By Jennifer Blanchard
I was recently introduced to an awesome writing productivity tool from a follower on Twitter (@armselig). The tool is called “Write or Die,” which is “a Web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you’re fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences,” according to the tool’s creator, Dr. Wicked.
Here’s how “Write or Die” works:
- There are 3 modes: Gentle, Normal and Kamikaze.
- In Gentle Mode, when you stop writing, you will get “writing reminders” that pop up on your screen reminding you to keep writing until your time limit is up/you have hit your word count.
- In Normal Mode, when you stop writing, you’ll hear a very annoying noise, which will only go away if you keep writing.
- In Kamikaze Mode, when you stop writing, it gives you a few seconds and then it starts deleting your words. To keep it from deleting everything, you have to keep writing.
- Once you choose your word count/time limit, mode and how “forgiving” you want the tool to be, you’re off and writing.
Now before you try out this tool, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- This is for productivity ONLY—Do not expect to write anything even remotely close to The Great Gatsby or Grapes of Wrath just by using this tool. This tool is not here to make you a better writer. It’s here to make you write, period. (You can worry about editing what you’ve written after you’ve written it!)
- Kamikaze mode is the BY FAR the best mode to use—Since it deletes your writing if you stop for more than a few seconds, you are forced to keep writing in order to not get anything deleted. If you are serious about getting writing done, this is the mode for you.
- If you’re attempting this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge, Write or Die will easily help you reach your daily word count (of 1667 words).
- Remember to select all the text you wrote and copy it—There is no way to save your text using this tool, and once you navigate away from the page, everything you’ve written is gone. That’s why you need to copy what you wrote and paste it into a Word document in order to save it.
By using this writing productivity tool, you are learning to shut off your inner editor and just getting writing done. And that, Procrastinating Writers, is what it truly takes to be a successful writer.