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Our Stories

These are our stories. Everyday people from around the world who were changed by 4thewords.

You can read these stories, say hello to the people behind them, and find more stories just like these in our forum.
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Ed’s Story
I’ve always been a writer and a gamer, but writing for me was hard. I’d walk my dog, turn my phone on silent, close my door and finally sit down to write only to be faced with writer’s block. I felt stuck, was constantly switching tactics to get motivated, and I was slowly starting to feel like I couldn’t write - like I wasn’t a writer.

Until one day my gaming side kicked in and I decided to give writer’s block a name “Wignow” and if I defeated this Wignow I’d reward myself with a chocolate. I now had an opponent that was getting in the way of my writing and felt energized and excited to take on the challenge. That day I wrote more words than I had in months and I finally felt like the powerful creative I knew I was.

That day writing became fun again and everything changed. I would now wake up looking forward to the monsters I would fight that day and the words and stories that would flow out of me as a result of that. I felt like a kid again, killing imaginary monsters, writing stories and bringing to life the worlds that used to live only in my imagination.

I didn’t know it back then, but on that day 4thewords was born. A place where we kill monsters with our words, earn rewards for writing and level up our heroes. We are a community of warriors, of writers, of dreamers, and together, we are saving our world from a poisonous dust that infects others with fear.

We are Dust Warriors and we fight our fears!
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Naodrith’s Story
I happened to join 4thewords during a notoriously busy month for me, while stage managing a show at a theatre an hour from my home. Usually, in July, I spend about three weeks writing absolutely nothing. Instead, my membership here has driven me to keep working every single day, usually getting down thousands of words! This is exactly the kind of motivation I always needed and didn't know existed - I'm having fun writing, it's exciting, and most days, I keep going when I otherwise would have called it, to finish off just one more monster. I can't wait to see what's next for 4tw!
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Aliakai’s Story
I have ADHD and I'm a professional writer. These two things, as I'm sure you can imagine, don't tend to mix well.

I love the idea of gamification and have tried a number of apps, websites, and systems to motivate myself to write. There is nothing like 4thewords out there that even comes close to the level of motivation and forward movement when it comes to my writing life.

With a massive selection of monsters, a fantastic story line, stats that actually matter, and the most supportive community (and clean forum) of any game or site I've ever called home, 4theWords is a must use for any writer who also happens to be a gamer.

I went from 1-2k words a day to 3-5k, just one more monster, one more fight, and all those monsters and fights meant one thing: productivity. Manuscripts being finished. I may have started my first novel off the site, but I finished it here, alongside my first novella. Now I'm deep into the third book in the series and find myself logging in on my days off just to make sure my streak continues.
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Mikonoda’s Story
For decades I've been a binge writer - I'll write an insane number of words in some short amount of time, then do nothing for months or even years. While this does give me what looks like a decent number of words per year, the reality is that I got rusty between writing bouts, so it was as if I was starting all over again each time.

I've tried many different methods to keep me going, spent years with a spreadsheet tracking my words each day and trying to encourage myself to keep a streak, but nothing really worked. Until 4thewords. The game aspect of it gives me a real reason to get those words out; monsters to fight, loot to win, equipment to make you better, quests to fill. Actually seeing my streak count go up each day - and that awful broken link in the calendar if I miss a day! - is far more motivating that having the number in a spreadsheet only I ever see. And of course, having friends to encourage and be encouraged by is a great motivator.

I have recommended 4thewords to every writer I know, and will continue to do so. I'm now nearly 8 months in and still going strong, which is far longer than I've ever managed before. The only person who doesn't love the change is my poor beta reader, who is now drowning in new chapters to read, lol. But that's only fair, since she also writes on the site and I have just as many chapters of hers to get through, too.
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BriarMorgan’s Story
I'll put it simply: I was a writer in a massive slump that I couldn't break for a couple of months. I hated my words, I hated trying to write. I was feeling pretty low. I happened to see the site cross my tumblr, and I decided to try out the site on a whim.

My first day here, I wrote 5 chapters of a fanfic I was about to give up on. 5 chapters in a single sitting...over 9k words.

The game-ification of the site is exactly what I needed. Long term goals, short term goals, quests, timers. No other site I've come across blends gameplay and reward systems quite the same way.

I'm in the middle of rewriting my novella. I've been on a month and a few days long streak of writing. I never hit just the minimum I need to maintain it. I often end up doubling, or more commonly, tripling that number with ease.

Writing's been a big part of my life, going hand in hand with reading. Thank you so much for making it fun for me again.
Worldbuilder avatar
ChloeG’s Story
Writing is a lonely thing to do, scaling a wall of words by yourself as friends and family raise an eyebrow at you for how much time you're investing into 'this writing thing'. Even with supportive family, it's still just you and a blank page.

