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Oct. 28 2009 - 1:55 pm | 68 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Write or Die

A double-density 5¼-inch disk.

Image via Wikipedia

Need a Web tool to help you to get over your writerly procrastination? Well, here’s one, Write or Die, via Trend Central:

No, Diddy didn’t start a literacy campaign. Rather, Write or Die is an online program (and possibly a cheap form of therapy?) that brings new meaning to the concept of negative reinforcement. Using its text box, it prods writers out of procrastinating by, in its most severe (or, “kamikaze”) mode, deleting what you just wrote if you don’t continue to write. In addition to making you work faster, it makes writer’s block a thing of the past by drawing out deep thoughts and emotions you might not have even known were there, as host “Dr. Wicked” terrorizes you into continuing to type. The only drawback is that Write or Die won’t let you edit on the fly; would-be Elmore Leonards have to cut and paste their work into their program of choice in order to correct it. It almost feels like going back to a mid-’90s word processor and having to save your work every 20 minutes or risk losing it. Could it be that floppy discs actually made us more productive than gargantuan hard drives spitting out new versions of Word every year?

You can check out the screencast below the fold.


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  1. collapse expand

    Sounds like my old nightmares from undergrad: finish a paper a little before it’s due and then it’s all gone.
    Interesting idea, but not my bag!

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    I'm a freelance writer and blogger based in Brooklyn, NY. My background is mostly in politics. I've worked on the editorial boards of the New York Sun and New York Post. In 2006, I wrote a book, "The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party" (Wiley). I've also done my share of freelancing, for places like the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Reason, and RealClearPolitics.

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