750 Words: A blogging tool to help you write faster
It’s a digital tool for keeping “morning pages,” a technique recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. Her recommendation is to start every day with “stream of consciousness writing.” She recommends writing three pages of longhand, or the equivalent of about 750 words.
750 Words is a community of writers where (digital) writing is the main goal. It’s not about socializing or promoting your blog or books. It’s all about writing and tracking your progress over time.
I’ve known about it for several years, but didn’t get serious about it until recently. I’m so glad I finally did. My writing speed has improved dramatically.
Why use 750 words as a blogging tool?
When you write here, no one is watching. You enter the space, write without any judgment, and watch your progress build over time.
It’s a tool that can free you up to write faster. If you’re having trouble meeting your blogging goals, this is the solution you’ve been seeking.
Start with a clean slate every day
Each day when you log in to 750 Words, you begin with a blank page. You don’t have to click here or there to get to your blank page. It’s the first thing you see. It’s so simple that even the technically challenged can manage it.
You get a quick overview of your stats for the current month. If you start writing, but don’t reach the 750 goal, you get a slash mark for the day. If you exceed 750 words, you get an X in the box for that day.
You see today’s date and you’re ready to get started. Here’s a sample from a writer at ProfHacker:
This screenshot from 2010 shows that there were 263 patrons at the time. Today the site has more than 3300 members.
Connect with your readers
Blogging is about producing interesting content that other people find entertaining or otherwise useful. Because there’s no “publish” button in 750 Words, you feel free to say what’s on your mind in an honest and courageous fashion. The faster you write, the more authentic you’ll be.
This is a great tool to knock out a blog post draft in 10-15 minutes. By staying liquid and real with your writing, you’ll attract more readers. If you over-edit, you can come across too stiff or sterile.
One of the benefits of having a blog is that you can go back and make edits at any time. There’s no need to spend too much time making sure every sentence is perfect. You can always go back and make changes tomorrow.
Generate content you can use later
As you’re writing from your stream of consciousness, you’ll come up with interesting memories, cool quotes, and good ideas. These are useful sentences and paragraphs you can add to your growing database of content.
This is a great way to get your thoughts in writing and generate a bunch of blog post ideas day after day. I usually write more than 750 words. As soon as I complete my daily entry, I copy/paste my text from 750 Words to Evernote so I can easily search for keywords later.
Daily practice helps you write faster
It provides you with statistics telling you how fast (words per minute) and how much (total number of words) you write on any given day. You compete with yourself to become a more productive writer. Here are some sample stats from Marian Schembari. On this day she wrote 78 words per minute and completed her 750 words in 10 minutes. Are you tracking your writing speed?
Get in the habit of writing every day
If you want to be a successful writer, the daily boxes and occasional badges motivate you to establish the daily habit of writing. Here’s what it looks like when you write every day of the month.
Notice that it took Kristen 12 minutes to write 750 words on this day. Since all the boxes are complete with an X, it means that she wrote every day in June. Check out Kristen Grainer‘s beautiful blog at Shutter & Spice.
Get some insight into how you’re feeling
In addition to providing statistics on your writing habits, you also get colorful pie charts on some of your overall feelings based on what you wrote. The faster you write, the better. This gives you insight into what topics you may or may not want to handle today.
Get a good idea of what’s on your mind
After you’ve completed your words, you get a visual picture of what topics were on your mind. On this day, I had an intention to write about my education. Based on my word cloud, I can see that I stuck to my topic.
If you don’t write with a specific intention, you can do some free writing and find out later what was most on your mind that day. It’s a fun discovery tool either way.
Connect with other bloggers
Although 750 Words isn’t designed for networking, you can see user names of other members and, in some cases, connect with them through social media. You can also keep an eye on 750 Words Facebook page for updates and ideas.
Should you use 750 Words?
If you want to be a consistent and successful blogger, 750 Words can help you establish three essential habits necessary for being a productive blogger:
- write daily
- write fast
- edit later