I am always looking for new writing exercises to pass onto you fabulous writers. Writing can become very tedious, which in turn can force us to become stagnant. How many times can we sit down at the same computer, at the same coffee shop, and work on the same few pages? It will make anyone go a little crazy and will eventually bring on a nasty case of writer’s block. To make sure we keep our creative juices flowing, we need to switch up our routine a bit every once in a while. Maybe we take up a bench in the park for a few hours instead of writing under the dim light of our favorite coffee spot. Or maybe we try writing at night, versus during the wee hours of the morning. Or just maybe, we take a break from our current project and focus on some freestyle writing- even if just for an hour.
This morning I came across a new (well, for me) writing app called ‘The Most Dangerous Writing App’– and it takes its name quite literally. To put it simply, you set the amount of time you want to write for and if you stop typing before time is up… everything gets deleted. It’s a web based app that you can use with any type of browser, making it very accessible from wherever you are.
At first I was horrified. How about if you pen the start to the next Pulitzer Prize novel and then you stop for just a second to take a sip of coffee and it’s GONE?! After my initial freak out of far fetched dreams, I shifted back to reality. The purpose of this app isn’t to write an amazing piece of literature, it’s to exercise and train your writing brain. Many writers struggle with finding chunks of time in their day to sit down and write. This app trains you to sit down and follow through on your commitment. If you struggle to write for more than than a half hour, set the timer for 45 minutes. Write about absolutely anything. Your day, your weekend plans, or that crazy dream you had last night. Anything- just don’t stop. Soon enough, writing for a half hour will feel easy and you can slowly work your way up writing for hours without much thought to it.
Another great benefit of the app is that it doesn’t allow for perfectionism. You have absolutely no time to go back and read what you just wrote or fix your grammar errors. If you do… well, you know- your work will be deleted. It trains our brain to be alright with getting all our thoughts out on paper without thinking about how it’s actually sounding or what golden writing rule we just broke. Writers need to get more comfortable with the idea of a crappy first draft because to be honest, most are. It’s really hard to fully edit or tweak unfinished work. You need to have the structure of your story, the bare details, and the arc of where you are hoping to take your book laid out before you can really get down to writing. That’s hard to do if you are continually obsessing over the same paragraph. Do yourself a favor and forget about it. Continue writing and come back to it after. You will have a much clearer idea of what your purpose is and making corrections won’t seem as daunting.
Trying out this app will definitely be scary the first couple times, but I truly think only good things will come from it. As long as you don’t use it to write that book or essay you are on a strict deadline for.