5 Fun Writing Websites to Increase Your Word Count and Writing Speed
Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Are you stuck in a "slow writer" rut? No matter what you do, no matter how ideal your work environment, you still can't seem to get words down at a faster, more reliable pace? Join the club! As an early writer, I had several issues holding me back; being glued to my thesaurus, for one; combining my research with a writing session is another great example; and reading, rereading, and editing while concurrently writing, was definitely the most debilitating habit when it came to my word count productivity. All those issues came to a screeching halt when a dear writer friend of mine suggested I try 4thewords — a fantasy-based writing game designed to increase your writing productivity and have fun doing so. Finding such a valuable resource led me on a search to find other, similar writing resources so that I might share the love (and options) with other starving — ahem, I mean struggling — writers. Last month I blogged about how to Plan Your New Year's Resolutions in 5 Simple Steps, breaking down one simple way to organize a writing and publishing goal for aspiring authors. Now it's time to write all the words! Check out this list of 5 writing websites and/or apps for increasing your word count, and let me know in the comments which one is your favorite!
This sprinting website for new and seasoned authors alike is currently exploding in the online indie writer community! In fact, community is this platform's specialty as you work alongside friends in twenty-five minute "sprints." A new sprint starts every half hour and lasts twenty-five minutes with a five-minute break in between. The goal is to write as many words during each sprint as possible. And guess what? You are able to watch your friends' word counts in real-time while they write too! Don't mistake this for actual words though; those are still for the writer's eyes only. However, all's fair game when it comes to seeing your friends' writing speed and productivity via a word count bar along side your own writing screen. Can you keep pace or zoom past your friend? MyWriteClub will certainly challenge you to do both! The website is very clean and super user friendly. You simply tell MyWriteClub where in your Dropbox folder you'd like the document saved to, then you write directly in your browser on the platform's website. With the click of a button, it saves your work into your designated Dropbox folder! Easy peasy! Best of all... it's FREE!
If you're writing professionally to feed your family, I bet you can relate to this platform's chosen title. You write... or you die (because you sorta need income for food and stuff, ya know) Thankfully you don't actually die when you play this writing game though. Shew! However, if you choose the Kamikaze option, you very well just might feel like dying when your words begin to disappear as punishment for pausing for more than a handful of seconds. Yikes! Go big, or go home, right? If you're not all about losing your hard earned words, it's cool because Write or Die has various levels and settings for you to customize. Want an adorable animal picture to pop up on the screen for every 100 words you write? They have you covered. Want a hideous spider to flash on the page and obnoxious sounds to wail through your speakers if you fail to reach the desired word count goal in the allotted timeframe? Yeah, they'll make that happen too. Write or Die is available directly in the web browser for free, or you can opt to pay a one-time $30 fee to download it onto your device. No matter which you use, there's definitely a learning curve involved; expect to play around quite a bit for your first couple sessions. Otherwise, have fun!
What if I told you there's a fantasy game for writers where you can battle monsters, customize your hero/heroine, complete quests, earn rewards, explore fantastical worlds, and participate in other amazing, themed/seasonal game events? By. Typing. Words. Would you believe me? To all my fellow gaming nerds, does it sound too good to be true? Fear not! I bring you excellent news straight from Luciola Forest: 4thewords is your one-stop-shop for a stupidly fun, quest-based writing adventure. Your words, and the speed in which you can get them onto the "page," accomplish all the listed things and so much more. Seriously... I just defeated a vicious little wignow while writing this blog post. Score!
The platform is beautifully designed, moderately user friendly (just a bit of tinkering in the beginning), and there's a FREE 30-day trial prior to a small $4 per-month fee which is organized by purchasing in-game crystals (that you can also earn, by the way) In fact, if you use my referral code — FZHYU87873 — you'll earn some bonus crystals to get you started!
Ilys (pronounced eye-less) takes on the shape of its namesake where you are, quite literally, less your eyes. Well, not so much your eyeballs, or your total vision for that matter, but you can't see the words you're typing which is why the pronunciation is so fitting. However, according to the creator, ilys actually stands for I Love Your Stories. The platform is designed with forward progress in mind: you can't backspace (gasp!) and you can't see what you've previously written until your are done with a session and you move forward to the editing screen. The design is very minimalist: just you, your keyboard, a word count display, and an otherwise blank screen. While typing, you will see — and hear — each letter popup onto the screen. The letters disappear right away, and if you try to backspace it buzzes, reprimanding you for the mishap. Each writing session is available to download in .txt format and remains in their server, showing up on your end whenever you sign-in to your account. Sounds a little scary at first, but once you get over the anxiety of having no control over what you have previously written, it's quite refreshing! When you're ready to "level up" you can choose Ninja mode which doesn't even let you see or hear or see the individual letters as you type; it's simply a black screen. In fact, you can't see your word count progression either, and even the buzzes for trying to delete things goes away. You're immersed in a total screen black out! Sorta makes you feel like you're not writing at all. I'll admit, I was worried the platform wasn't even saving my words; however, when I paused long enough, I realized I could choose to move into the editing screen at my discretion. That brief pause also gave me a quick glimpse at my word count and word per minute average (another feature I really liked) Ilys gives you a 3000 word trial, and if you decide you like it they have two purchasing options to choose from: $3.99 per month or $39.99 per year.
Dun, dun, duuuuun. The name is not over-exaggerating. Y'all... if you do not reach your writing goal. Your. Words. Will. Disappear. Legit. Gone. I know because it happened to me. Thankfully, at least the creator was nice enough to give users various time options to choose from: write in 3, 5, 10, 20, 30, or 60 minute intervals, but if you pause for more than five seconds... all is lost. Literally. What's more... there's a hardcore mode. Say whaa?! As if the aforementioned isn't hardcore enough. The Most Dangerous Writing App uses a similar concept as Ilys and makes it to where you can't see the words you've written in addition to their fancy disappearing act. **hyperventilates** Terrifying... but also extremely effective. If nothing else, definitely head over to the website and test it out. It's totally FREE. Always. You don't even need to set up an account to use it; everything is stored on their private server. As practice, write a gripe about the avocado you last purchased not staying perfectly ripe long enough for you to eat it — or something else lacking importance, lest you lose your words if a child suddenly needs a butt wiping or your dog is pulling yesterday's leftovers off the table (which would never happen because we all keep our houses clean at all times, of course)
There you have it! 5 fun (subjectively so) websites to increase your word count and writing speed!
The seemingly common consensus is that most writers want to increase their speed and/or words per day, but I love what Author Chelsea Pennington said in her blog post Parkinson's Law And How it Can Help Your Writing, "Each writer has their own rhythm... Don’t let yourself be intimidated if you think you’re a slower writer, and don’t get cocky if you tend to write faster... Your goal should push you, but not be impossible or underwhelming."
Final thought!: You can read a dozen articles on writing and test out several different methods for increasing speed and word count, but at the end of the day the most important thing is that you simply get down words. The rest can come later and with practice.