Want to write faster?

On Critique Circle for the past couple of days there has been a thread about the Write or Die tool. I tried it out today and thought I'd share it with you all.

I am a slow writer, but even more so, I get distracted easily. Often when I turn on the computer the first thing I do is open up my Word Document, then bring up the net to check my emails. Then I go to the sites I visit regularly to see what's been happening. Then it's midnight, and I haven't even done my homework.

That's me.

Well, today I was entreated with a way to keep me on my toes, to keep my writing focused. Often I would sit down and say, "Here's an hour. I know you can write 200 words in an hour." Then I would take my merry time writing my 200 words.

Not this time. Having learnt about this mysterious Write or Die tool, I thought I'd give it a shot. You can set the time you would like to write for and the number of words you would like to write in that time.

You also choose consequences (if you stop writing for a time) and grace period (how long before the screen slowly fades to red and you are assailed by awful music). If you choose "strict" grace period you will be given five to ten seconds before the screen starts to go red. If you choose evil, you only get a couple of seconds.

If you choose "normal" consequences, you get previously said awful music. If you choose "kamikaze", after 10 to 20 seconds, your words will start to be deleted. For now, I think normal strict is a good setting for me.

And the result? I said before that I used to aim for 200 words in an hour. Using Write or Die, I set up to write 100 words in twenty minutes. I wrote 208 in 22 minutes. Pretty good in my opinion.

This is great, not only because I actively procrastinate from doing anything constructive, but because I am one of the people who usually edit as they go, looking for that perfect sentence before moving on. I do feel now, that it's more important that I get the words out onto the page, and once they're there, I can edit them all I want, for hours if I wish.



Regina Richards said...

I too am a slow writer. But I sort of enjoy it that way, so I'll turtle along. :)

Ryan Sullivan said...

As long as you are enjoying it, that is definitely the main thing. For me, I find enjoyment from seeing word count generated, so this is a go for me. I'll try it out for a bit.

Shannon said...

I think I really need to download that program. It'd give me the motivation I need to put my nose to the grindstone and finish those elusive 10 pages I have left.

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Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

Here at The Dark Corner, Real Life is both our best friend and our worst enemy. Look to him for inspiration, but don't let him get in the way too much.

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