The most terrifying piece of freelance writing software in the world…

This turns the blood in my veins to ice. I swim in a sea of anxiety at the best of times when it comes to writing. This would simply add a school of sharks, I don’t think it would help – I’d be paralysed…

About Write or Die:

The most frightening piece of freelance writing software in the world.

The most frightening piece of freelance writing software in the world.

From the Guardian newspaper.

This is horrible! The novelist David Nicholls says that while working on his latest book Us he used a piece of software called Write or Die, which starts to delete what you are writing if you pause for too long. “I was convinced that there was a novel in me and I had to just spew it out on to the page,” Nicholls told an audience at the Cheltenham Literary festival. “I produced huge piles of paper and I saw it was all rubbish. It was as if I was writing with a gun to my head.”

I agree. I can say so because I have been asked to write this article both about Write or Die, and on it and, under the circumstances, the only way I could do justice to the stress would be with a list of swearwords. Having readied that quote from Nicholls, I set a target of 400 words in one hour and activated the evil setting. This seemed the fun thing to do, but in fact it means that if I stop typing even for just a couple of seconds, the screen goes pink, then puce, then red, then crimson … then the last word on the document disappears, then the next, then the next. There is a pause button I can press once, I have just discovered by pressing it.