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…
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.