Blog of Sara Jakša

How I Made My Computer Stop Me From Overthinking My Writing

The empty page. This is probably one of the universal fears of the writers all over the world. The empty page represent on one hand the countless possibilities of what we can write and on the other hand, it makes it hard to pick something that has the possibility of becoming something at least half decent.

I sometimes blame my Ne for too many ideas (Ne means Extraverted Intuition, you can google the Jung's functions - it is fascinating topic). On the other hand my Ti (Introverted Thinking) finds fault with every single idea that think of. As thankful as I am to both of them, sometimes they are the pain in the ass.

That is why to admit that I find public speaking much easier than writing, for the sole purpose that I know that I don't have to be perfect in public speaking - people can miss a lot while listening, but there is no way to tell if they will downright peruse the writing that they find.

So while thinking how to solve the problem, I came up with the idea. If the public speaking is easier, because it does not allow for the repetition, than maybe stopping the possibility of corrections and thinking time might made the writing easier. If nothing else, the thinking process would become more similar to the the one used in public speaking.

So I wrote a python plugin for gedit, that starts to erase the letters of my writing. A couple of seconds after the file stops changing, it starts to delete letter for letter from the back. If the file continue to be left alone, it ends up eating all the writing away.

The additional plus is that there is no stop button at all. The only way to stop it is to leave the program. Quite neat, as that give the will-power less tools for fighting.

If you also have a problem with overthinking your writing, you could always give it a try. There is something motivational in the pressure and there is no bigger pressure for a writer than watching the words disappear into oblivion.

You can download the plugin from: https://github.com/sarajaksa/gedit-plugin-writting