I wrote this blog in ten minutes. Or, more accurately, I wrote this blog in ten minutes after having my first two attempts erased by a new online writing app with a relentless twist: the Most Dangerous Writing App.
This app was created by Manuel Ebert, a Silicon Valley tech writer and “chief sadist” who was looking to conquer writer’s block. His solution is cunning – and a little bit evil. Basically, it’s the writing version of the 1990s Keanu Reeves action film Speed, in which the hero was aboard a bus that would explode if the driver went less than 50 miles per hour.
Here’s how it works: After selecting the number of minutes you’re going to write (in increments of five), you must write constantly, pausing for no more than five seconds between words. If you start to slow down, the screen begins to fade to white. If you don’t speed up, you’ll lose everything you’ve written. After your allotted time is fulfilled, you can stop and download your copy as a .txt file.
Genius? Madness? There’s a fine line, but I see the usefulness in the Most Dangerous Writing App. Too often, content writing involves long periods of staring at the screen, waiting for inspiration to strike, interrupted by going online to “research” your topic further before actually getting down to the business of writing. By taking away their ability to overthink or procrastinate, the Most Dangerous Writing App forces writers to write.
Obviously, it has serious limitations; I wouldn’t want to use it on a large client project at the risk of losing significant work and time. However, for smaller writing assignments like this blog (written entirely in the MDWA), I think it can be a valuable tool.
It will cure you of your writer’s block – or else. Even if you don’t write the most polished or perfect copy, you’ve got a good start. Maybe Manuel Ebert is the mad genius the content writing world needs. Give it a try; it’s a nerve-wracking and invigorating experience.
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