Thursday, November 6, 2014

ilys Review

Okay, you guys. I have to write a quick post about ilys.

Who has heard of this? Go to and watch the intro video featuring creator Michael Gurevich (click on What is ilys?), read the FAQs, and if you're still not convinced, read the feedback. If you're too lazy to follow the link, then here's the ilys gist: You put your word count goal into the little robot, you hit start, and the text box in which you type will only show you one letter at a time. Like this:

So you can't see what you're writing and you can't edit until you reach your goal. You are just caught in the pure flow of your thoughts.

One of my challenges with writing is that I find it very difficult to shut off the internal editor. I love editing, cutting things apart and making them better. Unfortunately, when you're doing this as you're creating an initial manuscript, this makes for a very slow rough draft.

Rough drafts aren't supposed to be perfect. They're not even supposed to be good. Because of my latent perfectionist tendencies, I have a lot of trouble doing a real ROUGH draft. My initial draft is usually very clean (very few typos, etc) because I'm editing as I go. Slow. Slow. Slow.

But then I discovered ilys and this awesome little robot and it is the answer to that pesky internal editor. Since I'm doing NaNoWriMo, this was the perfect opportunity to try out ilys. Especially since the goal of NaNoWriMo is a quick and dirty draft to get your juices flowing. 50,000 words in 30 days. While it didn't really seem possible for me looking at it at on October 31st, thanks to ilys, the word count goal is going to be no problem. And this draft is dirty. Seriously. Here's an excerpt from my draft:

"What mission?" and I"m thinking it's a game. Some kind of crazygame that he got involved in witout telling me. Why didn't he tell me? Maybe he's just got this id software upgrade that scrambles any lens and makes it so that people can't ID him in the network, and he's just a straigh-up gamer afterall. Thinking like that starts to make me laugh. So I'm standing into front of this lady laughing. 

I would never have been able to write like that before using ilys. And while reading through it made my inner editor start to itch, the flow ilys unlocks is pretty incredible. It would normally take me an hour to do 500 words on a rough draft, but with ilys I can do 500 words in 20 minutes.

I haven't actually looked back at any of my pages yet, that's how buried my editor is right now. Which is PERFECT for the rough draft. (Reading through to find an excerpt was painful.)

So thanks, Michael Gurevich, for creating ilys. It's like the deus ex machina for my rough draft.

*Just so you guys know, I do not know Michael Gurevich. He didn't pay me to write this. I'm just so happy with ilys that I need to spread the love.


  1. I am going to have to use this.

  2. Oooooo... That's pretty awesome.

  3. I think this is the first time that I've been able to truly let go and just write. ilys is simply genius!

  4. Love this software. Simple, smart, easy. Gets my editor brain out of the way of my creative brain. Thanks Mike G.

    1. Me too! Thanks for reading and commenting. Spread the ilys love!

  5. Wow, thank you very much for sharing ilys, Alicia! <3 AWESOME!

  6. I featured your review of this on my huge master post of NaNoWrimo tips! Thanks for this!


What do you think?