A Wickedly Wonderful Writing Program

Confession: I'm a #selfdisciplinefail kind of gal. People who know me in real life might gag at that statement and remind me that I've earned enough college degrees to be a professor, have completed four manuscripts, and can execute some cool hula hoop tricks. True, but here's the thing. All of those achievements have come loaded with procrastination, false starts and distractions. (Okay, not the hooping.) And when it comes to the important stuff such as eating right, paying bills and being a patient and nurturing parent, let's just say it's a daily challenge. So imagine my delight in discovering a writing tool that gets beyond my procrastinating, which has been fueled to new records with the advent of web-surfing. It's called Write or Die and is the kick in the pants I've needed. The premise is simple. You set a word count target and and time limit along with a punishment level, and then you write or die! For my first experiment, I set it to 500 words in an hour. Since I didn't think the 'gentle' punishment level of pop-up warnings would be enough, and I didn't want the evil noises produced by the intermediate mode...

(I was in a coffee shop, plus evil noises aren't good for productivity), I chose Kamikaze mode. Then I was off! For a couple hundred words, I was good. Until I stopped to ponder. After about ten seconds, the screen turned pink, then red. And then it started eating my words! I wrote with abandon, never looking back. In twenty minutes I had my 500, announced with a trumpet blare that startled everyone around me in the coffee shop. I was amazed, but could I do it again? I set my next goal for 1000 words in an hour (and muted the sound on my computer). 40 minnutes later, voila! Okay, not the best thousand words I've ever written, but that's what revisions are for. I've used the program many times since then and those thousand word chunks pop out like magic. It's a great way to get past my inner editor. No time to scold myself until after it's written. For someone who's modus operandi is to write a few sentences, check my email, write a few more sentences, find a cookie, etc. This program isn't evil, it's a miracle worker.

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