Don’t stop writing, or your words will vanish off the page
This year is ending and I am continuing my annual tradition of writing a few words about x piece. This year, I’m trying to squeeze 2022 into 2,022 word. That’s a lot, as you can see. I typically write between 5,000 and 6,000 words, then have to edit it down to reach my word limit. The challenge is to live through all the highs and lows without becoming overwhelmed. It’s important to keep your fingers moving, no matter what. Recently, I discovered an app that does this, and I wanted to share it with you. It’s the season after all.
You’ll find yourself reaching for the Save button as a writer. It is your lifeline. All of your hard work can be made null by a short power outage or computer glitch. But what if there were? Was There is no save button. What if there were no stopping for a break, no pauses for inspiration, no staring out the window? Imagine if this were like the movie. Speed 2, except that you’re not on a boat but on a bus? What if it explodes when you slow down? Well. Welcome to extreme writing.
This is the premise of the Most Dangerous Writing App. Your writing will cease to exist if you stop writing for longer than a few seconds. If you are particularly slow about writing, it will be the end. Your words are lost forever in the digital ether. Don’t reach for your phone. Do not respond to a notification. You can’t slow down even for a second if the FedEX guy finally arrives with the parcel you’ve been waiting for.
The Most Dangerous Writing App encourages you to stay focused and is a great tool for finding and staying in your flow state. The fear of the blank page disappears when you are forced to write a few words every second. Having to keep writing helps keep your feet on the ground.
The app reminds me in many ways of National Novel Writing Month (Number One Writing Month).NaNoWriMoYou will need to write a novel of 50,000 words. Or something. I don’t know. I would normally Google it to verify the word count. But I can’t stop because I risk losing what I have written so far in this article if I open another tab. Argh! It’ll help you, but it’s not the only thing that will help. Start Writing and actually forcing you to Finish You can also finish a piece. Because if you don’t finish it, it will be lost. That’s not what I want. Nobody wants that.
Although it’s not a very sophisticated app, it is a fun and surprising way to force yourself into writing. It made me rethink how I write. It also proved that I can write for five minutes straight, which is a beautiful gift to myself.
I’m also certain that TechCrunch editors would be thrilled to see me write for five minutes straight, before hitting publish. I paused for just long enough for some links to be added, but not long enough for an editor to correct my typos. Sorry, Henry.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.