I know, I’ve not been writing a lot here lately. Mostly, I can’t seem to think of much to write that will interest anybody else. Also, like lots of people I have trouble starting to write anything; I gaze at the empty page and wonder where and how to begin…..
No answer to the first problem has presented itself as yet. But I may well have found the answer to the second problem.
750Words is a website that aims to get you writing. What you do is sign up (it’s a new site and everything is free for now); then each day you log on and write at least 750 words before your local midnight. They can be any words at all – sublime poetry, the earth-shaking novel you always wanted to write or “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” typed out 75 times – your entries are completely private and only you can read them. You collect points for word count, plus frequency and speed of writing, but there are no prizes apart from personal satisfaction. There’s no penalty for not completing the required 750 words, or for missing days. You can’t go back and edit your entry once the magic hour of local midnight has passed (although you can export each month’s entries as a text file and edit the hell out of them thereafter) which teaches you to get things more or less right the first time. Various bits of software analyze your words for mood and so on, and present you with nice coloured pie graphs; I’m not sure how accurate these are, but they’re interesting to look at and further encouragement to write.
The idea is to get you into the habit of regular writing and to overcome the block produced by the terror of an empty page – you learn that it’s perfectly safe to write and that mistakes won’t be punished. I’ve been using it for about a fortnight and I’m improving perceptibly. I’ve only missed two days (and one of those was when we had a local power cut) and I’ve managed to pass the 750-word mark three times.
OK, so far, I’ve not produced anything that I’d care to show to anybody; mostly whinges and inane burblings about my boring day. But if – no, when – I produce something worth reading, I’ll copy it onto here.