This post is also available in: German
Describing a writer’s work is thus easy. A writer who doesn’t write, isn’t one.
Even if this sounds easy and obvious, most writer’s faces will turn to stone after him or her hearing those words. Because a writer’s life is mostly built out of displacement activities.
Writing is only easy if you get kissed by a muse. But muses are really touchy entities and they choose when they want to come. Usually when you just don’t have time for them and neither when you want nor that often. The first rule of a writer’s life is: Shut up and write! Do not wait till your muse will stoop to kissing. Just write until this unreliable creature will grace you with her visit, eventually.
This is as hard as it sounds. Blood, sweat and tears galore are necessary to travel from “I do not have the slightest idea what I’m doing here” to “the zone”. “The zone” is writer’s Utopia. The happy place where ideas flow like milk and honey in Cockayne, he is in a close dialogue with his characters and you just cannot remove this lunatic smile out of the writer’s face. But to get from zero to “the zone” he needs to walk through blood, sweat and tears and on many days he or her never will reach it.
Usually the writer shows up at the desk, does a lot of pantsing and leaves the desk in the evening with just two or three more sentences than he started with.
Yes. It is as frustrating as it sounds.
Exactly at this point the site 750 Words comes into play.
The site is the brainchild of Twitter-employee Buster Benson. A man who is obviously in love with statistics and who exploits the most writer’s love for colorful writing statistics unkindly.
On the first impression, 750 words offers you a clean writing environment without distractions. Every odd second or so, your text is saved automagically in the background. So even if your browser crashes most of the text will be safe. With Ctrl+S you can trigger a forced safe any time.
So far, so plain.
What is special on 750 words is the writing goal. The name says it all: The tool motivates its users to write at least 750 words a day. To reinforce this motivation, the tool uses some gamification elements. Every writer who manages to write that day gets one point. If he/her reaches the 750 word goal he/her gets two points. For some achievements he or her gets “Badges” like those on Foursquare. For the first day he reaches the goal of 750 words, there is a badge showing a nice little egg. After three days goal reaching in a row, the writer is awarded with the turkey badge. (The edge has hedged fast, obviously.) The badge “The space bird” takes you not more than writing 750 words 500 days in a row. If you can manage this amount for 500 days, you have written the page count of a decent fantasy trilogy. Special badges are available for extremely fast writers or night writers.
If you need even more motivation there are monthly challenges. If you sign up for the may challenge, you have to write your 750 words every day. Else you’ll end up on the “Wall of Shame” and you’ll stay on the wall until you win a month-challenge, eventually. Then your name is placed on the “Wall of Awesomeness” for one month.
If you aren’t the person who likes a reward-or-punishment system very much, than you are maybe the person who likes the other feature a lot. 750 words offers you a linguistic statistical evaluation of your work at the end of every day which is like a sneak a peek through the keyhole of your subconscious. You can also add some metadata which makes 750 words to a writer’s journal on steroids.
If you like the concept of this tool, you should not procrastinate the creation of your own account. If you sign up after the 30th of April you have to pay a monthly fee for the service, so the project is able to live on. If you sign up today your account will stay free. Free users are encouraged to donate money voluntarily. As reward you are awarded the “patron badge“.