Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Write or DIE!

In the course of attempting to write 50,000 words in the span of thirty days, I have experienced my share of the dreaded Writer's Block. For me, it's more than just writer's block, it's like writer's ADD. I am sure writers like Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl had their own writing distractions, but was it as easy as 'click' and a little window opens, taking you to a whole new world? How am I supposed to focus with temptation like that? When I can't think of where to go with my next scene, or my characters have gone to the beach and left me here, what's to keep my from making the little click and traveling to a whole new world?

Whenever I take a writing class or have a deadline to to meet, like JuNoWriMo, I make myself write. I think about getting my BIC all day long. It doesn't matter what TV show is on, how tired I am; I write. I meet my goal.  When there are no 'real' deadlines, I'm only disappointing myself, which I'm used to, plus I sort of have a soft place in my heart for me. I understand how tired I am, or the need to check everyone's Facebook status, several times, throughout the day. Yes, I've created deadlines, many, many, times. But there is no death in that. At least there wasn't until I discovered, Write or Die. 

Write or Die is a free online program whose slogan is: Putting the "Prod" in Productivity." Cute and effective. Their philosophy is; A tangible consequence is more effective than an intangible reward. They believe that the reason we don't write consistently is that our reasons for writing are too nebulous. I want to be published. I want to write a great novel. Since they can't help us with our nebulosity, they have come up with something better, consequences. Write or Die desires to infuse the fear of not writing in writers by using the Psychology of Negative Reinforcement: the strengthening of a behavior because a negative condition is stopped or avoided as a consequence of the behavior.” So what are those consequences you ask?
  • Gentle Mode: A certain amount of time after you stop writing, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writing. (Too Easy)
  • 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. (My favorite)
  • Kamikaze Mode: Keep Writing or Your Work Will Unwrite Itself (I am NOT that crazy!)
I will acquiesce that Write or Die may not be a perfect fit for everyone. This is not a writing program, it just helps you, as Anne Lamott , author or Bird by Bird says: 'get it down'. It could be my Psychology background that makes me love this program or maybe I'm a glutton for punishment. Either way, it's worked for me and will be the main reason I meet my goal of 50,000 words this month.

Muse For Today: What keeps your writing moving forward?

 



18 comments:

Gossip_Grl said...

I try to contribute two hours a day to writing. The days I have to work my real job I find it hard to come home and concentrate on it. It's like my mind is going a thousand directions. I have several postings pre written and scheduled which is probably a good thing. Enjoyed reading your posting today.

Southpaw said...

I click over to look at the program and I love that you can disable the backspace key! That is a time saver right there.

Thanks for stopping by my little place on the web.

Lynn Proctor said...

i don't really know--it just hits me i guess--loved this post :)

nutschell said...

I do try to write everyday. I'm curious about the write or die thing, but since I sneak in writing time at work, I don't think it'll be good for me--especially if it makes some crazy noise:)
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Scribbles From Jenn said...

I like your plan. It's much better than my plan of missing days, and then trying to make up for those missed days by writing all day.

Glad you enjoyed the post :D

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Wow, you taught me something I didn't know about Write or Die. Thanks!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Thank you Lynn. I love it when inspiration hits me too.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Thanks for the laugh Nutschell. You are a wise woman. Write or Die probably isn't for the work place :D

Dana said...

I'm inspired by other people who are working to fulfill their dreams. Hearing their stories inspires me to keep on pushing to make my writing dreams come true. :)

Cherie Reich said...

I've heard several people mention Writer or Die. I haven't tried it myself, but I definitely think it could help.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

I'm glad to inspire you Dana. I keep pushing because I know the finish line is out there somewhere.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

It helps me, but I have writer friend who won't touch it!

Heather Murphy said...

This sounds like a great program, although a little scary too

Avantika Chitturi said...

Hey I tried a free web-version on Write or Die and enjoyed it immensely. I'm trying to install the offline version onto my desktop and it's asking me to cough up $10. When you said it was free, were you referring to the online version or the offline version? It really helped by the way. I was surprised by how much I managed to write withing the 15 minute time limit!!

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

Hearing people tell me they're looking forward to reading my book always helps. Tee-hee.

Thanks for sharing!

Left something on my blog for you!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Hi Avantika,
Yes, the free version is the online version. Sorry for the confusion. I was also amazed at how much writing I could get done when the clock is running.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

I need to hear those words. I'm sure it would give me GREAT motivation too!

Dawn said...

I've heard of Write or Die. I probably should check it out since I'm having a hard time holding my own feet to the fire...

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