Sadistic Writing App Deletes Your Work if You Stop Typing

OMG! This is so evil on so many levels, and yet, what could be better than an app that absolutely makes sure that you write your life away write your little heart out whether you really want to or not? Genius!

by Margaret Rhodes

DON’T STOP. IF you stop typing for more than five seconds, all progress will be lost.”

Those are the directions for The Most Dangerous Writing App, a brutal new web tool designed to help you get over your writer’s block. The app is the work of Manuel Ebert, who describes himself on Twitter as a “Ex-neuroscientist, data wrangler, designer, and engineer.” He’s also a founding partner of, a small data consultancy agency. Ebert made The Most Dangerous Writing App on his own time, and released it for free.

There are lots of tricks for overcoming writer’s block. One of the most commonly prescribed bits of advice is perhaps the most obvious: just write. That could mean banging out a rough draft in one fell swoop, or it could mean pretending like you’re writing in a diary, letting out a stream of consciousness. Or, as editors love to say, “just pretend you’re at a bar, having a beer, talking to your friend.”

The goal of all these strategies is to force you to get over your ego. Stop waiting for a romantic surge of inspiration and just write. The Most Dangerous Writing App doesn’t care what technique you use, provided you keep typing. If you stop, even for a second, the edges of the screen become tinged with red. The longer you go without typing, the redder the edges become, until, after five seconds of inactivity, your progress is unceremoniously erased. Forever….

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