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A new app keeps you writing – or else

The app and desktop program 'Write or Die' fights procrastination by deleting text or making obnoxious noises when writers fail to buckle down.

By Staff Writer / June 14, 2012

'Write or Die' is available as an iPad app but can also be bought in a desktop version.


For many writers, procrastination is their biggest demon. They find themselves opening new Facebook windows and Googling their own names while an empty Word document sits on their desktop.

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But a new app, titled Write or Die, hopes to change all that.

“As long as you keep typing, you're fine,” the website reads somewhat ominously. “But if you become distracted, punishment will ensue.”

Within the app writers – who type inside a file that looks like a word document – can set the word count they’re aiming for as well as specifying their own “punishment” mode. The least serious is the "gentle" mode. At this level, a pop-up window appears to remind the writer to keep typing if there is no activity after a specified amount of time has passed.

At the next level – the "normal" mode – a “most unpleasant sound” will play if writing ceases.

At the level known as the "kamikaze" mode, text in the document will be deleted until writing recommences.

“It requires only that you recognize your own tendency towards self-sabotage and be willing to do something about it,” the website says of the app.

The app is available for the iPad and can also be bought as a desktop version.


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