750 Words

I heard of 750words.com some time ago, but I didn’t sign up right away. Isn’t that how it often goes? You think it looks like a good idea, but you wait to read more about it and completely forget until someone reminds you.

Well, someone reminded me at DemiCon. I know I’ve needed some motivation lately, and this might be the right tool to help me with that. I haven’t figured all of it out yet, since I’ve been on the site about five days. Yes, if you didn’t know that about me, I really like starting new projects on the first of the month. Somehow that resonates as a good day to begin and stick with something.

The point of the site is 750 words is 3 pages. Three pages every day adds up to something pretty fast. I suppose that means you’re writing something toward a project, and not interspersing random thoughts the way I have been the last few days, but part of that is focusing on what I’m doing.

The site gives you points for every day you write. One point to write at all, two points if you complete the 750 words, and three points if you complete your word count with no distractions. A distraction is counted as a three minute period or more where no words are added to the word count.

I’ll admit my first day I didn’t read all of that about points, so I put my daughter to bed in the middle of my writing. I should have started after she went to bed, but I had an idea. Then I saw that huge gap in my productivity (they graph it for you!) and I’m managing my time better since. The points might not mean anything off-site, but they can be a motivator if you let them. Can you get a turkey? A penguin? An owl? I just finished writing for my 5th day, so I think I get a penguin. Very cool.

The stats given each day also help me learn about my writing. There are emotions associated with it, which I haven’t decoded yet, but I will eventually. The part that excited me more was telling me how many words I typed and how many minutes it took me. If I focus, I can write at 60 words per minute! Yes, that’s slower than my typing speed (approx 100 wpm) but when you have to think of each word as you go, that’s not bad.

There are ways to follow writers, but I haven’t checked that out, either. I don’t really know anybody else at 750 words yet. Perhaps I ought to follow someone random just to see how it goes.

What methods do you use to keep your writing on track? Do you need someone or something to hold you accountable? Are the little badges and stats enough? What do you do for the rewriting stage?

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