4theWords has given me something other than a blank page (or a spreadsheet) to keep my writing company. It's massively motivating, it's fun, and it breaks my writing down into the next manageable piece. My wordcounts have gone steadily up as I've played - for approaching two years. More, though, I've found my people. Crazy ones who write even more than I do, people that I miss when we go through a quiet spell. I belong here.

The game costs money. As a rule, I firmly forbid myself to spend money on online games, because it's a rabbit hole without a return. But I look at my results and I find inescapable proof that the game has value. I write more. I'm happier. My writing is more focused. I'm creating assets, and 4theWords is a valuable tool that helps me do that. In that light, I pay my subscription costs without hesitation, because I'm getting exactly what I want for that money.
Student avatar
JoMouse’s Story
I challenged myself to write 500 words a day for the whole year (2019). I was doing really well until around July when my motivation had pretty much become nonexistent and I barely made the daily goal. I had heard about 4thewords from someone on Tumblr and had given it a half-hearted look, but in July I took it seriously and it made a difference immediately. I started getting my word count easily again and didn't stress as much on getting the words perfect and instead focused on just getting them out first and edit later. I honestly think I would've given up on my goal if it weren't for 4thewords.
Professional writer avatar
Sadraska’s Story
While I've never really struggled to sit down and write, when I hit that dreaded wall of writer's block, I find that writing my way through it is the best way to break it. The only way I can manage that is if I have something wildly different to work on while my pet project simmers. Brainstorming on what to do there is where I always find myself getting lost to an endless chain of solitaire games on the laptop. Or the ever deepening rabbit hole of social media.

However, by mixing the quests and monster battles with word counts and writing sprints, I'm finally find my way through my own distractions! This is absolutely genius and I've been needing something like this all along. Apps that would block out my phone are never enough and the siren's call of the internet beyond my word documents were irresistible before now.

Thank you guys for making a site that uses my love of gaming to keep me on track and working.
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Atw2006’s Story
Honestly, I thought I wrote a lot before I joined 4thewords. As much as I could, I thought. I regularly had 1,000 word days, and produce massive amounts of fanfiction and entire novels.

But with this? I've had 10,000 word days, and while they aren't common the 5,000 or 3,000 ones are. Not only am I more productive, but it makes writing more fun.

If only I could motivate myself to do everything as easily as I can motivate myself to write with this website!.
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RayeBerry’s Story
Hey All, I'm not as active on the Forums, but I must say that 4TheWords has helped me SO much! I am someone who wants to write so much, but I slack for a variety of reasons. I used to write in School a lot, but it's just not happening as fluidly anymore because no one is requiring me to write. I do things that I feel responsible for, and although writing always gave me happiness, I felt it was irresponsible to do it just because I love it.

Of course, this is a horrible way to think. This is not right. All I needed was a writing program to help me feel responsible for my writing. The dishes can wait. I don't need to take the trash out before I write 450 words. The most admirable things can get in the way of making my dreams come true.

Then 4TheWords came along, and I'm forever grateful!

When less important responsibilities call my name, I can say "Can't talk, I have to go fulfill my responsibilities as a dust warrior!"
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DanteDeo’s Story
4thewords has been an amazing tool for helping me stay productive. I'm a full-time writer, and quite frankly, the job can get dull. The stories in your own head are endlessly entertaining, sure, but the actual discipline of putting them down is a whole other bag of cats. This site has been immensely helpful in that regard, and also for my mental health.
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Raitenshi’s Story
It used to be much harder to motivate myself to write. I'm not a slouch per say, I did manage to write 400k words last year over the course of some books that I had a contract with, so I was obligated to write them.

But finding this site has made my output unbelievable. I was able to put in my goal of a million words for this year, that I had thought was unattainable, and saw how it divided it up into words I needed to write daily. And I saw it, I could do that!

Plus with all the quests and the challenges that come with it, and the events. This has been the best site I've ever found and I've had to suggest it to so many other authors I know. We even have a group chat called 'You SHOULD be 4thewording!' and as we post screenshots to each other and share our successes and failures, it just makes the whole experience even better.

I'm really looking forward to what those editing monsters will look like, whenever they may appear in the far future.
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IAMWolf’s Story
Instead of getting 2,000 words a day, I'm averaging 4,000-7,000 words. And that's also on the two days I have to take care of my little granddaughter too. Those used to be non-writing days that I might manage 500 words each day.

I have a 10-year old book that I had 20,000 words on and in just a month, I added 50,000 words to it while working on two other books. I figured that book wouldn't be ready to publish for another 10 years at the rate I was going on it. So it's nearly done and in January, I have nearly finished two other novels, one at 80K and the other at 60K. I never would have been able to write that much and still get a lot life stuff accomplished at the same time! It keeps me from getting distracted while I quickly write sections of the book while fighting the monsters. So 4thewords has really helped me keep on track, and beyond.
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EftNewt’s Story
I have always loved writing, but never felt I could put time into it. I have found the motivation and have written over 100,000 words on a story. It is nearly finished. 4TW took me through my first Nanowrimo and made it possible for me to write more than I ever have before. In addition, it has been a huge game changer for my two adolescent children. My son (14 yrs) struggles with dyslexia and dysgraphia and hates to write. He has turned his Language arts grade completely upside down. Now I assign him an essay for school which once would have led to tantrums and tears, and he says, "Only 400 words? No problem, mom. I will get right to it!" My daughter (12 yrs) on the other hand, loves to write. This has given her the opportunity to share her passionate fiction with many others and to write to her heart's content, feeling validated and rewarded by the game itself in addition to my own comments and suggestions. My mother is even a member now and is writing a fictionalized version of her life story for all to enjoy.

