The year is coming to an end, and with it, I continue an annual tradition of writing a x words about x piece. This year, that means trying to cram the year 2022 into 2,022 words. As you might imagine, that’s a lot. I usually write 5,000-6,000 words and then have to ruthlessly edit it down to try to hit my word cap. Part of the challenge, though, is to re-live all the highs and lows of the year without getting overwhelmed. The trick is to keep your fingers moving no matter what. And recently, I found an app for that, which I’d love to share with y’all. ’tis the season, after all.
As a writer, you’ll often find yourself reaching for the save button. It is your lifeline, after all. A short power cut or a computer snafu is all it takes to make all of your hard work crumble to nothingness, after all. But what if there was no save button? What if there was no staring out of the window for inspiration, no pauses to think of a witty turn of phrase, and no way to stop for a break? What if this was like the movie Speed 2, except instead of a boat, you’re on a bus? What if, when you slow down, it explodes? Well. Welcome to the world of extreme writing.
That’s the premise for the Most Dangerous Writing App. If you stop writing for more than a couple of seconds, you’ll see your writing fade out of existence. And, if you’re particularly slow about it, that’s the end. Your words disappear into the digital ether, never to be seen again. Don’t pick up your phone. Don’t react to a notification. If the FedEX guy finally turned up with that parcel you’ve been waiting for well TOUGH, there’s no way to slow down for even a moment.
Encouraging you to stay focused and actually a great tool to find and stay in your flow state, the Most Dangerous Writing App is an awesome idea. Being forced to put a few words down every second means that the fear of the empty page melts away, and having to continue writing helps keep you on your toes.
In many ways, the app reminds me of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), where you need to bang out a 50,000-word novel. Or something. I can’t remember. Usually, I’d Google it to make sure I got the right word count, but I can’t stop because if I open a new tab I will lose what I’ve written so far in this article. Argh! But okay, the point is that it’ll both help you start writing and actually force you to finish a piece as well. Because, well, if you don’t finish it, you lose it. And I don’t want that. Nobody wants that.
It’s not exactly a very advanced app, but it is a surprising and fun way to force yourself to start writing and to keep writing. It made me think about how I write very differently. Incidentally, it proves that I am, in fact, able to write for five minutes straight as well, which is a pretty beautiful gift to be able to give to myself.
I am also sure that the TechCrunch editors will be delighted at me writing for five minutes straight before hitting publish, pausing for just long enough to add some links and a featured image, but without letting an editor fix my typos. Sorry, Henry.