Tag Archives: #writing

Motivation Monday-Productivity

Motivation Monday-Production

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.

Write or Die

Write or Die

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.

Time to Write


Time to Write

I want to learn French. I want to learn to play violin and visit Tibet and New Zealand. I want to learn to fly a plane and I want to run a marathon. I want to become a karate expert. I also want to become a published novelist.

So many things I want to do but I have responsibilities, a seventeen-year-old, a black and white dog and cat, a house to maintain, and a job that is slightly better than bamboo under my fingernails. I have to make cash to survive and take care of the said responsibilities. So what free time I have, I cherish.

I use most of it to write.

I meet a lot of people who say they want to have some great adventure or learn or do something grand.

If only they had time.

If only they won the lotto. If only they were retired. If only they could take a year off. If only, if only, if only.

There is no tomorrow, there is no special perfect time to do something, there will never be enough free time, or money, and after you retire you are usually too tired to chase a dream. I’ve found the only way to have time, is to make time. Writing is a priority. It comes before fun vacations. It comes before I even think of getting a job with a pension. It comes before putting in new floors or shopping for clothes. It comes before reading for fun. It comes before buying a new car or even looking for a new relationship. If I want to really purse my dreams, I have to sacrifice.

Those who make it to the New York Times Bestseller list, or get to sing on Broadway, or get to visit the Dali Lama, or fly a plane. They give up something else. It’s a trade. Ben Franklin said, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”

I look at my list. I still want to go to Tibet and New Zealand, maybe learn some phrases in another language. I still run a lot in the summers (may do a half marathon) and I sneak a great book in quite often. In the end, what I really want, what I dream of, what I’m willing to trade my one and only life for is that important to me. What’s that important to you? What are you willing to sacrifice your time for?

For every comment you leave someone sells their stuff and runs off to Tahiti…