Introducing Write or Die 2

Write or Die is an application for Windows, Mac and Linux which aims to eliminate writer's block by providing consequences for procrastination and, new to this version, rewards for accomplishment. Historically Write or Die has specialized in being the stick in the carrot/stick motivation continuum, but it's time to experiment with encouragement.

Please play with the user interface, check out what new options are available, then read this quick intro. I hope you enjoy the new features.


Visual Stimulus

One of the biggest improvements is the inclusion of visual stimulus. Instead of just writing to avoid annoying sounds and alarm warning colors you can now customize your stimulus. If you like to see a cute puppy after you've reached a certain number of words, you can. If you'd like to write in fear of a jiggling spider, you can do that too.

Reward Mode

This version of Write or Die introduces the concept of positive reinforcement. Sometimes the journey down the blank page seems a long and desolate one. Reward mode helps you mark your progress along the way.

You can finitely adjust how frequently the program rewards you. Set a word goal and tweak the incentive frequency slider to increase or decrease the frequency of word count rewards.

You can also select a directory of images for use as custom reward images, if you have a folder of your favorite pictures and you'd like to see those pictures as rewards.

Stimulus Mode

Write or Die can be nice and comforting now! Stimulus mode allows you to set up a writing environment that is conducive to concentration and focus. It provides a neutral, positive stimulus to keep you writing, when you stop writing, the nice environment goes away. This is especially helpful if you use headphones. You have a variety of options for sounds and backgrounds, from the steady purr of a cat to some nice neutral white noise. The background image can be changed as well so you can write while looking at a beach or a forest in the background. Stimulus Mode Writing Screen Custom Playlist allows you to create a playlist of your own music so that you have extra motivation to keep writing and keep the music playing.

[Supports M3U/M3U8 playlists of MP3 or Ogg files.]

Consequence Mode

This is the reincarnation and refinement of the core concept of Write or Die. Write, and if you don't write, there are consequences, but now they're more interesting and varied. Everything is randomized within categories to provide you with new terrors every time. And now, with the addition of visual stimulus, you can finally write to avoid spiders or the disapproving glare of grumpy cat.

Kamikaze mode is also still very much in evidence but I've refined it a bit. The wee little word monster that runs kamikaze mode has developed a more refined sensibility now. These days he only likes vowels. If you turn on kamikaze mode and allow consequences to ensue your words will be systematically disemvoweled.

Startle Mode is a new addition which allows you to disable the warning color which typically precedes punishment. Useful if you find yourself getting a little too comfortable.

Other Features

  • Persistent, resetabble writing stats including average words per minute, total all time word count and high scores
  • Simplified saving system and set-and-forget autosaving ensures that you won't lose your writing.
  • Sleek new User Interface
  • No longer requires Adobe AIR
  • WPM speedometer gives you a real-time readout of your current productivity
  • Extra-fine controls to customize your writing experience.


There are a number of features I plan to implement soon but which were shelved in order to get this out in time almost on time extremely fashionably late for NaNoWriMo.

More Sounds

I'm always on the lookout for new sounds both pleasant and punishing, I will add them as I discover them.

Writing Idea Generator

I have the code ready for this I just have a lot of tweaking to do.

More stats, more fun with images, more knobs to twiddle.

Purchase & Keep Writing


Version 2.0.3


  • WPM speedometer fixed
  • Pause works now
  • Added update checking so you'll be notified when there's a new version
  • One Mac version for any OS over 10.6
  • Various bug fixes

Version 2.0.2


  • Custom background colors now work
  • Resume writing fixes
  • Fixed custom playlist loading which would sometimes cause the app to open to a black screen.

Works on Snow Leopard Now

There is a separate download for Snow Leopard users, check your original download link to re-download a working version.

Version 2.0.1


  • Kamikaze mode works now
  • Fixed issue where resuming writing would not disable punishment
  • Fixed update check code
  • Fixed issue where disabling sound would also break the program

Known issues

  • Currently there is an issue running Write or Die 2 on Mac OS 10.6, I am looking into this

Click the question mark in the bottom right to let me know if you have any issues.