I saw an article on Wired the other day about the “Sadistic Writing App” that is supposed to help you get over writer’s block. The Most Dangerous Writing App is a web tool that simply deletes everything you have written if you stop typing for five seconds.
As soon as I heard about The Most Dangerous Writing App I wanted to give it a try. I haven’t been struggling with writer’s block very much lately, but I was still curious – how hard is it really to write for 5 minutes straight without stopping for even 5 seconds?
Not very hard as it turns out.
Or at least, not very hard when you are just rambling and writing down every thought that comes into your head. I actually felt like the 5 second delay before it deleted everything was a bit too long.
I imagine that this app could be really useful for someone struggling to get started with a big writing project. I’ve always found that getting the first paragraph of a literature review down on paper is the hardest. The caveat is that The Most Dangerous Writing App has no formatting tools, so if you are sitting down to write something that requires a lot of citations, this is not the place to do it.
If you are struggling to get something – or anything – down on paper, I would recommend giving it a try. I will likely give it another go next time I am struggling to get a paper started. My advice is to use it for 5 minutes (longer sessions are an option) to get the writing started, and then to get out of there and go back to a program that will let you really get your writing done.