Write 750 Words Every Day
One of my goals with this blog was to post regularly. A quick look back at the recent posts and it is clear that I failed to deliver on that. In an effort to increase posting consistency I’ve set a new goal of writing something every day. I’ve been using a web application called 750 Words to help me with this.
What It’s All About
The About page on 750 words gives you the gist of the idea:
Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day, typically encouraged to be in “long hand”, typically done in the morning, that can be about anything and everything that comes into your head. It’s about getting it all out of your head, and is not supposed to be edited or censored in any way. The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day.
Establishing a Daily Habit
One of the biggest benefits of the site for me has been in encouraging the daily habit of writing. 750 words does this by keeping track of your streaks and assigning points based on how often you write.
It will also track your progress in comparison with other users. It ranks everybody based on their points & calculates the average time it took to reach 750 words & how many words per minute that works out to.
These stats create incentive to participate. This is a common approach in both social networks & in video games to encourage participation and for me it definitely works. As you can see I’ve only missed one day since I’ve started. Without these statistics I am positive that would not be the case.
Writing Behind Closed Doors
Another key element of 750 words is the fact that your entries are private. I could not churn out three pages of content for this blog in under 20 minutes. Under the public eye I scrutinize every word and a simple blog post like this one ends up taking over an hour.
The other benefit of keeping the writing private is that you get to write about things you wouldn’t write about publicly. Just the act of writing some of these things down helps me clear my head. This is the journal aspect of the site.
For example, I have found that it works really well as a dream log. I don’t dream every night, but when I do it easily provides enough content for 750 words. This is stuff I wouldn’t want to share with the world but is still worth writing down.
Writing in the Open
Coming back to the original reason I started using 750 words, I am hoping that developing a daily writing habit will also help me get into the habit of posting here regularly. One of the ways I’ve been using 750 words is to brainstorm ideas for this blog in a stream of consciousness format.
Previously I’ve used the mind mapping tool Mindmeister for this purpose. This works well for quickly capturing a bunch of related points, but I have found that it doesn’t give me enough context for a full post. I am hoping that 750 words can serve as an intermediary step that will help me get some of those ideas into sentences.
I guess we will see how well it works over the next few weeks. In the meantime, I highly recommend giving 750 words a shot if you’re at all interested in developing a writing habit.