Friday, October 22, 2010
I first heard about 750Words.com a few months or so ago. I gave it a shot and said to myself, “Hey, that’s neat!” Then I forgot all about it.
But, for the past couple of days, I’ve been availing myself of this free service. And it is premium.
The basic idea surrounds the concept of “morning pages,” wherein a writer scribbles out (usually, around) three pages, by hand, first thing in the morning, in order to (I suppose?) limber up for the rest of the day. The content, style, substance, and quality of these pages does not matter—the goal is to simply write anything at all without interruption for a certain span of time, and this is an exercise any writer and even some non-writers will tell you is valuable.
Non-Writers Should Do It, Too
Why? Because memory sucks, and all brains everywhere are half full of garbage at all times. There are only two things anyone can keep firmly in mind: what you’re doing now, and what you’re going to do next. Beyond that, your brain is constantly trying (and failing!) to hold on to all kinds of minutia that it thinks might be somehow important or pertinent to one of those two things.
Your brain is constantly saying, “Don’t forget…don’t forget!” So, what do you do? You write down your thoughts in a safe place where you can find them later.
Ah, but here’s the thing: the vast majority of the thoughts rolling around in your brain at any given moment aren’t worth remembering anyway. You know this, so you don’t bother writing them down, and they persist and nag and clog up the works and generally prevent you from thinking.
The solution is to just go ahead and get those thoughts out of your head.
Get It Out Of Your Head
750Words.com modernizes this process. You type instead of writing by hand, you get a real-time word counter, and a little green block appears when you hit the arbitrarily-chosen 750-word mark. Brilliant! It’s freaking painless.
More importantly, something magical happens as you write. Thoughts leave your mind, go through your fingers, and end up on a screen. When that happens, your mental load is lightened and you can focus on more important tasks.
It doesn’t take that long, either. Think about it. How fast do you type? How quickly are you able to latch onto thoughts bouncing around in your dome? 750 words is really not altogether so many. Spend 15 minutes getting that shit out and you’ll be thinking (and writing, if that is your inclination) more clearly for the rest of the day.
Don’t be scared. Go sign up—you can even sign in through your Google or Facebook account so it’s extra super easy.