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.
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.
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).