Get More Writing Done With The Write Or Die Productivity Application

write or die application

I am gearing up for this year’s National Novel Writing Month (which is every November) and I wanted to put a few things in place to help keep me focused. The goal of the month is to write a 50,000 word book in 30 days, which basically amounts to 1667 words a day. It’s definitely challenging for writers of all levels, but it’s a lot of fun and there are a lot of ways that other writers will support you during the process. All for free of course:) While I will be in fact working on a novel, please note that you can also use this challenge to write your non-fiction book as well. In fact I encourage you to do so.

One of the problems that many writers face is becoming distracted and/or editing their work as soon as they type it (a big no-no). I am definitely guilty of both of these blunders. Checking emails is one of my deadly sins. For others it’s social media. For others it may be distractions in the home, etc. Whatever it is, a few successful writers I know of have recommended a web application called Write or Die for getting them laser focused when it’s time to write. This is how writers have been using this particular app with success, and I’ve decided to try it as well during my NaNo challenge.

1. The first thing you need to do is to decide on a chunk of time in your day when you’re going to write.

2. Then you need to commit to it.

3. Once you’ve committed to it, then you need to start writing.

4. Using Write or Die will keep you on task with the “start writing” part because the application punishes you if you STOP writing for a certain period of time. That’s right…punish you.

With this application you can set a word goal, a time limit, and then start writing. If you stop writing after a certain period of time the app will punish you based on the “mode” you’ve set the app for. Gentle mode shows you a pop up window that lets you know you need to get writing again, normal mode plays an “evil” sound as a warning, and the kamikaze mode starts erasing what you’ve already written if you don’t get started writing again! Crazy huh? Crazy like a fox:)

You can download the app for your iPad in iTunes or you can download the desktop version (which works with PC, Mac, and Linux). Either version is only $10 bucks, which I think is a great deal.

Write or Die Desktop Version

Keep in mind that this is not a sophisticated writing and editing tool like Scrivener. The point of this tool is to get words written. 1st draft only. The whole point is that you don’t edit yourself like you usually do which may be hindering your production. The whole idea is to FIRST get a daily dose of word production. When your finished your goal for the day, you can then copy and paste that into your Scrivener or Microsoft Word document and edit later.

Sounds fun right? If you’ve downloaded the app and are using it or have used it in the past, let me know your thoughts in the comment section. I’ll post an update on my usage of it after NaNo.

Sound a little too hard core for you? This is a different (bare bones) app that has a much softer touch for you chickens:)



Finding The Time To Write

Finding The Time To Write Your First Book Can Be…Challengingclock

One of the biggest obstacles that new writers tell me they face when writing their first book is finding the time in their already hectic schedules to write the darn thing. It’s such a prevalent issue among writers, that it can totally cripple them and zero writing gets done. That’s why I thought it was a topic worth discussing on my blog. So here are my thoughts on this issue.

First Problem – Hearsay Paralysis

One of the problems I see is that writers and aspiring authors often psych themselves out based on what rhetoric (and some truth) on what they’ve heard about writing a book. How many times have you heard somewhere that it took them a year, 3 years, even 10 years to write a book. While this does happen a lot with fiction writing because of the sheer creative process at play, it really doesn’t need to happen with non-fiction writers. Non-fiction is concrete. There are no abstracts. You write the facts about a topic, your experience with the topic, and of course your opinion on the topic, wrap it up in a nice bow and present it to readers. If you KNOW what you are writing about, it should not take you years to finish your first book. That leads me to my second point…

Second Problem – Zero Authority

You may have a lot of great book ideas but it’s important to understand which ones make sense for you to pursue, especially in non-fiction writing. You will be a lot more productive when you write on a topic that you are an authority on versus one that you have no experience with and therefore have to do research around. You will also probably get a lot more sales when you write from a place of authority because most people rather learn from someone who knows through experience versus research. Bottom line – write what you know about.

Third Problem – Life Gets In The Way

The reality is that we all have families, careers, hobbies, emails to return, bills to pay and other things that fill our lives. There is only but so much time in a day and we have to sleep right? This was definitely a big problem for me and it’s one that I continue to battle. I guess on some level I will always be a distraction addict:) So one of the shifts that I had to make was to make writing my books a priority. It could no longer be the thing I got to once I was finished all the other things I had to do. It had to be #1 or at least #2 in my life at some point of EVERY DAY. That’s right. Making writing a part of my day (like brushing my teeth) was the solution for me. It may have only been a paragraph or it may have been 2000+ words but whatever it was – I got something written and that was crucial in getting the writing done. Which leads me to my list of suggestions for finding the time to write your book…

Finding The Time To Write – Real World Solutions

1. Change your mindset about writing a book. There are so set rules to how long it should take especially in today’s publishing climate. Don’t let the fear of how long you THINK it’s going to take dictate how much effort and energy you put into writing. Just do it!

2. Make a comprehensive and ongoing list of problems that you can solve for people based on your own credentials and/or experience. Do not put anything on the list that you know nothing about just because you heard it’s a “hot topic” for a book. You will refer to this list when deciding on what the topic of your next book will be.

3. If you get stuck with the getting your thoughts down on paper or on your laptop, then start getting them out by recording them using a smartphone or mini recorder while you’re on the go. You can transcribe what you’ve spoken later.

4. Wake up earlier or go to bed later. This is one that I use regularly. I use to think that I got more done when there was activity and noise around me (like when I was in high school and college), but I think I was deluding myself or maybe I’m just getting older:) The reality is that I get a lot more clarity in the earlier hours of the day when the kids aren’t up yet or late night when they are all tucked in. My mind is just too busy thinking about “what’s next” to write in the middle of the day sometimes. Plus it’s literally much quieter and I can concentrate on getting my thoughts down in an organized manner.

