“[David] Nicholls, while writing his follow-up to One Day, used a particularly brutal app, Write or Die. Ponder too long over your next word and an ominous red glow descends over the page. Then your text disappears in haphazard fashion: This is what a sntnc lks lk ftr prcrstntng fr 20 scnds.
Nicholls likened it to “writing with a gun to my head”. Unsurprisingly he didn’t produce his best work and decided that two years and 32,000 words of work were to be discarded.”
I know what you’re thinking. He only wrote 32,000 words? In two years? That’s 16,000 a year. It’s 44 words per day. No wonder he wanted an anti-prevarication app.
No wonder it failed too: I can pump out 20 pages of script or 10,000 words of text per day for up to about 6 days in a row. But while they can be surprisingly good – in that when I go back over a manuscript I can’t always tell you what was considered and what was written that quickly – the truth is that it is all considered and it must all be. It takes time to write, time in which you are not writing.
So having an app that threatens you even more than I do just can’t work. However, the full BBC News piece has a lot more to say about beating prevarication and why this is an issue for us more now than ever.