Let me tell you how writing is working for me right now. I’m using Write or Die, 10 minute sessions, 250 words, and it’s actually working. The part that’s working, that hasn’t worked before, is that I’m writing crap. Not crap like this, where I just ramble about stuff, but crap that I can eventually turn into the novel. I can’t even believe that this is still a thing, but when I write, I edit. I can’t help myself.

I’ve long thought that I’m more a poet than a prose writer. I’m the kind of person who sweats words and sentences and paragraphs, rather than character, narrative, and structure. I love writing for the internet because I can use the line breaks the way poets use line breaks. It’s emphasis. It’s how I want you to read my work. It’s my punchline, my rhyming couplet.

I’m really good at character. I’m pretty good at story. I suck at plot and structure and narrative arcs, but I’m getting better. I’m writing longer stories than I ever have before. I suck at plot because I sweat the details, not the big picture. The big picture is about getting the story out of your head and onto the page, and that’s where Write or Die comes in.

If you’re not familiar with the app, Write or Die gives you a space to write, but if you don’t, if your fingers stop moving and you stop making the clackety sound, Write or Die starts to yell at you, and if you still won’t write, it takes your words away. It deletes what you’ve already put down, punishment for not putting down more.