3 Apps to push you to write

Tools to Keep You Off the Net

If Facebook or Twitter easily diverts your attention when trying to write, don’t worry. These tools can help.

1. Anti-Social

It’s said that Jonathan Franzen obliterated the Ethernet card in his laptop and locked himself in a drab room to avoid distractions that would divert his attention away from his manuscript. But he could have used Anti-Social instead. This tool will block you from your own temptations whenever you’re trying to write. This is how it works: Suppose you want to spend the next three hours writing. Just turn on Anti-Social, schedule it for three hours, and you’ll be blocked from distracting social media websites. Presently, this application is available only to Mac users.

2. SelfControl

This free application will block you from accessing the websites that distract you the most for a set period that you determine. Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites—even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

3. Write or Die

First, you configure your writing period, word goal, and your preferred punishment should your fingers stop typing. Once the setup is complete, you’ll need to type continuously; otherwise, there will be consequences. In case you’re wondering what those consequences might be, here they are:

  • Gentle Mode: A certain amount of time after you stop writing, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writ- ing.
  • Normal Mode: If you persistently avoid writing, you will be played a most unpleasant sound. The sound will stop if and only if you continue to write.
  • Kamikaze Mode: You will need to keep writing or your work will unwrite itself. That consequence should keep everyone on track.

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