Journey into the Mind of Someone Who Added an Extra Zero on Cold Turkey Writer – Day #1

This was written a few weeks ago, but with added info of the context behind it being written today for Nanowrimo. Basically, the bits in quotations were written earlier, I’m just counting the new stuff

So if you are anything like me you have a problem writing and getting stuff on paper.

Not like coming up with words to write, more like you feel as though you have no idea how to get started and the blinking cursor just makes you want to turn off the computer in despair before you get started.

Of course, this means you have downloaded your fair share of productivity helping apps, computer software and other miscellaneous methods to try and convince yourself that a little pain and bordom now is much better than the tired all nighter you will need to pulll to get your assignments done.

Not finished or polished off.


As in I just barely squeeked over the word count but close enough I don’t have time to edit before I need to run off and print the dang thing.

Most of the time, the downloading is an excuse to procrastinate more on that assignment you have due. It also has the added bonus of being just productive enough where you feel like you did something but not strenous enought where it is a pain to do.

But every once in a blue moon you stumble accross something that actually works, like legit helps you to focus, hunker down and just get to work typing away like your life depends on it.

For me, that app is cold turkey writer. (the app I’m using during Nanowrimo as well!)

Basically, the thing shuts down your computer until you hit a certian word count or time, before it will unlock and let you use your computer again without restrictions.

Oh and it doesn’t have spell check or that annoying AF blinking cursor taunting you. Just mocking you for not typing more….

In short, your computer goes full on into type writter mode. No side bars, no white list, no “logging onto google to do a bit of research and oops I’m now binge watching the entire avatar the last airbender series again while looking up things to do in Reckvick… Ryecavik… Rykavich…. The capital of Iceland and oh by the way i haven’t touched that book in 6 days” (which is spelled reykjavikbtw)

Bit extreme? Maybe yeah.

Effective? Oh heck yeah.

So while it is a useful program, it only works well if you treat it with respect… what do I mean by that? Well, read on ladies and gentlemen!

Here is the story of the time I f-ed up using it a few weeks ago. Enjoy my misfortune I guess 😛

So I screwered up majorly using cold turkey writer

Not that the system failed or anythign, far from it.

I actually have written more than I expected. like a good 10x the amount I set out to do (you can see where this is going can you…)

Context: I was writing a popular science article-esque blog post for a class on insect ecology, and had left it til 2 days before it was due instead of working on it during reading week… yup… nothing generates inspiration like last minute panic!

I sat down for a short writing session of just 500 words. Should take me a couple of minutes max right?

I accidently typed in 5,000…

And then clicked the button of no return, which just so happens to cover the little bit where the number is typed in…

Basically, my 1,000 word project is done, and I’ve typed the phrase “The quick fox jumped over the lazy dog” so many times (its a quick and easy phrase for me to type) that I’m about to go insane. I’ve switched to All work and no play makes jack a dull boy but after a while it just loses its subtle charm and stuff.

so now I’m going all meta talking about me stuck in this app for now in the hope that it will make a good post or something in the future… and just padding my word count.

The first thing I do as a prisoner of my computer, slavinng away typing as fast as my brain can think and my fingers can move? Describing/complaining about my situation

They really should have a bold lettered you are about to commit to like xyz letters, are you super duper sure or did you like me accidently hit an extra zero and are now regretting your life choices deeply.

Basicically instead of my new laptop I have an expensive 21st century typewritter! whoop!

except without the special dingy thing or anything that makes typing on a typewriter somewhat enjoyable. you know like the clicky bell thing or the slidding mechanism (I would look up the official name but again you know, I’m stuck with this stupid computer at the time being… Like I mean at least with the modern computer there is like a delete button which asaves on the whole needing whiterout or correction tape thing, but that isn’t really helping in my situation at the momen

Note that while there are some made up words in there, it is more or less coherent and any weird spelling or typos can be justified due to my situation. It gets worse suprisingly quickly.

List o mundo time now I guess IDK just yeah come one this is stupid, I wish there was an exit button option for the olrd turkey writer, I mean I guess there is the fact that it would sorta destroy the purpous of the whole thing but at the same time like this js jist crazy man

Let us start with 3 cus why not?

