Have you tried 750words.com?

Bonnie in the daffodils (nothing whatsoever to do with 750words!)

Have you come across ‘750words‘?

It’s been recommended to me by a couple of people, so I thought I’d take a look. It’s ‘an on-line journaling tool’ – a site to encourage a daily writing habit.

My friend, who (her words) ‘suffers from procrastination’ and what she calls ‘laziness’ (but I suspect is actually lack of confidence, headspace and time…) is finding it really motivating.

Because once you start and get a few days under your belt, you don’t want to stop (indeed, the site is full of quotes from people who’ve done amazing things, like not missed a day of their 750 words for years!).

Now, before you get all excited (like I was), I need to tell you something. It’s not free. But the first month is, so I’m going to try it for a month and see what I think. After that, if I want to carry on, it’s $5 per month. Which is £3.78 (as I write this), so not much more than a big Costa coffee.

So, how does it work? Once you’ve registered (quick and easy), you are encouraged to post 750 stream-of-consciousness words every day (ie: write them directly onto the website. It’s a brain-dump, a clearing of the mind, a form of writerly meditation). This is for your eyes only, it’s not published anywhere on the site.

It’s unashamedly based on Julia Cameron’s ‘Morning Pages’ (the idea of Morning Pages is that you handwrite 3 pages of A4 every day, which usually comes out at about 750 words. Obviously, it depends on the size of your handwriting but most people write about 250 words to a page) but the clear difference is that Morning Pages are written by hand and 750words involves typing.

So, what’s the difference between joining 750words and just typing away on your laptop in Word for half an hour every day?

1. If you like a ‘community feel’ to writing (eg: if you like NaNoWriMo) then this could be for you. Writing’s a lonely business, as we all know. 750words lets you see who else is on-line and writing alongside you (albeit virtually!).

2. Apparently, (I say apparently because I haven’t got that far yet!), there are email reminders and a motivational rewards system. (Cute animal badges! eg: you get a penguin for a 5-day writing streak).

3. There’s a handy word count at the bottom of the page and the site automatically saves your work every 10 seconds. If your computer goes kaput, all your work will still be stored on 750words.

4. There are stats and pie charts and things like that (that show you your state of mind, most used words, etc), if you like a visual representation of how much writing you’ve done.

5. You can, of course, write more than 750 words. And you don’t have to use the site as writing meditation/Morning Pages/journaling. You could use it to store your 1000 words a day on that novel you’re writing.

Take a look and if anyone else signs up for the free month’s trial (or perhaps you’re already a regular on the site), I’d be interested to hear what you think and if it’s helped your writing.

Other News:

1. I’ve finished reading dozens and dozens of stories for the Evesham Festival of Words short story competition and the next stage is to agree on the longlist, with the other reader. I’ll be blogging about the experience in the next couple of weeks, once the judge has chosen her winner and runners-up.

2. I had my payment from those lovely people at the ALCs last week and it was certainly worth having. (In fact, 81% of ALCS members paid in their latest distribution received between £100 and £1,000).

If you’ve had any stories or articles published in British journals or magazines (not newspapers – and that includes The Weekly News), in the past 3 years, then it’s really worth joining.

There’s lots of information on their website and a handy piece here from Simon Whaley on ‘Understanding your ALCS Statement’.

3. I only need another 13 followers to get up to 900 and then I’ll be running another of my free-to-enter flash fiction competitions!

4. TEETH: I have been to my new dentist and she is lovely! I have also worked out that my jaw ache could be tree pollen allergy (it interferes with your sinuses) because when I go away from here – ie: to a town – for a few days, it goes away.

4. My friend came for lunch today with her dog and they left the dog’s teddy behind… (another excuse for a cute photo).

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11 Responses to Have you tried 750words.com?

  1. I have tried 750, but I prefer long hand journaling. Still, I think 750words is a great idea.

    Aw, cute teddy (monkey?).

    Congrats getting to almost 900!

    • I agree, Priscilla, I think I prefer journaling by hand too but I might just give it a go for a month and see what happens. Yes, I think it is a monkey, isn’t it? Too nice for a dog toy really!

  2. ellem63 says:

    What a beautiful photo of Bonnie and the one of her friend’s soft toy … Oh and thank you for the info on 750 words com. Sounds good, I’ll have a look. ☺

    • Thank you! I am rather pleased with that picture, I must say. Had to go into ‘pheasant territory’ in order to take it, so the reason she’s looking so pleased with herself (and sticking her tongue out) is because she’s just run around like a loony for five minutes, chasing birds! (and not, I hasten to add, catching any).

  3. I’m not sure I’d want to write 750 words first thing every day but I did get into a habit recently of writing for a few minutes each morning (50-100 words) about childhood memories and memories of my grandparents to add to my Family History “archive”. They were only simple things – how my gran used to cut a loaf of bread horizontally after buttering it first, for instance – but it’s amazing how each one prompted another thought and over a couple of weeks I gathered quite a list!

    • Yes, Wendy, I did something similar last year: on waking I picked up my pad and pen and wrote notes/scenes for my novel for about 10 minutes. It is, as you say, amazing how the words build up and I think it’s also about getting into the habit of writing (which I suppose is what the 750 words is about).

  4. juliathorley says:

    I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with 750 words, but I’m afraid it might give me just one more thing to get stressy about!

  5. Freya Writes says:

    This looks brilliant. I’d heard of 750 words but didn’t realise it was a website. Tempted to give it a try. Let us know how you get on 🙂

    • Why don’t you have a go, Freya? It’s easy to sign up and it won’t cost you a penny for the first month, so you can see if you think it’s worthwhile. I’ve done it for 3 days in a row now (just about to do the fourth!) and because I can touch type it’s only taking me about 12 minutes (doing it by hand used to take me nearer to 30). It’s not quite the same as Morning Pages (by hand) and I suspect the benefits won’t be as good but I’ll keep going and yes, I’ll let you know what I think!

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