Have you ever had the urge to sit down and write a novel, but you’re more of the procrastinating type? Well, you’re definitely not alone there, which is why a new piece of software called ‘Write or Die’ was invented.
The name of this program might sound a bit harsh, but the actual program itself is harsh too, so the name kind of makes sense. But, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s what Write or Die does, and why you might want it if you are trying to get ahead as an accomplished writer.
How Writer Or Die Works
If you make a living as a writer, you know one simple thing: word count matters. The other thing that you know is time matters. When you combine words and time, the outcome is that you have to write a certain number of words in a certain amount of time in order to get that article, paragraph, page, or novel completed. If you sit back and relax and procrastinate, those words will never get on that virtual piece of paper. This is where Write or Die comes into play.
Once you’ve paid ($20) and downloaded the software, you simply add in a few criteria like how many words you want to write in what amount of time. After you do that, you start the clock and start writing - here comes the tricky part. If you pause for a few minutes or even seconds, the screen starts to change color.
Essentially, the screen gets darker and darker until it turns a violent shade of red. After that, words start to disappear. Words? That’s right, words. The last word you wrote will disappear, and the ones before that will start to disappear shortly thereafter until entire sentences vaporize. The longer you wait, the more words will go away - this is the game that this program plays.
Oh, The Torture
Why would any writer put this kind of stress on themselves? Well, writers, as a collective group, tend to be procrastinators. As procrastinators, some writers need a kick - and that kick can be of the virtual kind, or the kind that deletes your words if you don’t type fast enough. The developer behind this program created Write or Die to help him write the novel that he knew he had to write, but always found himself procrastinating. So, how does it work?
I’m going to let you in on a writer’s secret: writing takes time. It’s not just about throwing words on a page and hoping for the best. It’s about writing, thinking, and rewriting. It’s about making sure that sentences go together, changing them around, and going back to the table to write some more.
Novels take years to complete. Writing with a virtual gun to your head will not, cannot, produce the best writing. It’s also hard to ignore that word erasing feature. It’s not always productive to see your words disappear before your eyes - in fact, it’s downright frustrating. You may have written the best thing you’ve ever written, paused to reflect on the next sentence or the plot, and suddenly your words are gone. Yikes.
Good for Some
If you write to earn money, and that writing is of the content sort, this tool might work for you - after all, time is money in the writing game, and writers don’t get paid much to begin with. Otherwise, take your time developing your story, just make sure to get some words on the page regularly.