Productivity hacks for writers.
What about those days when you just can seem to write? Those days when the blank pages stares back and all you want to do to curse that blinking cursor? I’ve found a cache of websites that push me to get the words out.
First my all time favorite Write or Die. I have been using this software since 2009 and love, love, love it. I even bought the desktop version so I would have it handy even if the internet went down. You set your goal, both time and word count, and adjust your level of punishment (yes, I said punishment). The penalty can be subtle as turning the screen pink then progressively darker until it is blood red and an annoying sound of choice-a baby crying, a siren to a mishmash of annoying audio. Choose kamikaze mode if you dare. The software will (gasp!) eat your words and not allow backspacing. Another nice feature of the desktop version is that it saves a copy of your writing session to a ‘write or die’ file in case you forget to cut and paste. I also love the fact it doesn’t have a spell checker. Spelling correctly is for the second draft man!
Update: A new version Write or Die is available at a cost. A styling speedometer now serves as a word counter and a brand new reward and stimulus mode provides fodder for the imagination mill. Various backgrounds (the beach, the forest) and sounds (rain, Tibetan bowls) provide ambiance and help keep the writer in the creative mood.
Written? Kitten! On a more positive note, the carrot if you will is the super fun Written Kitten. After you hit your word count goal, the photo of a darling kitten displays and will update when you hit your next objective. It’s a bit glitchy and only works after you hit 200 words. If you are not a kitten fan (and why the heck not!) you can choose puppies, or bunnies, or change it all together and get the most interesting pics of the day from Flickr.
Write Monkey A new writing tool. I have used it a few times now and it is a fun experiment. The software has many of the same features you would see on a paid software site such as Scrivener: a distraction free mode that locks the desktop, a side note page, a progress bar with the percent of goal complete. The program is for those who don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, but likes a distraction free environment.
Do you have a favorite software or productivity hack? If so comment below, or just say hi. For every comment you leave a writer receives a Tardis watch that allows them to finish a book in a day.