Thursday, April 25, 2013

750 Words

750words.com is an online writing site that challenges the user to write 750 words per day. You register to create an account, which then takes you to a page where you simply write. Everything you write on 750words is counted and saved, and when you reach your daily goal you're awarded two points and an X in that day's box. Here's a screen shot of one day's page from my account:



There are obvious benefits to joining 750words.com and using the site to get some writing done. First you have a place to work that has no distractions, bells, whistles, etc. -- it's basically just a blank, private page where you can work. The only goal is to write 750 words in one day, and earning your points for accomplishing that goal can be an excellent motivator. You can also leave and come back to it without having to start up a program or open files; you can log off or minimize the window, do some other online work and then go back to it. The site is an excellent way to get into a daily writing routine, whether you make goal or not.

Here's another screenshot that shows the counter at the bottom of the page:



You can print whatever you write on 750words.com, and since it's saved online you can either leave it on your account or copy it to a file on your hard drive (I did this by highlighting, copying the text and pasting it in Word.) Writers who collaborate can easily share an account and use it to pass their day's writing back and forth; all you have to do is coordinate when either of you will log on. This is also a nice site to use for online writing challenges like word wars or group daily goal drives with other writer pals.

At present registering for an account is free (donations are much appreciated), but that will be changing shortly:

On May 1st, all existing users of the site will be given lifetime free accounts (we hope you'll continue to donate when you can). New accounts created after May 1st, 2013 will be required to become members within 30 days after signing up in order to keep writing. Everyone will always have access to previous writings, stats, etc, even if they choose not to become members.

The site owners do note that after May 1st they will be giving out free accounts monthly, and are always willing to hear from someone who might not be able to afford the new usage fee and possibly give them a free account on a case by case basis. In the meantime, you still have a week to snag a free account, so if you're interested do check it out soon.

9 comments:

  1. A friend of mine and I used 750words a couple of years ago. There were snags. Like losing internet connection while typing could mean losing all your work when you hit save.

    Eventually we weren't even writing anything sensible, just nonsense to reach our goal for the day (since we stopped trusting it for major projects). I finally deleted my account.

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    1. I appreciate the warning, Alexander, especially concerning the internet connection loss resulting in loss of work. I think everyone should keep that in mind when considering using the site.

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  2. This sounds useful for my current goals. I'm so busy with school, my larger projects are really out of the question, so I've been trying to write more flash fiction. I'm a member of an online freewrite club where we post prompts and write from them. 750words seems like a great way to write from prompts, and since my flash fiction pieces are normally around 300 words or less, this will encourage me to write 2-3 to meet the daily goald. I will heed Alexander's warnings though and copy and paste into Word before I hit save, just in case. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I was thinking it might work for me for writing practice, too, and I like your idea about using it for flash fiction. I have trouble writing very short fiction (occupational hazard for a series writer, I suppose), so it might be a helpful exercise to try to tell a complete story in 740 words or less.

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  3. I would have never thought of creating a website that allows and motivates people to write in such a way. This is a great and inspirational idea.

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    1. I like that it's free, at least until May 1st. :)

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  4. Update: After my first day using this site, I am really loving it! My favorite feature? The stats page. It analyzed what I wrote (three flash pieces) and determined my mood, what was on my mind, and most commonly used words, among other things. Obviously a lot of the stats should be taken with a grain of salt, but it was a fun feature and I enjoyed seeing what the computer came up with for my mindset and mood. Thanks for sharing this site with us, Lynn! I hope it will keep me writing during this busy time for me.

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    1. That does sound fun and useful -- thanks for letting us know how it's working for you.

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  5. Thanks for the tip! I signed up after your recommendation and have successfully done three days in a row. The statistics are brilliant (I'm such a data geek). I'm copying and pasting my daily words into my on-going manuscript after each session as a back-up, but I like the site because I'm not distracted by editing what I wrote yesterday/last week/last month.

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