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Everyday Neurosis – Writing Consistently

21 Apr

As writers we all possess the demon of procrastination in some hideous manner. We force deadlines or put off projects or drag our pens as if writing were some evil punishment. Yet when we get going, forcing us to quit can only be achieved through severe hunger and/or dehydration, volatile argument or collapse. This personality trait tends to come with the writing landscape.

We authors also own various means by which we goad ourselves (or prime if you prefer…) into writing. We discipline ourselves (isn’t that the antithesis of writing???) to regular schedules or use software that is playful or struggle under a constant barrage of self-loathing because we have not written every day like big time authors tell us we must. Whatever trick you use, whatever method gets you into the button chair (more appropriately spelled butt-in-chair), whatever sorcery actually hands you success in this area is worth its weight in sold manuscripts to other writers who can duplicate your success.

With that last little tidbit in mind, I present a wonderful website called 750Words.com. This site offers daily prompts to your email suggesting you write 750 words today. The site creator was brilliant in his site setup and theme. Any writer knows 750 words is not much. Once you hit that four digit number, writers begin to blanche, but 750 words can be knocked out in fifteen minutes if you have average keyboard speed.

The creator of the site also knows that if a writer puts down 750 words, most likely there follows an avalanche of ideas and projects to spring forth while at the computer. A writer on a roll will continue until some force of the outside world interrupts. Getting into the chair to begin with is the primary issue. One of the things that motivated me to take on one of the website’s challenges – write 750 words every day for the entire month – is that a fellow writer I know jumped on the site and joined in the challenge. Now, I won’t miss a day simply because she is still in the running to complete the challenge and I will not be out-done.

This challenge sounds eerily like Nanowrimo which runs each November. During Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) writers are encouraged to write 1667 words per day to achieve a novel of 50,000 words by month’s end. Yes, 750 words copies that little format, but it works. I’ve complete two first-draft novels thanks to Nanowrimo. 750 words only asks for less than half the word count per day. Since I began writing on 750words.com in March, I have written 26,012 words and for the month of April I have keyed 16,383 words.

These are pretty impressive numbers. These numbers do not include my blogs and other writing I’m doing. Can you say, “Motivational feedback?” Seeing myself put up those kinds of numbers gives me hope. I know I can do this daily now. I previously wrote garbage. Whatever came off the top of my head, I wrote, so as to achieve word count. Then I began incorporating writing projects into my 750 words. I write articles for Daddy123.com so I wrote four articles using four different 750 word days. I also wrote a chapter of the current book I’m working on during one of my 750 word posts.

In March, I often wrote over 750 words. One day I keyed over 2000. Loads of words keyed is confidence to  a writer, even if the words are not all that great. The simple discipline of doing what we love helps move us along. 750words.com’s motivational aspects do not stop there. The site incorporates some really cool analytics. Once you are done keying your words, the site’s analyzer scans your words and tells you what kind of mood your writing reflects, what topics were foremost on your writing mind, what sense, tense and time orientation is reflected in your writing as well as breaking down your use of profanity, interruptions, use of filler words and a whole slew of other observations.

These analytical observations can be used as writing tools or simple curiosities. On a couple of my writing pieces, I wanted to know if the mood I wanted to project came across in my writing. The analytics gave me the feedback I needed.

Have I mentioned this site is free? Yes, free. The gentleman who whipped this cool tool together does ask to be supported with donations, but there is no obligation beyond your own sense of responsibility to helping maintain a fun and helpful site. In fact, I have not donated any money to the site as yet, but as soon as I finish up here, I will pop over to 750words.com and slide him a fiver. I don’t begrudge it at all.

As writers, we all look for something that will move us forward, get us into that writing groove and help us produce on a more timely basis. I’m here to tell you 750words.com helps me. Give it a shot. What do you have to lose other than your writing inconsistency? It’s free and if you don’t like it, you’re not out anything.

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