Guest post: 750 words

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Longtime readers of this blog will remember guest blogger Kate Marshall, who’s back this morning to introduce us to what sounds like a great new tool for writers:

You know, had I only confined my obsessive collecting and acquisition tendencies to ONE habit, I might have been okay. But no, I had to go and hoard all manner of writing implements besides fountain pens and cool notebooks. You think I keep Scrivener and MacJournal around because they’re fun to use? (Okay, that’s part of it). The newest addition to my Collection of Writing-Related Tools is [insert drumroll] Okay, so it’s kind of hard to “collect” an entire website (but don’t think I haven’t tried). According to 750Words founder, Buster Benson, the site was inspired by the idea of “morning pages”– writing at least three pages first thing in the morning, to get the creative muscles warmed up. Benson’s is an electronic realization of that exercise. As much as we’re all about pen, paper, and writing in longhand over here, many writers are more comfortable composing with a keyboard instead (heck, I often go back and forth between the two methods, depending on what I’m working on). Also, maybe you have a situation where you can’t always have *your* computer (or phone or tablet) with you but you have *a* computer with an internet connection: Time to write some pages!

I started using the site about three weeks ago. Each day that you write at least 750 words, you get points. At the beginning of each month, your score resets (Benson compares it to bowling scores). Racking up so many consecutive days worth of writing gets you different badges on your profile, for fun. You can also friend other users and participate in site-wide challenges.

I do A LOT of “personal” writing but I was surpised by how easy it was to create a habit out of 750Words. The site has fun motivational messages after you write and it taps into the same “task/reward” system that gets me through National Novel Writing Month. Heck, sometimes, I even write my pages in something like MacJournal or on my Alphasmart and then copy them to 750Words (since internet access is the only requirement, your scores could be affected by say, a week’s vacation at a place without Internet access).

Wait, the Alphasmart? What’s that, Kate? Oh sweetie– next time. *Trust me*.

Happy writing!

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