3. right now I’ve gotten to lets say about 55% of the bar filled up so I guess I have several thousand workds at the moment, of which only 1000 are my actual essya

4. this would be really good for the whole nanowrimo thing ut given how busy i am these days heck no am i writting 2,000 words well 2,667 words a day after ive spent forwver working this on like thjust ugg

5. i guess this is how writters write, just word vomit on a page over and over until they edit the stuff out at the end, i should try writting a novel….
no that is just crazy idk like i have zero writting expereince etc

6. why the heck am i numbering these things its not like the numbers od anything and just are padding words out

The typing slips as it dawns on me that I have a bunch of words left to go…  I realize that deleting words will just prolong my crazy suffering so start leaving the terrible typos in.

how the frik are there still words on this right now like im pretty sure i have typed over 1000 words from the lsat tiem i checked, then again my ee was like 4000 and that just took legitimatly forwver to finish but finish i did

I start not captializing things now as I realize that that takes a few milliseconds of time that could be spent typing. Yes, that’s how desperate I became at that moment just to get my computer unlocked.

A turing point happens as I go off to another class.

test if this disappears I am screwed….

Since it was my first time using the app, I didn’t know what would happen if the computer went into screensaver mode and shut itself off to save battery. So I left a test before I went off.

If I returned and I didn’t see those words, the shut off quit the app and all the work I did on my project would be gone. If I still saw them…

so it didn’t disappear like I first thought, even thought my computure turned itself off brilliant!

I was still stuck in a particular brand of writer purgatory… great!

I then try to get clever and find topics to type about (since my phone is unlocked and I can access the internet unrestricted through it. I try my hand at transcribing… which goes as well as you would expect

its not that i didn;t have a healthy respect for the classics the classics

okaky so I suck at transcripbugn just realize how quick people read well speak compared to houw quickly people type currently listening to austin mcconnel video on silent films which is pretty good you should like check it out and stuff lets see what else can talk about as i killltime and my fingers writting away on this thingy

It’s around this point I’m concerned about the specs for my computer….

I wonder if keyborads have like absolut typing thing like how many times you can jam the keys o a keyboard until it just like fails on you like just falls appart

then again people don’t well the english lang doesn’t use each letter as many times in a sentence or in the lang as others, so i guess the e would lose its springyn edd the quickest. Then again tlike just vowels in general would prob die. I thing the leas dy one is the esc key cus when is the last time poeple use it well actuall the print screen button would prob lose aka come last as well

This madness goes on for a couple more paragraphs before I start noticing something… the clicky noise of key on a key board is slightly addicting…

So uhh… I go off the deep end a bit. Lets play a spontaneous game of guess the song!

just keep typing just keep typing, what do we do we type type type

do we dooo do we doooo do do doooo di di du di dooooo di dooooooo di dooooooooo whooosh

dum dum da da dum dum da di dooooo doooo do di dooo dooooo di da do di da do di da do diiii doooo di da diiiii doooo di da dum du dum di dum dum da di

de da di du da di du dummm de da di du da di da dummmm

da da da dummmmmm da da da dummmmm da da da dummmmm da da da diiiiii

bu dida bum dida bum dida dum do do do do di do do do do do do doo di du dudu

do di do di do da du di duuummm do do di duuuum do do di duuuuum

If you guessed the following:

Finding Nemo (Dory’s just keep swimming), Doctor Who theme song, Game of Thrones, Uptown Funk, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C minor, Bach’s Suite No. 2 Badinerie, Beethoven’s Für Elise

If so: You win.. nothing!

This is just a blog post, I don’t have prizes on offer.

Back to the train wreck, I then switch up the language cus all the English is getting a bit sore on the eyes, if you can even call what I typed English any more. Cue the German!

Hallo leute! Ich bin Rebecca und ich komme aus den USA, aber habe seit 8 Jahren in Hong Kong gelebt und studiert. Ich bin 20 Jahre alt und lerne sehr gerne Deutsch (auch wenn mein eigentliches Deutsch ziemlich schlecht ist). Willkommen in meinem interessanten Blog!