5. Make writing your book a priority and carve out time during your day dedicated to ONLY writing the book. Close all other computer applications. Certainly avoid email. Turn off ringer on the phone. And most of all – STICK to the time that you dedicate for writing and it will become habit.

6. Identify the biggest time sucker of your day or evening (like television) and use one of the hours you would spend on that activity and dedicate it to writing. For example if you have a favorite television show that is on for an hour every week, you may want to decide to record that show with your DVR or something and use that hour for writing. You can always watch the show later and there’s no rule saying that you have to watch the show the time that it actually airs.

7. Add a dose of accountability. Tell someone in your inner circle that you are writing a book and ask them to hold you accountable by asking you if you’ve written today – and be truthful about it. There’s no race with anyone to finish your book besides yourself. Sometimes having someone tell you at the end of the week that you’ve only written one out of seven days is just what you need to get focused.


The Write Mindset For 2013

Increase Your Writing Productivity: Get Into The “Write” Mindset

writing productivity dog

At this time of the year I like to focus on what I call getting into my “write mindset” so that I produce more high quality content that servers my tribe. To do this, I typically first take a look back at what I’ve written and published on my websites, what’s in the draft folder, and what I’d like to write for the new year. Writing this down helps me organize and decide what writing will be on tap for the new year. I do this for every website I own and write content for. Pardon me while I get a little transparent with you today:)

On LisaAngelettieBlog, I’ve written and published over 105 articles during 2012, I have 3 articles in the draft folder (which have been there for months!), and I’d like to publish 156 of my own articles along with 52 guest post submissions for a total of 208 articles in 2013.

I’d also like to make sure that one of those articles per week is a video article so that I can start maximizing YouTube for more visibility and traffic back to my site. Who knows, maybe if I find my sweet spot I may create more video articles than text ones (yeah right!).

I also have a goal of writing and submitting two to three of my own guest posts per month. I typically spend a little longer on researching and/or writing these articles, so two or three a month is a realistic number for me.

I’m also still dying to get that podcast started that I’ve been talking about since forever! I would really like to launch the first episode in January. Thank you Pat Flynn for the inspiration.

I will also be focusing a lot on the Amazon income stream of my business. I’ve seen a lot of growth there and I think it’s only going to get better as tablets and readers become more accessible to buyers. Tablets have gone down considerably in price this year, so the forecast is that ebook sales will continue to rise. That’s only good news for folks like us. A great creative passive income stream for any business owner is to take existing content and publish those articles on the Kindle marketplace. I’ll be covering this topic a lot more on this site in the new year.

My experience on Amazon so far has been really favorable with publishing non-fiction, but I plan to also jump into the waters of fiction in 2013 as well. Writing fiction has been a lifelong dream of mine that I created a million excuses for not doing for many, many years. My fear of writing fiction was so crippling that I am going to document my entire process from start to finish just so that I hope it inspires some other writers out there to do the same. I am in the process of building that blog now, so I’ll let you know when it’s live. The digital revolution has made it so easy for us to get out there as entrepreneurs, authors, publishers in a really big way. I say NO EXCUSES in 2013 everyone! Me included.

Now I want YOU to get into a the creative write mindset for 2013 as well. In fact, I’ve gathered a few writing productivity resources from this site that I think may help you in areas where you may be struggling:

How To Write What People Will Read

How Entrepreneurs Can Quickly Beat Writers Block

#1 Secret For Writing Productivity

Writing Rituals

So what are your writing/content goals for the new year?

It may be a good idea to share them with the rest of us so that you’ve put it out in the universe and so that we can hold each other accountable. I’d love to hear what you have planned, no matter how lofty your goals may be:)

#1 Secret For Writing Productivity

writing productivityIf you are a parent, especially a mom (shout out to all my moms!), then this is probably going to really speak to you because we tend to be multi-taskers to the tenth power! The problem with multitasking is that it can be distracting. Sure you may get a lot done, but is it really done well? OR do you even get any one thing done completely at all?

I find that the clients who have the most difficult time with creating compelling content on a consistent basis for their audience, tend to suffer from this multitasking approach towards everything in their lives including their marketing and let me tell you — for must of us this approach just won’t work.

So (drumroll please!) this is my #1 strategy and secret for writing and producing more content on a consistent basis:

Focus on only ONE marketing strategy today and that’s creating content.

Do not play around on Twitter. Do not look for Facebook friends and fans. Do not connect with someone on LinkedIn. Forget about commenting on your favorite bloggers posts. Leave those website, pay per click, or Facebook ad stats alone today. Your website doesn’t need any tweaking today. You don’t need to check emails all day. Just once at the top of the day, if at all. Instead, just focus on content.

I find when I decide that on Mondays (my personal writing blitz day) all I am going to do is write, I produce a lot more content. In fact, instead of writing just one blog post or creating one video or writing a guest post for another site — I find that I am creating 5, 7, or 8 different new pieces of content that day that will set me up lovely for the rest of the week! Bam! Content done. Now I don’t have to worry about how I’m behind on creating new content for the rest of the week because I’ve already done it. And get this…

There’s something about doing ONE thing in one sitting, without distraction. You get in a ZONE. So I find that I write my best when I have been writing several articles, book chapters, etc. at one time.

So here’s what I recommend that you do:

1. Select one day a week that you will commit to creating high level content that attracts more of your ideal clients.

2. Eliminate all distractions on that day.

3. Create a series of blog posts, guest posts, video articles, or audio articles that day — don’t just write one piece of content that day.

4. Pay yourself on the back, you’re done for the week!