Catherine Dorman is a new BYT intern. We’re having her try at least one new thing each week. Her first new thing in 750 Words, a site that helps writers write.
750 Words is basically your tween diary tossed into the 21st century. Every day, you write out 750 words- roughly 3 pages- about anything and everything and the website then synthesizes data about your thoughts and writing habits. The idea behind 750 is nothing new; it’s a longstanding belief that writing 3 pages every morning aids creativity and creates a sort of mindfulness to set your day up in a positive way. Good for aspiring writers. Good for lingering teen angst. Good for me? I tried it out for a week to see.
Day 1: I was really worried about how long this would take so I allowed 40 minutes, but since it’s just a brain dump/stream of consciousness exercise it took me exactly 17 minutes to write 750 words, that’s an average of 44 words a minute. I know that because the website gives you a bunch of cool stats after you finish your entry. It also rates the content of the diary on the movie rating scale (G, PG, PG-13, R). Mine was rated R which I can entirely put down to the fact that I’m not a morning person and have a tendency to swear a lot in the morning. I also must have written “oh my god” a lot because one of the stats thinks I was talking equally about religion and death, when everyone knows I talk mostly about death. It’s definitely not a perfect system, but I already feel so much more productive than had I stayed in bed on Instagram for those extra 17 minutes.
Day 2: Waking up early to do this is by far my least favorite part, those extra 30 minutes I allow force me out of bed at a time I’m not comfortable. It didn’t feel easier or harder to write today, it just felt the same. I do enjoy doing this, and it allows me to watch my brain naturally wander which is a fun exercise. Again, it thinks I’m mostly interested in religion but really I just wrote “oh my god” about a lot of secular topics. I don’t really get the points system because I don’t win anything from it (free food) so it’s not the best motivation but maybe that human need to win will kick in soon.
Day 3: I GOT A TURKEY STICKER! That’s how they keep you involved. Giving you stickers for streaks. Every day it looks at my mindset and every day so far I have been introverted, confident, and feeling which is cool and kind of an uplifting way to start the morning since I don’t ever think of myself as confident. Well, apparently I do. I write one minute faster each day. Didn’t realize I could write 750 words in 15 minutes. Maybe I’m becoming a morning person or journaling prodigy.
Day 4: Pretty uneventful. No stickers. Wrote one minute faster. For the first time ever according to the stats I’m most obsessed with eating and drinking instead of religion, so there’s that.
Day 5: Very, very nearly missed today. Even though I only left my bed for the first time at 4 p.m. for food purposes and spent countless hours on my computer, it almost completely slipped my mind until 10 p.m. That defeats the morning/mindfulness aspect, but it’s cool in another way because it let me reflect on my whole day and piece together thoughts on everything that happened, such as Netflix and eating. Maybe today would have been a good day to try creative writing.
Day 6: I done goofed. I’m a failure. No stickers for me. I went to brunch and then before I knew it I was falling asleep to Chopped. Now there’s a massive blank spot where a green “x ” should be, forever marring my September.
Day 7: Achievement unlocked: Reached NC-17 rating on my piece because of my extra creative expletive use- the direct result of my housemate talking nonstop about her ex-boyfriend while I was trying to write. Today also took me 35 minutes, again a result of my chatty housemate. Once again, like Saturday I wrote in the evening because it’s a weekend so I forgot I had any responsibilities and wrote a note on my hand at Starbucks in order to remember at all. Mad props to anyone who remembers to do something every single day. Side note: this is also why I have neither pets nor plants.
During my seven days of writing I never looked at the tabs that compare your stats to the other 3,500 or so active users, nor did I make any of my writing public or look at other people’s writing, though both are options, so I assumed everyone else was using it like me: as a quick brain dump to start, or by the end of the week finish, my day. It turns out I was wrong.
I thought the goal was to dump out the contents of your brain as quickly and coherently as possible, so I basically raced the clock every day. It appears I was alone in that mindset. Maybe everyone else is using it as a space for creative writing? Or maybe they all question themselves so much that it takes them nearly an hour longer than me to say as much. Or maybe they get distracted by Instagram for 50 out of every 60 seconds. I don’t know.
Overall, 750 words is a cool website that holds you accountable and provides fun statistics, and can be as much or as little about community as you please. If you’re at all interested and since it’s free, I’d say go for it. Earn your virtual stickers! Be free!