My Apologies


4 years ago

I’ve been horrendous at getting new links to people in a timely fashion. I’ve just implemented a new system for handling link requests. To all of those who have been waiting, I am deeply sorry. If you sent a request … Continue reading

EditMinion updates


4 years ago

I’m trying to consolidate more of my various project blogs into one place so look forward to more posts here barring further hammer damage from the anxiety faeries. I hacked away at EditMinion a bit yesterday, added some features, fleshed … Continue reading

Procrastinator’s Special: Write or Die iPad $4.99


5 years ago

For the rest of November, Write or Die iPad is on sale for only $4.99! If you’re hecka behind on your NaNoWriMo wordcount you can pick up Write or Die iPad for half off and catch up to your prolific … Continue reading

Announcing Write or Die for iPad


5 years ago

It is my great pleasure to announce the release of Write or Die for iPad! Available now on the App Store for $9.99. With new features, including a deadline countdown and story idea generator, project goal and stats. Support for … Continue reading

Public Service Announcement: You never need to buy the Desktop Edition more than once.


5 years ago

I noticed several people commenting on the last post saying that they were planning on buying it again because they’d lost their first installation. NO ONE EVER NEEDS TO DO THIS Over on the right hand side of the page … Continue reading

Web App

Write or Die Online

Word Goal
Time Goal
Gentle Mode
Normal Mode
Kamikaze Mode
Electric Shock Mode
Grace Period:



Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you’re fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences.

Many people find themselves unable to write consistently. I believe that this is because their reason to write is intangible. For instance, I want to write and finish a book because I want to be published and make a living as a writer. That goal is a long way away so I often find it difficult to sit down to the task of writing.

Conversely, I’m in a creative writing class for which I manage to consistently write and finish projects (albeit at the last minute). I therefore draw the conclusion:

A tangible consequence is more effective than an intangible reward.

If I don’t write stories for class, I will receive scorn from my teacher and a bad grade in the class. If I don’t write my own stories I am only disappointing myself. I experience perpetual disappointment in myself so I’m kindof used to it. Add to that the fact that I simply have neither the self-discipline to write consistently on my own nor the capacity for self-deception that would enable me to create artificial deadlines. That is how Write or Die was born.

The idea is to instill in the would-be writer with a fear of not writing. We do this by employing principles taught in Introduction to Psychology. Anyone remember Operant Conditioning and Negative Reinforcement?

Negative Reinforcement “strengthens a behavior because a negative condition is stopped or avoided as a consequence of the behavior.”


  • Gentle Mode: A certain amount of time after you stop writing, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writing.
  • Normal Mode: If you persistently avoid writing, you will be played a most unpleasant sound. The sound will stop if and only if you continue to write.
  • Kamikaze Mode: Keep Writing or Your Work Will Unwrite Itself

These consequences will persist until your preset conditions have been met (that is, your time is up or you’ve written you wordcount goal or both)

This text box is not a word processor, it is not for editing, the way to save is to select all of the text, copy and paste into your own text editor. The idea is to separate the writing process and the editing process as much as possible.

This is aimed at anyone who wants to get writing done. It requires only that you recognize your own tendency towards self-sabotage and be willing to do something about it. If you’re sick of saccharine writing advice that no one could honestly follow and you want a real method to getting work done.

  • Works great for real deadlines too!
  • Excellent for getting your 1667 words a day for NaNoWriMo
  • Good for writing on lunch breaks, just enter 30 minutes in the time limit box


Why aren’t there more formatting options in Write or Die?

Write or Die is meant as a first draft tool. The intent is to get your words out without your internal editor getting in the way. Consequently, it is intentionally created with only the bare minimum of word processing features.

I forgot to save before I closed Desktop Edition! I lost my words!

I’m sorry to hear that. Check your documents/writeordie folder, Write or Die autosaves text files there in the event of an accidental program close or crash.

More FAQs coming as I think of them and plunder my email archives.

Email if you have a question you think should be answered here.