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Anti-procrastination app will delete your brilliant novel if you stop typing for 5 minutes

Photo: anass bachar (iStock)

Lord knows many writers have a procrastination problem, basically because some of us have the attention span of the average gnat. We’ll start writing something with the best, focused intentions, then decide to double-check something. Which will then make us think of something we should check on IMDB or Twitter. Which will then lead us to Twitter, where all bets are off. So, for all our “going off Slack to write for an hour” declarations, we’re probably getting 18 to 22 minutes of actual work out of those 60.

For brave souls ready to get their procrastinating asses in gear, programmer Manuel Ebert offers The Most Dangerous Typing App, of which we are both intrigued and terrified. As Boing Boing notes, the “simple, attractive text editor” contains a hard-working twist: “If you stop typing before 5 minutes is up, your work starts to fade, and if you don’t start again immediately, it disappears completely.” Bet that’ll keep you off Twitter for awhile.


At least the fading serves as a kind of warning, and that you’re still able to copy text to a safer place, like Word. But maybe Ebert’s app will help rewire your—nay, ourbrain so that we quit getting stuck on IMDB for 15 full minutes, looking up obscure TV movies from the ’70s. Considering NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, with that tantalizing 50,000 word total at the finish line, this could be a helpful app for those aspiring novelists to check out.

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About the author

Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.