fiji, Blogging from Paradise.

    Ryan

    • Thanks, Ryan!

      I’m glad you like the advice! And I have to agree with you, the most powerful “skill” any writer can develop is creating a habit of writing, every day, without self-editing. Just writing.

      It tends to become easier over time, and the more you write, the less you have to worry about writer’s block.

  • Something new to learn. It will really help to go forward without any hurdles and later when the word comes into mind just replace it. Great idea. Love it.

    • Yep, that’s the main strength of the method. You don’t have to get hung up on individual words and can proceed even if there are small pieces missing along the way.

  • TK can also mean “stay tuned for the sequel.” Everyone gets writers block. Sometimes, you have to get up and walk away from the computer to re-energize and get your thoughts together. This is how creative writing growth happens. Inhale, exhale.

    • That is true. Learning how not to force it is a very valuable thing.

  • A very good and my technique unknown. I write a travel blog and I’m sure will help me a lot. The will put into practice. Thank you

    • Don’t forget to come back and let us know how it’s working for you.

  • I have been using X if I need to verify a fact, but leaving big spaces to fill in the blanks later. I think I must started used TK as this way I will know what blank spaces need to be filled.

    • Yep, X doesn’t give you the ability to just search through your article via ctrl+f. TK returns no false positives so it’s much more usable when you’re editing.

  • Nice post, Karol. I can’t say I’ve heard of TK before, but I think it’ll come in handy. Thanks.

  • Renee

    Yes!! I am the worst at getting stuck on one word. I like to use Google Docs for my blog draft writing, then utilize the “Comment” feature to highlight the word (or the TK) that I want to go back and replace. It keeps me flowing and I can even brainstorm in the comment bar on words I’m –considering– (thinking about, discussing, mulling over….).

    • That’s an interesting approach, but I still think you would be able to write faster if you never stopped on a missing word and instead just kept going like everything was fine. Coming back to the word later on when you’re editing will probably be much more productive.

  • Hello, it is interesting to learn something from journalists. Would love to hear more pro journalist tips in the future here on PB.

    I’ve bee using a similar tactic without knowing about TK, and typing ### in the place where a word, a sentence or paragraph is necessary. Why ###, though is not certain, it’s just a habit, and also ### stands out when I view a draft. And, similarly to TK, it is never used naturally. Also I add capitalized LINK after words that should be linked to an older article.

    What I learned from here is that I can use this to keep the flow. English is my second language, and even though posts are copy-edited, I often struggle to find the right word to use. More commonly I look up dictionary, definitions, synonyms, use in sentences, etc. which consumes enough time to lose the thought of the sentence.

    Thanks!

    • I use “LINK” too. But I do place “TK” next to it just to make sure I don’t miss it later on.

      Looking up things in dictionary is my thing as well. But doing it during the editing phase is much more effective than interrupting yourself when you’re writing.

  • Wow, what a creative way to just step over such obstacles. I like it. And it was a fun article to read. A different layout. Buy hey, TK the good work. LOL… ;)

  • I just use “asas” easy to type without breaking your stride in writing :)

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