Thank you so much for creating this website and offering it at such a reasonable rate. You have been a blessing to our family!
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ruffboi’s Story
Dear 4tw team,My name is Mags. I'm in my mid-30s, I am disabled including a developmental disability (ADHD). I am also a former "Gifted Child" in that I was a very advanced reader for my age, as well as being good at naturally absorbing and recounting information in my early school years, and... well, as many many former gifted kids can tell you, it led to a lot of struggle as I got older, especially with depression and an untreated developmental disability and an unsupportive family.

I mention this because one of the issues I struggle with to this day is a very awful sort of perfectionism, where if I can't do something perfectly, my brain essentially shuts down all executive functioning when it comes to that thing, because if I can't be perfect - or close to perfect - I might as well just not do it, because the way I was treated academically by my parents and teachers led me to essentially equate "not perfect" with "essentially worthless". So if I am trying to create a new habit or build some kind of streak, even if it's something as inconsequential as "remember to log in on flight rising and feed my imaginary dragons every day", and I miss a day, that very quickly turns into just... not going back, sometimes for weeks, months, or even YEARS.

It would have been SO EASY for 4tw to be that sort of thing. For me to somehow, miraculously, build a 35 day streak and then miss one day, see my progress reset to 0, and not come back for years. I did it the first time I tried 4tw in 2018, and never managed to come back until recently. After all, if I'm only going to fail, I shouldn't be PAYING for a service I'm not using, right?

Except that's not what happened, because when I had my first day that I couldn't write until after I'd already broken my streak? I could repair it. And then the second time. And the third.

I've missed a fair number of days in the past 130 (my current streak), either unable to write at all, unable to meet the goal count, or unable to get those words into 4tw before midnight. But because my streak is still intact, I've been able to come back, each time, and keep going. This is HUGE for me. It means the world to feel like, even if I didn't manage to write today, I haven't FAILED.

So thank you, for giving us this way to repair broken streaks (or to plan ahead - thank you for that too!), and for making it not overly difficult to get more stempos should we need them, either via words or small amounts of crystals. Thank you for letting a broken perfectionist like me find a way to feel like not succeeding on any given day is not the same thing as FAILING, because that is something I need badly in my life, especially if I'm going to keep writing.

All my love to every one of you,
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RowanGalad’s Story
4thewords is so important to me. I'm working on a dissertation right now, a project which essentially requires that I produce words constantly. 4thewords sometimes feels like the only reason I ever get anything done. I have a really hard time with focus and self-motivation, but I'm very goal-oriented. I find myself looking forward to working every day instead of dreading it; I'm excited about getting to defeat another monster and complete another quest. This website makes working actually kind of fun--even when I really don't want to do it. The art is super cool. Also, the community is SO supportive and wonderful. It's one of the only subscriptions I actually don't mind paying for.
If I hadn't found 4thewords I don't know where I'd be in my work. So, thank you.
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MarenSmith’s Story
In June, I opened my personal 'publishing house' to my author friends and became an actual business. This caused my work as an author to fall by the wayside a bit, and I got dangerously far behind. I was using Write or Die, but all the things that were fun for me about that program hadn't actually been a functioning part of it since the first edition. I went online to see if I could find another program like it. What I found was I could not love this site more. Do you have any idea how long it's been since I've had the time to play any kind of computer game? Well, this really isn't a game-game, but it is an awesome substitute via which I've written 2 full books in the last 2 months. I am caught up now. I am, in fact, ahead of schedule and I couldn't tell you how much fun I have challenging myself to keep going, keep writing, get that quest done. I only have one complaint: I wish I'd found this page sooner. I can only imagine how much more I'd have finished by now if I had.
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StuddedLotus’s Story
4thewords has been the greatest tool that I've ever had access to when it comes to writing. I've wanted to be a writer since I was in the 3rd grade but I've struggled to stay motivated and on task. Even if I sat myself in front of my computer to type there were so many days where absolutely nothing was written at all or maybe I only was able to get an idea down but not expad on it. The beauty of 4thewords is that it gives me enough motivation to want to complete the quests with my words and just using the free trial I was able to completely get out an entire outline and character bibles for the entire story! I loved the results so much I intend on remaining a subscriber and I'm already working on my first rough draft. In just a little over a month I've made more progress with obtaining my goals & dreams than I ever have before. 30 out of 10 would recommend
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