I took a new job on January 1 and I’ve been concerned about my writing habits. I’m now a department chair, and I have a lot going on–so much so that meetings, faculty and student issues have all been coming in the way of my writing and intellectual life.
This isn’t a surprise.
In fact, most of my colleagues are amazed that I continue to try to write at all. I have good reason for wanting to keep up my writing. I finished an amazing novel writing workshop last fall, and now that I know what I need to do to fix my work, I’m read to get going. But I need serious motivation to counteract everything that is pulling for my time and attention.
I’ve been looking for an app that will allow me to focus more on writing for short bursts and keep me from straying to social media and my email. I use 750words.com every day, and I love it. But it doesn’t have any feature to keep me focused, just a statistical meter that will let me know how many distractions I’ve had in one day.
Then tonight I found Write or Die.
It’s a writing application that will give you a jolt if you let your mind stray for too long. I’d encourage you to give the web version a try (writeordie.com). The “consequence mode” will turn the screen bright read and start alarming if you stop writing for more than 10 seconds. In Kamikaze mode you stop typing and your writing slowly disappears, character by character.
I decided it was the perfect motivator, so I took the option for the educator discount and downloaded it. I was really excited to get started, but once downloaded I haven’t been able to get the program to start. At all.
I have no idea what the problem is; my Mac software is all up to date. In any case, I’ve written to the software developer and hope to have a fix soon. In the meantime, I’m writing a blog post and wishing I had one less distraction.