750words.com takes a simple premise advocated most popularly by The Artist’s Way– that private, rules-free freewriting every day is a key writing habit– and expands on it in a few interesting ways. Foremost, the site provides a simple, private, online space for the basic task of freewriting. There are no options to make your writing public, no tags, categories, comments, trackbacks, etc. Once logged in you are presented with a single, distraction-free space for the current day with a word counter:
Any blogging system that allows for private posts can provide roughly the same advantages, though they can be a bit tedious to set up given their essentially public nature. What 750words adds to the mix are unobtrusive statistics and some basic gaming mechanics. There is a simple points system, vaguely based on bowling scores, in which you accumulate points for each day with an increase for consecutive entries, badges for particular accomplishments (consecutive days writing, finishing within limited amounts of time, time spent without “distraction”– which presumably means without leaving the editing page), and simple leaderboards to see how you are doing in relation to your peers.
As I ponder moving more and more of my creative writing time to the computer, which I’ve been reluctant to do for various reasons I’m sure I’ll go into in the future, 750words.com might be a useful tool in my digital arsenal.