Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘productivity’

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Earn your internet access—by writing

Writers are full of tricks to get themselves to actually WRITE. We’ve covered a lot of them here on FWR: positive reinforcement (with tools like Written? Kitten!, which rewards you with photos of cute cats), fear (with apps like Write or Die, which plays annoying noises—or deletes your work!—if you stop writing), and flat-out self-blackmail. Here’s yet another addition to your arsenal, O Writer In Need Of Motivation. A new program, Blockr, lets you set goals and blocks you from the internet until you’ve completed them. Says the Blockr site: Today, the sirens we face are glowing rectangles. As Odysseus […]

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How to write more: Blackmail yourself?

Perhaps, like many of us, you’re the kind of person who won’t do anything without a (proverbial) gun to your head. But it’s hard to type while holding a gun to your own head, no? Leave it to technology to solve this problem: enter Aherk!, which describes itself as a free “goal-oriented self-blackmailing service.” Now in beta testing, Aherk! has three basic steps: Define a goal. Tell us what it is that you want to achieve and set a deadline. Put your ass on the line. Upload a compromising picture that will be posted to Facebook in case you fail […]

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Written? Kitten!

We’ve talked before about ways to get yourself to write. There are tools to help minimize distractions, and even tools like Write or Die that dole out punishment if you don’t keep the words flowing. But what is all you need is some positive motivation? That’s where Written? Kitten! enters the picture. Written? Kitten! is a free web-based writing tool. And yeah, the punctuation there is correct. As you type, the site periodically rewards you with… wait for it… a picture of a cute kitten. You choose your level of feline reward—every 100, 200, 500, or 1000 words. Perfect for […]

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Your newest ally for NaNoWriMo? Google Docs.

It’s November 1, and that means–yup! NaNoWriMo is upon us. We’ve posted here before about various tools that can help you in your mad writing binge–see below–but this year, we wanted to share a techie tip for distraction-free writing that’s easy and free. Did you know that Google Docs can provide a clean, tool-and-menu-free writing environment? That’s right–nothing to buy, download, or install. Power Tips for Google Docs tells you how: If you are a big fan of WriteRoom on the mac, or the Windows clone, you’ll be happy to know that you can achieve a similar distraction free experience […]

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The Slow Cookers

I’m now in year 5 of working on my (first) novel, which seems like a long time to me. But according to everyone I’ve heard, 5-7 years is average for a first novel. For some, though, novelists just work Too Damn Slow. At least, that’s what Dwight Garner suggested in a recent essay in the New York Times: There have always been prolific writers as well as slow-moving, blocked, gin-addled or silent ones. It’s worth suggesting, though, that something more meaningful may be going on here; these long spans between books may indicate a desalinating tidal change in the place […]

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Robot Assistants: 2010 Edition

Much has been said about what technology is doing to literature from the reading side. But what can technology do for those on the writing side? Several programs have recently been released to make the writer’s difficult task easier—or at least more manageable. Here’s a roundup, just in time for the start of NaNoWriMo: First, to help remove distractions, FocusWriter gives writers with a pared-down word processor that fills the entire screen, theoretically minimizing the temptation to waste time on the internet instead of writing. Unlike other stripped-down word processors, though, FocusWriter still provides basic features like word, paragraph, and […]