A text editor that hacks your attention by turning writing into a game.

Freewriter combines writing a classic exercise and gaming. Free-writing is a method originating from Jack Kerouac, designed to suspend anxiety from deadlines and self-criticism. The game aspect provides immediate feedback while you're writing and a focus score after each session.

When you get stuck, write that. Or write the first sentence again and see what comes out.

“Be submissive to everything. Open. Listening. No time for poetry, but exactly what is.”
- Jack Kerouac

"Don’t try to control it. Stay present with whatever comes up, and keep your hand moving. First thoughts, the way we see the world when we are free from prejudice and can see the underlying principles."
- Natalie Goldberg

"My friend who was beginning her first novel said that she would sit at the typewriter for the first ten minutes and just write about what a terrible writer she was, what a jerk she was to even attempt a novel. Then she pulled out that sheet of paper, tore it up, and began on the task at hand—the next chapter of her novel."
- Natalie Goldberg

Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
14 Ratings
14 Ratings

Great idea, weak execution.

Freewriter in a nutshell: it’s a game where you try to keep your line of words from sinking to the bottom of a screen by not editing.

Did you miss-hit some keys? Keep typing. Did the last thing you wrote sound dumb to you? Keep typing.

This is good and bad. It’s the kind of writing you can decide to do with a pen and paper in a cafe somewhere, but here you’re doing it at your computer. With your computer, you get a text file so you don’t have to transcribe from handwriting later. You can edit out the bad stuff and neaten up the niceties, and your writer’s journey continues, huzzah!

That’s the good part.

The bad part is that it’s a one-trick-pony of a program with the completion and nuance of a highschool programming project.

Freewriter has next to no controls, nearly no parameters or preferences to set. Want to scream along for one minute? Too bad. Want to grit your teeth and play it for ten uninterrupted minutes? Tough luck, buddy. You signed up for a one-size-fits all minds solution, and that means limits and sometimes the limits are galling.

I understand the use of the thing, and I think I will continue to use it, but I’d be a lot happier if it were a little better. It would be a fine thing if it offered you a little more freedom.

This review was written using only freewriter.


I like it; can be improved

I like this app, though I have a couple of suggestions for making it better.

What I like: The falling text encourages you to keep writing. If the words hit the bottom of the screen, nothing dire happens (like the words disappearing completely). The fullscreen mode blocks out other distractions. It tells you at the end (in a percentage) what your focus was.

What would make it better: Ability to adjust the timer—it doesn’t do any more or less than 5 minutes at a time. Sometimes, I like to free write for 10 or even 20 minutes at a time. You can hit “continue writing” once the time is up, but it interrupts the flow of the free write.

Also, I’d prefer if no backspaces were allowed. I don’t often backspace while free writing, but occasionally automatic instinct kicks in, and I backspace. You can train yourself to not backspace, but for those who are working towards it, no backspacing would make it even better.


Very awesome!

This app is awesome and really well made! Easy 5 stars and something that I would pay for. My only wish was that it had a destructive consequence mode like Flowstate has. It does an amazing job of motiviating you to continue typing at a fast speed by seeing your words staying afloat, but some negative reinforcement (loosing your work) would also be a nice option. Thanks for making it!


Morten Petersen
1.5 MB
OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© Morten Just


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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