One thing that I’ve learned (though it’s something that I’ve also known, sometimes you can know something and not truly know it until you learn/ feel it) is that I need to write.
In a way, it doesn’t matter what I’m writing, or why. I just need to do it. I need to crank out words onto an open screen. I need to release my secrets into Moleskine journals. I need to find pretty paper and write lovely letters. I need to stop and asses my day. I need to purge thoughts onto the screen before I can full comprehend my own feelings. I need to spread my thoughts over the Internet, risking over sharing for the option of reaching out. I need a place to stick the stories I create. I need to mold them into reality by the way of words.
In short. I need to write. There’s no way around it. Every since I was in second grade and we started writing exercises on computers, I’ve needed to write. I asked for a computer for Christmas and Santa brought a shiny new black and white MS Dos computer. At school we wrote short stories. I really feel like that was the beginning of everything. Of where I am today.
And so I come to tell you about 750 Words. I’ve made this post before, though it’s never seen the real Internet world. Every version is a little different, but still every version is a little bit closer to what I want to say.
750 Words is a website based off Julia Cameron‘s idea of “morning pages” it’s what you write before you write anything else, the brain dump that gets you going. It’s your warm up exercise to accompany your cup of tea. There are no rules for morning pages, but the point of 750 words is to write that many words per day, at least to start off. 750 words is the equivalent of three double spaced pages and it’s a canvas to your day.
You can write journal entries, brainstorm random thoughts, think up blog posts, insult your neighbour, complain about the state of the world, create an alter ego, or write fiction. You can review the movies you’ve seen and hated, wonder what the future will be like, create shopping lists, explain why you won’t be crossing things off your to-do list, write love letters to someone you haven’t met. You can do anything with words and a blank space. It’s yours for the taking.
Fun things about 750 Words include: random badges when you’ve completed 750 words for days at a time, pie charts to tell you how emotional/ positive/ etc. your writing has been, and graphs to show how fast you wrote and how many times you were distracted for three or more minutes at a time. If you sign up, you can elect to get a daily e-mail reminder to write your words.
Over the past few months I’ve been slacking with writing my 750 words daily. I’ve put all of my focus into writing my novel and then, at the end of November, burning out and just taking too much time off. I’ve managed to not write blog posts, forget about journaling and ignore words that weren’t already published (I mean, I read five books last week. I guess that’s kind of a lot…). I plan on using 750 Words to bring me back into the world of blogging, to remind me to finish my novel and to let my writing take over like it wants to most of the time.
So if you’re a writer of sorts, or if you like to make epically long lists or if you’re looking for something to complain to, I suggest checking out 750 Words. The daily e-mail reminders are great, just because they are one more thing to talk you out of keeping lazy. If you’re a wanna be writer, now is the perfect time to stare at the blank white screen like the rest of us.
There’s one thing that I always remember about my freshman year fiction writing class. You have to show up in order for the writing to. My professor taught us that discipline is what brings on inspiration. Sitting down to write every single day, especially if it’s in the same place at the same time, trains your brain to think writerly things. It makes it so you are able to write, even if you think you can’t. And it also means that if you want to be a writer, you can be a writer. You just have to show up and do the work. And you’ll keep learning along the way. It may not mean that you’re going to be published or that you can make a living off your words, but that’s not the point in writing, anyway.
The point is something you’ll have to figure out on your own.