Thursday, November 13, 2008

Write or Die!

Surfing the web isn’t always the time-waster people say it is. Sometimes you go down that rabbit trail of links and discover gold. Or Dr. Wicked.

The evil Dr. Wicked has developed a writing tool based on negative reinforcement. He calls it Write or Die, and it’s a web-based program that motivates you to just do it: keep on writing or suffer the consequences.wod2

It works like this: Go to the Write or Die site, enter a few customized choices into a dialogue box (word-count goal, time goal, level of “punishment”), click “submit” and start writing. Here’s what happens if you stop writing, depending on the mode you select:

  • Gentle Mode: A certain amount of time after you stop writing, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writing.
  • Normal Mode: If you persistently avoid writing, you will be played a most unpleasant sound. The sound will stop if and only if you continue to write.
  • Kamikaze Mode: Keep writing or your work will unwrite itself

I know more than a few writers who could use this. I’m the kind of writer who keeps on writing and worries about editing myself later. Some of my writing friends insist on editing as they write, and they’re the ones who have trouble producing 500 words a day.

As Dr. Wicked puts it, this program puts the "prod" in productivity. I love it.

If you give it a try, let me know how it works for you. I’ll do the same.

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