Yeah, it’s pretty bad. But I haven’t been learning it for that long… so hey, I tried my best!

Wrap this post up since it is getting a bit unwieldy. But for the curious basically the last bit of the entire thing is just me going like this:

qwe rty uio pas dfg hjk lzx cvb nmq qaz wsx edc rfv tgb yhn ujm ik, olp poiuytre kgd zxcvbn tg tyh uj ik f eyk fiyiy hasdf adsf asf asdfas dfasdf asfd af asfd sfa fasa sfdasd hpuh iuhiubpu h iqiuhiub uu pb fjqknf nnn ioeh;b

This goes on for a bit, then it goes to the next day where more of the same continues until I FINALLY MANAGE TO UNLOCK MY COMPUTER!

So yeah, that is why you should always check the number you key in before activating Cold Turkey Writer.

Or you know just use the timed version 😛

– Rebecca

P.s. And before you ask why I didn’t just copy and paste something over and over again… the app disables that as well… they really did think of everything!


An Update – What I’ve been up to…

Hi Readers,

I’ve been taking some time off to rest and relax, since… welll…

I crashed and burned last semester trying to take 6 courses, many of which also had full lab components with weekly expermiments + lab reports etc.

So I was sorta ignoring this blog for a while to just get away from writing stuff that had to do with academics and school. I hope you all understand, I might go into more depth about it but that is for a future post.

But I’m back now!

With more posts on the horizon so that I can get back into a productive mindset for the new sememster coming up. Fresh new start and all that!

In other exciting news, I’m going on exchange to the University of Leeds during my spring semester! (yes during Brexit)

So if you want to know more about that, I have a new blog “Away in Leeds” that basically talks about me preparing for that trip. It will also have a bunch of stuff related to HKU university life, in case people are thinking about going on exchange TO my university.

Link to that blog is HERE! (there are only half a dozen posts there at the moment, but with much more to come – especially in 2019)

So what will happen to this blog?

This one will be more academic related and goal oriented, while the other will talk more about hku culture and exchange planning.

I’ll test this two blog format out and see if it works, but I wanted to have a separate blog for exchange stuff, so that people could just look at the stuff they are interested in, rather than everything to do with my university life.

Lastly, there will be a new post coming out tomorrow about registering to vote in the USA Midterm Elections!

(Both because it is an important topic and because I feel as though you all deserve to have more posts after such a long absence)

So see you all tomorrow!


Day #8 – Filler: Writing a post about writing an essay about Kuhnian Revolutions

So the word count for the following few posts will be reduced since I will be super busy the next few days.

You know because I’ve got 1 assignment, 1 lab report, preparation for 1 presentation and research for 2 final history essays.

Oh and research for exchange.

And general exam revision.

Yay stress town!

Whoop Whoop! Yup.

Anyways, I’m going to be talking about Kuhnian revolutions for my 500(ish) words today. Why? Because it has to deal with one of my assignments and I have writer’s block right now about how to structure my essay, so this is just me rambling for a bit to get the creative juices flowing.

Think of this as the equivalent of scribbling in the corner of a piece of paper to get the ink flowing again.

So, back to Thomas Kuhn and his ideas about how scientific revolutions occur (which is a weird mix of history, science with philosophy thrown in just because)

Basically, there are 5 steps to a Kuhnian cycle.

  1. Normal Science – the area where research takes place, where major progress toward the field of knowledge is made
  2. Model Drift – An anomaly emerges, people start doubting the existing paradigm
  3. Model Crisis – The anomalies build to the point where the original paradigm collapses
  4. Model Revolution – A new model for explaining the phenomenon emerges
  5. Paradigm Change – The changed model begins to gain supporters and eventually becomes the new Normal Science

Oh and sometimes people include an extra step before normal science (called Pre-science) where scientist just begin to observe and understand the field before any laws or theories are made that are able to make advances in the area of knowledge.

