Refactoring Prose: An Introduction

I want you to think about something. How many times a day do you cut and paste text to reuse or reorder it?

I know this sounds like a Ginsu Knives pitch ("What would you pay now to stop-stop-stop all that cutting-cutting-cutting?!?"). But I'm serious. When was the last time you cut an pasted text to reorder it?

For me, the answer to that at any given hour of the day is "less than 20 minutes ago."

And it's a little odd, isn't it? I know I use a lot of cutting and pasting when I write. Like many writers I usually write more than I need, then rearrange the paragraphs. I find my first sentence, more often or not, three paragraphs in. I find my second paragraph from the end is really my last paragraph.

So why isn't this a smoother experience?