Write or Die

Don’t worry, that wasn’t an ultimatum, just the name of a new internet widgety thing that someone called Doctor Wicked* has helpfully created for those of us among the writing professions who seem to be eternally governed by Newton’s lesser known Third-and-a-bit Law: “For every action there is an equal and opposite procrastination.”

Click on the link above and you’ll be taken to somewhere that will force you to write – through negative reinforcement. Essentially, if you stop writing for a pre-set (or random) amount of time, regrettable things happen (though not death; unless you happen to be terminally allergic to babies crying, fairly-slowly-flashing colours, your words disappearing one-by-one, etc.). Want to stop the regrettable things? Write. Couldn’t be simpler.

Of course, I can’t guarantee that with your heart racing and your mind going, “Eek! Think of something! Quick!”, that you’ll write anything that won’t need endless editing – my trial 10-minute session yielded only some old nonsense about hippos and hoppos meeting on the African savannah and giving birth to rap – but the experience was oddly compelling. And, hey, a page of something to edit is better than nothing (though I’ll probably leave the hippos and hoppos to their own devices – samplers, and record decks, probably).

I’ll certainly be giving it another go.

But, erm, perhaps I won’t start on the ‘Evil’ setting next time…

WARNING: the option to copy to clipboard when you navigate away from the page didn’t seem to work for me (using Firefox 3), so if you do use this for something you don’t want to lose, probably best to copy it manually before clicking ‘Done’.

*may not be an actual doctor, or wicked. Treat all advice accordingly.


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