I was recently introduced to a website called 750words, a site based off of an idea in the book, The Artist’s Way. This book encourages writers to freewrite Morning Pages every day, to clear your head, and get the ol’ creative juices flowing. Mandy Stadt, a contributor on xoJane swears by the “Morning Pages” concept. She stuck to this stream-of-consciousness style of freewriting for a year. “I started doing it in 2004,” she writes, “I was divorced, 40 pounds lighter, and in a dream job a year later.” It took writing three pages, every day, without stopping, for her to realize what she really wanted wanted out of her life – it was all right in front of her, on the pages she had written.
Stadt also explains how these pages made her a better writer. She got rid of that nagging censor in her head, and got much quicker because she stopped over thinking and obsessing over every single word.
I’ve been doing this practice for only a few weeks, and I already see these changes in my writing.
750words.com challenges it’s users to write these pages on their site every day. It logs the days that you reach the goal, and the days that you don’t. It logs when you take a break that exceeds three minutes. It gives you points for staying on schedule, and badges for breaking your own personal records. This isn’t LiveJournal though- everything you write is totally private.
Now, I could open up a word document or a notebook and write until my word count is at 750, but what I like about using the site is the sense of accountability it provides. I enjoy logging in every day, and seeing my calendar- full of X marks on the days I remembered to write. And overtime, it collects data: I can see how many words I’ve written the whole month, my average wpm, and how long it takes me to write on average.
Writing 750 words might not sound too hard, but some days I feel I’ve written all that I want to write by about word 298. From there, I force myself to write about something. Anything. Sometimes it becomes a longwinded stream of consciousness about what’s bothering me, sometimes it’s a never ending list of things to do, or movies I want to see, or a half formed idea for a script. But, regardless, this site gives me the push to write a little more, and little extra, and I come up with paragraphs and ideas and thoughts I wouldn’t otherwise have written.
Buster Benson runs the site. He’s cool.
**My one complaint is that I totally forget the site exists. Every single day. I would love a little daily reminder email.