Tech for Writers: Writing with Jeopardy or Kittens

Most writers I know have been aware of the perilous Write or Die app for several years, but there are a few new options if writing with jeopardy is something which tools up your writing productivity.

Note – this is not how I can write. I need to pause and think a lot, so having my words disappear on me doesn't work. But Write or Die's newest edition caters for writers like me also.

Write or Die 2

The original app which used to slowly disappear your text when you paused for a few seconds, has now been updated with other incentives to write to a clock. The new modes are stimulus and reward, working with a visual environment.

With reward mode you can set up your own photos to appear at certain intervals to award your writing session. Stimulus mode does the opposite – you set up a lovely visual environment to write within, and if you pause too long, that environment will fade away. The Write or Die old school methods, along with an annoying alarm sounds, are still available if you prefer writing with the fear factor of losing your words. This is now called Conseqences mode, and includes plenty of new options to randomise your fear incentives.

Write or Die 2 also provides many additional features, such as the Write or Die leaderboard for registered users.

Write or Die 2 is available for $20 for Mac versions. The webapp is available to try put at the top of this page. The app is available for iOS also. The older original version is still available also.

Link: Write or Die

While you're there, note that the designer of Write or Die, Dr. Wicked, has several more apps:

  • a beta webapp for editing called EditMinion, spots inconsistencies and does interesting things with language
  • WordWar is a game system for hosting your own writing sprints.
  • BoredMuse is a simple webapp writing spark generator.

The Most Dangerous Writing App

This is a very lethal webapp. Simply set one of the time countdowns, and begin writing. I'm not a fast typer on my iPad, so very quickly paused too long, and all my words disappeared at once. But if this works for you, the app is free to use.

Link: The Most Dangerous Writing App

Written? Kitten!

A favourite with many writers, Written? Kitten! gives you pictures of kittens, puppies or bunnies (from Flickr) as rewards after a set number of words. If you're after quick gratification, this is the one for you.

Late last year the site, hosted at GitHub, went missing, as the original developer lost interest. But the good news is it's now up at its own site, although Google has older links.

Note that the old site had a search function which allowed you to input any image search, but the newer version is confined to the three animals. The new app also appeared a little buggy to me, I got a kitten stuck when it should have been a bunny.

Link: Written? Kitten!


Flowstate is an app for Mac and iOS which pretty much does what The Most Dangerous Writing App does – in writing mode, if you pause for 5 seconds the words disappear. However, Flowstate has some other features of use – once a piece is written, it is saved as a document, which you can access from a library in the app, and put into an edit mode.

Link: Flowstate

750 Words

750 Words com is another well known webapp used by many writers. This is an online community, gaming app which rewards you with points and badges when you maintain a regime of writing at least 750 words each day. Each month you start off with a clean slate. The community allows for word wars, and other rewards and competitions, and the site has many statistic functions to give you an understanding of your writing.

Your writing is private, but saved. A lot of people use 750words for journaling, or free writing exercises.

Link: 750words


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