the writing life, writing tips

Writing Software for Productivity

Nanowrimo is doing great things for my productivity. Which is good because I’m trying to up my daily word count from 2000 words, ideally to 5000. Currently I’m managing 3000 daily but my brain feels like wet cotton wool.

I do worry that writing fast leads to more time spent editing, which leads to no net gain in speed, but otoh when I started writing on a regular basis I was doing 1250 words a week. I got it up very slowly to 1000 words a day by the use of star charts and a weekly reward if I got a star every day. That didn’t lead to a loss of quality as far as I’m aware.

Then I slowly increased it to 2000 words a day, which I now consider a comfortable speed with ample thinking time. So there’s every possibility that I might grow used to 3000 too, in time. 3000 words a day (with weekends off) = a 75K book every month, which would be awesome.

(Factor in plotting time and the usual summer slump and burnout and so forth and you’re still looking at possibly 4 or five books a year.)

What I’m finding really helpful in that is software that penalizes you if you stop writing to stare out of the window.

Write or Die allows you to set how long you intend to write and how many words per minute and then it penalizes you with a red screen and a nasty noise if you slow down too much or stop. It’s free if you use the on-line version, or you can buy your own copy for £20, which makes it very affordable.

Write or Die

4 the words is an online site that allows you to fight monsters and gain loot and experience by writing faster than the monster can. I haven’t tried the quests yet, but it’s actually fun to try to beat the monsters and it makes writing very painless. Unfortunately it’s only free for the first month and after that it’s $4 a month.

4 the words

I’m not sure how worth the monthly subscription it is given that Write or Die will do the same thing. But it is more entertaining, which is a big help when you just don’t want to do it. IDK, but I’ve got the rest of the month to figure it out 🙂

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