Sunday, April 25, 2010

750 words a day

I've been meaning to write more. I've had a bunch of ideas bouncing around in my head that would make good blog entries, but I never get around to doing it. Part of that is my freelance workload has increased, and I find that as long as I am doing some kind of writing, I don't get the urge to do another kind.

So when I hit a slow spot with the freelancing, I usually get the urge to blog. When nothing comes to mind to blog about, I try to turn to my much-neglected fiction.

But this makes everything very disorganized and isn't the best for trying to be creative. As I've been told by other writers (either in person or through books), you shouldn't wait until you feel inspired to write. You should create a habit of writing every day.

Maybe you end up writing crap that day, but that's not a big deal. For some the goal is to write three pages per day. That breaks down to roughly 750 words, which is what I learned when I discovered this website.

I signed up two days ago and pledged to write 750 words per day for the entire month of May. But I couldn't wait to May 1, so I started already. I've only created two entries, but I'm finding I really like the system.

I'm a competitive person -- no, really I am -- so is a way for me to challenge myself. The site keeps track of how many days I've succeeded and myriad other details, including the weather that day, the words I use most often, and how long it takes to get to the 750-word threshold.

What I really like about it is the point system. The more days you write, the more points you earn. There is a scoreboard that keeps track of everyone. This is where my competitiveness comes in handy. I want to see my name included on the leaderboard some day.

My strategy for writing is just to write whatever pops into my head, which is what they recommend doing. No editing. No looking for the "right" word. Just type one word after another and see where it takes you.

I took the nonfiction road for my first entry. On Saturday morning my writing turned into a fictional story told in first person. I might share it just to give you an idea of how my mind works. Don't expect a polished product, though. As I reread my entries I cringe at the sloppy syntax and sentences that sometime pop up.

I'm a manic self-editor so it's difficult to let typos go and just keep rolling. I'm getting the hang of it, though.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the site with you. Really, this post was just a way for me to tend to my much-neglected blog. Check out my next entry if you're interested in reading my stream of consciousness ramblings. I warn you, though, don't expect Faulkner.

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