If you’ve never heard of it, 750words.com is a website modeled after one of the main exercises in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. If readers take away nothing else from that book, they learn about “morning pages“—a writing exercise designed to work out all your mental chatter each morning. The theory is that only after that stuff is out of your head—including the day’s to-do list, negative thoughts about yourself, and so on—your mind is free to create and accomplish.
Cameron insists in the book that morning pages be written out by hand. When I first practiced the exercise in the early 90s, I tried it her way. There were advantages to using my muscles to write things out, but it also significantly hindered how fast I could get all my thoughts down on paper. My brain can chatter like an over-caffeinated monkey!
Apparently I’m not the only person who types much faster than they write by hand—and in this era of cloud computing, it shouldn’t be surprising that 750words.com was born. (Why 750 words? Cameron’s morning pages consisted of three pages, and 250 words per page is industry standard for estimating page count. 250 x 3 = 750words.com!)
Today is a personal milestone: a one year uninterrupted writing streak at 750words.com. I signed up for the site on August 13, 2010, but occasionally missed a day here and there throughout that hellish fall. Starting the day after my birthday though, the words cemented themselves as an integral part of my morning, and I’ve not missed a day since.
A guy named Buster developed the site, and it is supported by small donations from users. One of the fun ideas Buster has implemented include a reward system of fun animal badges based on your writing behavior. They’re motivational, too! Today’s milestone means I finally earned the pegasus with Elvis Costello glasses, which my sights have been set on for the past few months.
Several friends have also registered at 750words.com after hearing me rave about it. They’re not quite as regular as I’ve been, but writing freely and securely has also gotten them through rough patches over the past year. If getting crazybrain out of your head and down on paper sounds like a worthy exercise, I encourage you to check it out as well!