As a writer I have read just about everything published on the art of writing and writing practice, including the many works by Julia Cameron. I have even reviewed The Artist’s Way here. Ms Cameron tells her readers to expect resistance to a.m. pages but to persist. I have persisted but the daily jousting match with Blanche (the recently named inner critic – thanks to Barbara Stanny) brought me no pleasure.
By chance I came across 750words. From memory it was a post over at Lifehacker that pointed me to the site and I am oh so grateful for the introduction.
www.750words.com is very simple to use. There are various log in options via accounts that you will probably already have such as Facebook or Google. When I joined, Facebook was the only option and, at the moment at least, there isn’t a way to change your log in without setting up a new account. I admit to being slightly twitchy that my outpourings on my electronic pages could somehow find themselves on my Facebook wall. I have no trust in technology! If you share my feelings about Facebook you might want to use one of the other log in options to create your account.
www.750words.com is free to use although Buster, the founder, has just introduced a patron scheme whereby users can make micro donations to support the running of the site. As an aside, it has been interesting to observe how Buster has introduced the voluntary contribution – I applaud the Third Tribe way in which has handled the matter.
The text input screen is clean and clear with no visual distractions. You are encouraged to type your writing practice directly on to the screen and not to cut and paste. (It is worth copying and pasting your completed work, I think, at least until you can be sure the autosave has worked).
Points are awarded each day based on how many words you write and whether you allowed yourself to be distracted.
Each month there is a challenge. It has been a real surprise to see the rate of attrition from the March challenge. I suddenly felt ‘normal’.
I guess I’m not the only one who struggles with a daily writing practice then :-/
The daily writing practice of Morning pages is simply stream of consciousness writing. Not to be judged. Not even to be read, at least not immediately. There is a function at 750words for your writing to be exported for other uses if you so wish. The words are not to be shared or published (unless you choose) they are a way of exercising those writing muscles.
A newer function recently introduced at 750 words is the metadata. This allows you to track your own keywords which can be useful if you are focused on a particular area of life at the moment.
The statistics are really interesting. All sorts of clever stuff goes on under the hood of the site and the result is a whole load of interesting information about the writer. So far it has been spookily accurate. The statistics, the points and the leader board together with the Wall of Awesomeness and the Wall of Shame inject some fun into what had become, for me at least, a chore.
If you enjoy writing, are a writer or aspire to become one, the facility over at 750words.com really is an excellent way to ensure you practice your writing skills – every day.