To be honest, I think the model overly simplifies the complex process of scientific discovery. For example, sometimes an anomaly doesn’t lead to a new model that replaces the old, but creates a new branch of science entirely, like the creation of quantum mechanics being a new branch rather than taking over and replacing Newtonian physics. Or how revolutions in one field trigger model crisis in others, like how the theory of uniformitarianism in Geology lead to the challenging of creationism and the rise of evolution.

But yeah, interesting stuff. The more you think about it the more it falls apart except in very specific cases in physics in my opinion.

Or maybe that just because I study science and the thought that all notable discoveries can be shoehorned into a single framework just intuitively doesn’t feel right to me.

I’m not sure. 😛

That’s the problem with essays like this in my opinion. When you get to essays what get as philosophical as this, it becomes hard to articulate your stance, especially in a way where you sneak under the word count.

Other than this assignment, I’ve got a lab this Friday which is on the Hill reaction (related to photosynthesis). But yeah, week 1 of November is over, and now we are slowly ramping up to the crazy exam weeks…

Oh boy, here we go!

So that should be enough words by now (just checked. Yup!), see you later!


Day #6 – Zero ideas? Time for another “30 Minute Story” (#2)

Okay, so its only day 6 of this thing and already I’ve hit a writer’s block.

Well, it isn’t that I don’t have any ideas at the moment, more like I have a few ideas that either need more research, need more time to write about or are dead ends (like I was going to have one talking about how awesome the Dewey decimal system was, but turns out the dude was pretty terrible, stuff like that)

Since I’m running out of time, I will be doing another 30 minute story challenge.

See here for the rules, but the basic gist of it is a randomly generated first line from this website, and 30 minutes of pure typing with no deleting.

Ready? Set? Go!

Continue reading

Day 18 – 30 Minute Story #1

Since I am hitting writers block right now,  I decided to do something a bit different.

I have a semi-randomly generated “First Line” writing prompt (from Pantomimepony HERE), a timer for 30 minutes and I will try my best to write a coherent story with it.

Also no back button or editing, just pure writing since I am once again running low on time.

Think of it as the “Yes, and then…” improv method from drama.

So let’s do this!

The day my Mother was kidnapped, we ran away.

That move , strangely enough, turned out to be pretty darn terrible for me for me.

You see, the thing they don’t warn you in school about being a internationally wanted fugitive is that unlike walking or blending in with a crowd, running catches the eye.

Running is alarming, it causes people to turn around, to curse you out, and most fatal of all… stare. Look. Remember the features of that coffee brown and electric blue haired, wisp of a girl who is wearing a black wool coat run, somewhat clumsily, through the crowded train stations.

Rule one of my guide to evading a government who is hell bent on catching and arresting you: Don’t run.

Well, that is, if I live long enough to write it down somewhere.

Of course then they would just use my handwriting, compare it with those writing samples the government collected of us in kindergarten, and track my every move through even the darkest alleys of the city.

Fingerprint tracking was a thing of past, what with the rise of surgery and removal of that once vital part of the forensic polices arsenal. My protests against  removal of mine when I had the chance 10 years ago, like much of the advice my Mother gave me but threw a fit about at the time, is advice I wish I had listened to, and something that need to apologise for in the future. If I see her again….

Again, I say “Mother” but in this town, nothing is that simple. It’s complicated….

So now I’m stuck, on the run, with no plan of actions, no allies to help me and a backpack with a water bottle, a sleeping bag, a small knife… oh yeah, and my Mother’s diary containing all her research.

Yup. I’m dead.

So yeah…. that is a really rough, not even first draft of a sorta short story?? Putting that no backspace requirement is a lot harder than I thought…

Also I did waste a lot of time just sitting and thinking what to write, so this wasn’t really 30 minutes of work, more like 20 ish with 10+ devoted to thinking… what the heck did I get myself into????

Still though, there are some good things in it, I’ll probably revisit it later with a more polished draft or carry on the story with more stuff.

Perhaps I should do more of these in the future, since it was quite fun (albeit stressful) to write. Maybe then I can compare my 30 minute speed creative writing skills over time or something

But that’s it for now!


P.s. For future me’s records, I visited my secondary school today with a close friend. Also 3.8 GPA for this sem!!! (though with a B- in Ecology because of a stupid fish essay. Sad bubbles)