Saturday, December 05, 2009

Write or Die

You know that little someone on your shoulder who whispers in your ear it's time to get to work? Sometimes it's a little angel, sometimes a little devil...and this time of year it might even be a child whispering gift ideas. Or perhaps they gave you a list to add to your things to do for a day, a week, or until Christmas. This time of year hectic is a given.

Perhaps you give yourself little reminders thanks to Microsoft Outlook or another calendar program to try to salvage your writing schedule. Today I learned about something that can even top the Tasks function. It's a program that prompts you as nicely or devilishly as you'd like to get cracking on that word count! Need someone to snap the whip to get you into action? Need to meet a deadline that you don't see how you'll make?

Check out Write or Die! You make a few choices to set how long you want to write between 10 minutes to 2 hours, how many words you're aiming for, and then choose your "punishment" which goes all the way to kamakazie and electric shock! If you're leery of being berated, you can also set a grace period for more breathing time. Just be sure to click pause if you need to step away from the computer or your text won't be there when you get back. The screen will turn pink, then get a darker red the longer you wait to get those words on the page, then they really will be gone!

You can either use the online version or pay $10 for the download to use the taskmaster case you can't stay away from Facebook or those new e-mails in your inbox. The man who created the program was nice enough to remind you to save your work :0) On the online version you can either copy what you've written on the supplied "paper" or click done, then copy it from the summary page.

I had a great time trying this out, and even came up with a grainy idea for an original Christmas fantasy. Hmmm....the wheels are spinning in my head. Now all I have to do is carve out a little time (maybe even pencil it in on my to-do list) then log into this program to keep me writing up a storm. It's amazing what I got done in 10 minutes for this test!

It's amazing what you can learn when you gather in a gaggle of writers. I got this tip from Chloe Harris, who you guessed it, is trying to write on schedule for a deadline. With Write or Die loaded on her computer, I don't think she'll have a choice other than getting those words down!

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