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Write or Die – keep writing or suffer the consequences


writeordie2 small Write or Die   keep writing or suffer the consequences

Write or Die is an absolutely brilliant online application which is designed to help writers reach their deadlines, no fuss no muss. It basically combines a targeted timer and word count editor with a set of predetermined penalties for non compliance. You need to write 500 words in a morning for that deadline? Enter in the figures, and click Write.

writeordie1 small Write or Die   keep writing or suffer the consequences

The application opens up an editing box and as long as you continue writing, no problem. Sit back for any time though, and it will start to warn you with a background colour shift, and finally, depending on which of the 3 settings you chose, either a gentle warning box, a nasty jolt of loud music or deletion of your words (Kamikaze mode) – ouch!

Of course it’s all a psychological thing, but nevertheless it seems like a sound idea. Sure it’s not going to improve your writing quality or help with writer’s block, but it definitely should encourage some sort of discipline, which is a good thing. I’m thinking of making it a standard part of my offline writing pattern. If I can only find the time to set it up – *SLAP*

 Negative Reinforcement “strengthens a behavior because a negative condition is stopped or avoided as a consequence of the behavior.” Consequences: * 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 These consequences will persist until your preset conditions have been met (that is, your time is up or you’ve written you wordcount goal or both) This text box is not a word processor, it is not for editing, the way to save is to select all of the text, copy and paste into your own text editor. The idea is to separate the writing process and the editing process as much as possible.

 Write or Die   keep writing or suffer the consequences

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • http://likethespider.com Charlotte

    I think maybe I need this for NaNoWriMo this month! ;-)

  • http://www.gadgetliving.com Gadget Living

    As a writer by trade, who is often up against a strict deadline, I really think this application was made specifically for me. :) To bad it doesn’t reward you when you are ahead of schedule.

  • Nigel

    @GL – yeah, chocolates would be nice! :-)

  • http://bit.ly/TNPCVm Jeff Rivera

    Yeah, write or die is great. The thing is there are so many work-arounds if you are trying to beat procrastination addiction.

    That's why I created this software that blocks the Internet until I've written my daily word count. I'm letting people beta-test it if you'd like. Just let me know. Here's the link to it: http://bit.ly/TNPCVm

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