Writing Under the Gun

So there’s a new app called Flowstate that forces you to keep writing, or else all your words vanish. It’s supposed to liberate you from thinking too much and instead learn to trust your core creative self. (What Natalie Goldberg calls “burning through the first thoughts”.)

There’s also a free web version and a Slate article about it which mentions “gamelike qualities” including “flow” — which I view with skepticism as a fair bit of malarkey, unless it’s the psychological concept coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi — but I’m curious so I gave it a try.

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to read this twaddle, but here it is regardless.

well I didn’t want to write for five minutes straight, but I guess I’ll have to, since there’s no way to set it for only two minutes. I’ve had this recommended to me by two people now, which means I have to try it. There’s obviously no wait to use italics, which is weird, because I really wanted to italicize that word “have” in the previous sentence. I also worry that I’m focused too much on proper spelling, because delete doesn’t work — or I should say it doesn’t count as actually typing when you’re being measured by this clock in the upper-right corner of the screen. Then again I guess I cannot be too angry at that, because Natalie Goldberg in her book _Writing Down the Bones_ says that when you’re writing a first draft, you shouldn’t even bother to crrect mistakes. There, klook — I kept that typo in, manh that is really againsty my nature but i’m into trying new things so let’s see what happens when I don’t bother with fixing things as I go. I suppose it’s supposed to open some new door of my consciousness, like a Rider on the Storm, but I don’t really believe that’s likely. On the other hand, who knows what will happen when I try to fight the internal censor? Then again I’m just sorta writing for the purpose of writing and I think the pressure of the clock is more hurtful than helpful here. I mean, I want to kin of organize my thoughts but I can’t, because I’m paranoid that if I do the wrong thing all my writing is going to disappear and there are few things in life worse than the idea that something I’ve worked really hard for will just vanish. Then again, that’s kind of what happens when a minecraft server wipes, so you’d think I’d be used to that by now. In a way, maybe this new format is kind of like a Tibetan Mandala, and it6′s healthy for5 us to consider the value of working really hard on something for a very long time only to see it get blown away to remind us of the transitory nature of all things. I wonder how this will read when I’m done — part of me thinks I’ll be all proud of myself to show off all the things I wrote when I’m done, not to mention the impressive 73 WPM that I achieved and DFANGIT i made another typo because it’s actually 83 wpm but I dare not co.. hey look the top of the thing says “WIN!” So I guess I won. Hooray for me.