New Update Released

To update, revisit the original download link you received in your email and get the latest version. If you use Gmail, this search should find the update email.

Latest Version 2.0.8


  • UI update, no more brown
  • Bumped autosave interval to 10 seconds
  • Updated to latest version of nw.js
  • Up and down buttons for more precise control of timegoal
  • New Keyboard shortcuts
    • Cmd-Q: autosaves and quits
    • Ctrl-S: Quicksave
    • Cmd/Win + Arrow Keys: Change timegoal (left/right) and wordgoal (up/down)
  • Preliminary code added for wordcount leaderboard, more on this soon


  • Stats now work properly
  • Fixed potential crash with reward mode
  • Fixed celebrate mode
  • Grace period readout added

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Next Version


  • Total Time stat added for more accurate wpm calculation
  • Opt-out of Leaderboard by setting nickname to blank
  • Save in project subfolders
  • Test compatibility with Dragon and other dictation software, not sure if possible.
  • Show leaderboard ranking in app
  • Integrate with Undeadlines

Version 2.0.6

Minor Mac version fixes

Version 2.0.5


  • Fixed chomp sound in kamikaze mode which, once started, wouldn't stop. It's better now
  • Fixed various pausing issues
  • Removed non-existent options
  • Reticulated splines
  • Fixed grumpy cat, that's why she's so grumpy, she's fixed
  • App exit button was too small and not aligned properly which made it seem like the button didn't work. Better now.
  • General betterment
  • Fixed typewriter mode which wouldn't disable once enabled

Currently under investigation

  • File saving issues. A few people have reported issues saving to certain folders. I'm looking into it.
  • Linux Testing

Version 2.0.4

New Features

  • Fullscreen support
  • Typewriter mode (disable backspace and editing keys)
  • Font size customization
  • Font family customization
  • Customizable page margins


  • Reworked persistent settings, should be more reliable now.


I'm using Google web fonts so you might need to be online to use custom fonts. I'm exploring options for font caching.

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.

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


What if I don't want to use PayPal?

If you'd rather not use PayPal you can use an alternate method of payment.
Click here and select "Pay by Card"

Mac won't let allow the program to run

Mac OS X defaults to the strictest app security settings, only allowing programs downloaded from the app store to run. You just need to go into System Preferences and Allow All Apps. Watch this if you need guidance.

How do I get updates?

Visit the link that was emailed to you (search for SendOwl if you can't find it), from there you'll be able to download the latest version. If you've misplaced the link, visit this link to recover it.

Where's the web version?

The original web version and the whole original site is available at but the new web version is way better and available at the top of this very page. Change the settings and click "Try" to begin writing.

Can I still buy the original desktop edition?

You can, click here

wordWar Banner

Announcing wordWar by Dr Wicked

At long last wordWar is ready. Originally and buggily included in Write or Die 1, now wordWar is it's own standalone platform with a robust backend server and great new features. You can write with your friends whether you're sitting next to them in a coffee shop or they're on the other side of the world.


  • Challenge your friends to see who can get their draft done quickest.
  • Realtime WPM speedometer and writing status racetrack
  • Chat in the main lobby or in rooms before and after writing
  • Autosave and automatic text download so you never lose a word
  • Great for teachers, one Pro account is enough to host a whole classroom
  • Invite friends to join you via Facebook and Twitter (further integration coming soon)
  • Create your own customized room [PRO]
  • Statistics (wordcount, average WPM, etc) [PRO]
  • Name your projects for easy organization [PRO]
  • Project metrics (coming soon) [PRO]
  • Custom colors [PRO]

Free to play or go Pro

It's always free to join wordWar games, just enter a nickname and find a game. If you'd like to host your own games as well as log your statistics and gain experience, get a Pro account. Just $20 gets you a Pro account with all the additional customizations listed above as well as more features yet to be implemented.

In the classroom

I designed wordWar with teachers in mind, the first real life beta test was a bunch of middle schoolers, a lot was learned. Get a Pro account for your classroom, start a room and share the URL with your students and you're up and running. Simple to set up, start or end a class with 5 or 10 minutes of wordWar and get your students excited about writing. If you're a teacher and you can't afford a Pro account, email and I will be happy to help you.


All wordWar needs is a modern browser and an internet connection. Everything is web-based and real-time. The only other requirement is a friend, future friend, or enemy to compete against. Regardless of who wins, everyone gets writing done!

Start Writing Now