I joined ilys.

ilys is an “edit-lock” (see under “Writing Tools”) web app that let’s you see only one letter at a time when you are typing. You cannot edit what you wrote until you reach your predefined goal word count. As seen in the intro video provided by ilys, there is something “freeing” about this form of writing. Because I could not see what I typed in right away, it asks my mind to be more precise about what I am thinking (otherwise it literally becomes stream of consciousness — once I even typed “um”!); in other words it forces you to think before you write. It also made me feel that I want to type more accurately, as I was heavily reliant on Textexpander and Apple’s generic auto-correct (even though it annoys me constantly) – where now I do care whether I write “that” or “taht.”

However, the greatest feature of ilys that gives you the sense of freedom, is the suppression of inner censorship. Your sentences and ideas “flow” better, full energy and focus is on what letter, what word to type next. With your inner censor together with perfectionist (I do live with them), it is so easy to move the cursor around the already written passages and edit over and over again, and not actually write. You get stuck in this one paragraph and can’t move on. With ilys, you are forced to move out of that zone. Once you reach the goal word count, a little orange arrow appears and you can move on to the editing page. Then you can unleash your inner censor. It is a great web app that brings you to the zone of writing and, more precisely, typing.

My current goal is to make this a habit, for my academic writing. This is a great way to get the very first draft, “the shitty first draft.”  Kawakami Minoru, a Japanese light novel author, tweeted about his workflow of writing a novel, that he gave a whole rundown of the plot to his editor for two hours throughout, and “when I get stuck at some point, that means I can’t do that, or I’m lacking something for that.” I read this with the teaching of my old adviser who is a historian, who emphasized the importance of narrative and narration.

#acwri is writing, writing is telling stories. By doing this, I want to find out what I want to write (I have too many things, and I always attempt to dump everything in), which is one of the steps to become better at #acwri.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 7.06.31 PM (My baby steps…)

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