A few years ago I signed up for a service called 750Words.com after I reading a post from an author who mentioned that it had helped her get better about writing every day. It’s a very simple service with a blank page for you to write in daily and a word counter at the bottom. If you put 750 words into it before midnight then you get a check for the day, and there’s a string of boxes at the top of the page showing you how many times you’ve succeeded at that for the month. The writing isn’t published anywhere, and it has a $5 a month subscription fee.
I only wrote a couple of days that first year. I wrote even less the following year, and the year after that. I kept meaning to though and I didn’t cancel the subscription as I figured it would spur me to start making use of the site. In 2018 I decided that I needed to either use it or cancel it. I missed 15 days that first month, but even with that I’d still written more on there than I had in the previous three years. In February I only missed 4 days, and in March I managed to get my first month without missing a day. I missed 1 in April, 4 in May, and then started to trail off for the remainder of the year skipping July and missing most of the remaining months.
What I started doing in 2018 was not trying to get in a creative writing session, instead I just started writing whatever was in my head even if it was just, “I don’t know what to write,” over and over again. Usually after a minute of that my mind would start to wander and I’d end up starting to write about my day or about what I was planning for the next day. This surprised me by turning out to be very useful. Yet I still ended up extending my break well into 2019 until September.
I realized I was missing the chance to process what had happened during the day and mentally prepare myself for the next day. So I decided to get back to the daily habit again. This time specifically for the daily journaling and not to help me become a writer or get back into blogging like I’d planned previously. Which is ironic since it did lead me back to blogging last year.
I’ve had a couple of evenings where I haven’t sat down until 11:30 pm to write but it generally doesn’t take me more than 15 or 16 minutes to hit my 750 word goal and get that check mark for the day. I always feel good after I do it. In fact some days I start out in a bad or down mood thinking it wasn’t a good day or very productive or there’s something else that’s bothering me, but as I summarize the day’s events, I often realize there were things that went well which I’d forgotten about, and finish feeling better about the day than when I started.
Since September of 2019 I’ve only missed 1 day in October. I’m not sure if I’ll make it through all of 2020 without missing a day, in fact I would imagine I’ll end up missing at least a couple just because things happen like being sick or going on vacation. I am sure I’ll end the year with more months without any missed days than with them.
When I did get back into blogging last year, I was briefly tempted to try to write my drafts there to get my check mark for the day and then copy over to the blog. But I just found that doing free writing about my day worked so much better there, and it helped to clear my head and get me in the writing frame of mind. There’s been a couple of instances where coming into a Sunday evening I had no idea what I wanted to post about, and after getting my 750 words in for the day, I suddenly had an idea and I could go into WordPress and just go.
The service has been a great help to me personally and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants or needs to get a little positive feedback on hitting a daily word goal.