A very happy kitten

What Was Written? Kitten!

Written? Kitten! was created in 2011 as a fun alternative to WriteOrDie.com. WriteOrDie.com is a somewhat infamous web application that encourages writers by mitigating the tendency to procrastinate when writing. As long as you keep writing, you’re fine. But when you stop, you’re given a few seconds of grace, after which you are “punished” in varying degrees.

For example, in “gentle” mode, you get a friendly reminder when you stop writing. “Normal mode” will result in an unpleasant sound, while “kamikaze” mode forces you to keep writing—or the work will unwrite itself!

How Did the Written? Kitten! Website Work?

Writtenkitten.net was a lot gentler (and cuter!). The premise was very simple: write 100 words or more without stopping, and you’re rewarded with a randomly chosen image of a kitten. The website was easy to use, encouraging the user to hit writing and word count goals.

It was developed by Skud, Emily, and other contributors as a focus aid to get writers (kitten-loving writers, that is) to hit certain word counts when they were feeling unmotivated. When some writers are faced with a long assignment, breaking it down into smaller chunks can help the process. Being rewarded with images after a user chooses a set number of words (100, 300, 500, 1,000) can help to get stuck writer’s creative juices flowing. The concept is deceptively simple yet surprisingly effective to help get focused work done.