Filling the Blank Page #7: Write Or Die

Sometimes the only thing holding me back from filling the page—is me. I’m not typing. I’m not typing, and the pages stay blank.

When I get stuck like this, I fire up this fantastic app called Write or Die. I bought the desktop app, but there is also a free version online.

writeordieFrom the website:

Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you’re fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences.

Many people find themselves unable to write consistently. I believe that this is because their reason to write is intangible. For instance, I want to write and finish a book because I want to be published and make a living as a writer. That goal is a long way away so I often find it difficult to sit down to the task of writing.

A tangible consequence is more effective than an intangible reward.

The software was written by a guy named Dr. Wicked who I don’t actually know but I love. This software has gotten tens of thousands of words on pages for me.

My first piece of advice before beginning: get a picture in your head of what you’re trying to do—you need to get a character from one place to another? Good. Someone needs to fall off a cliff—cool. Get that picture in your head, then set the timer and go.

Second piece of advice—keep everything you just wrote. Write or Die allows the subconscious to work in its mysterious ways, and the conscious mind seldom appreciates it. Copy what you wrote to your file, and move onto the next scene. Let the words sit there unedited, simmering for a while. If you read what you’ve written right away, you won’t be as impressed as you will be later.

Give it a try…and go fill those pages!

This is the fourth installment in a series on filling the blank pages as an author.


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