Thursday, March 11, 2010

Literary Weight Training

O Hai! Yesterday I was fortunate to stumble across a fantastic site that will be of interest to writers and artists.

750 Words has a mission to get you writing every day and to make it fun. The webmaster explains:

I've long been inspired by an idea I first learned about in The Artist's Way called morning pages. Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day, typically done in the morning, that can be about anything and everything that comes into your head. It's about getting it all out of your head, and is not supposed to be edited or censored in any way. The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day. Unlike many of the other exercises in that book, I found that this one actually worked and was really really useful.

I've used the exercise as a great way to think out loud without having to worry about half-formed ideas, random tangents, private stuff, and all the other things in our heads that we often filter out before ever voicing them or writing about them. It's a daily brain dump. Over time, I've found that it's also very helpful as a tool to get thoughts going that have become stuck, or to help get to the bottom of a rotten mood.

So how does it work? Basically, you can sign it using your Facebook, Google or Yahoo account (don't worry; what you write is kept private!) and just write anything at all that comes into your head. when you finish, you get stats about things like your mood, what you were thinking about as you wrote (the webmaster says to take it with a grain of salt) how many breaks you take, how fast you type, and a scorecard that depends on how many days you've kept your streak going.

Unlike LJ or blogger, you're not writing for an audience, and since no one's going to see it except you, there is a tremendous freedom that comes with letting all the words and ideas flow.

This is especially significant to my fellow aspiring aspiring authors; the more we write, the easier it becomes to sit down and pound out a chapter before lunch. I'm hoping to use this site to work up to my first novel, and while this is day 2 and I have only 1500 or so words under my belt, I am super psyched and feeling ridiculously stimulated. Getting into the habit is going to make it easier to write on those mornings when you sit down in front of Word, see a blank page and get an overpowering urge to projectile vomit Linda-Blair-in-the-exorcist style all over the keyboard.

The Webmaster is talking about possibly making 750 Words a paysite in the future, so join now or be awesome and donate!

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