I’m the kind of person, unfortunately, that has several unfinished projects sitting around at any given time. I wish that wasn’t true. I’d like to be the kind of person that finishes one thing up in a timely fashion, then moves on to the next. But I’m not.
I’m the same with reading books. I’ll have anywhere from two to five started at the same time. That’s especially true since I got my Kindle a couple of years ago; it’s so easy to switch back and forth between books. If something is pretty good, but doesn’t hold my interest, I’ll switch off to something else before I’m done with the first book.
When I decided that I wanted to write a novel, I was afraid of the same thing happening to me. I know there are a lot of people with unfinished manuscripts sitting around in desk drawers or stored on a computer drive somewhere. I didn’t want to be one of those people, but I was afraid with my history that was exactly what would happen.
I needed to write every day, and I needed a way to be held accountable to do that. Fortunately, about a year ago, I stumbled across the perfect platform.
It’s a website, called 750words.com. The guy who runs it needed a place to write every day for himself, and he thought that others might have the same need. So he created this website. It’s completely free of charge, although you can donate if you like. You create an account, and instantly you have a platform on which you can write whatever you like. Fiction, nonfiction, journaling, ranting and raving, whatever. I’ve used it for the ranting and raving occasionally, and sometimes to work out blog posts or book reviews, but over the past few months I’ve used it to write scenes for the novel. 750 words is just about right for the basics of a lot of my scenes. (I usually go over 750; you’re not limited in any way to the number of words you write. I’ve gone as high as 1500.)
You can make your writing public to the other users of the site, if you want feedback (kind of like a writing group), or you can keep it private. Mine is private. There are incentives to keep up the routine. You get cute little badges for completing certain goals – 30 days in a row, 100 days in a row, writing your words by 9:00 in the morning, things like that.
And then there are the monthly challenges. At the beginning of each month, you sign up for that month’s challenge, agreeing to write every day. You choose a reward for yourself if you make it, and a “punishment” if you don’t. If you’re successful, you get your name posted to that month’s Wall of Awesomeness. If you don’t make it, you get your name on the Wall of Shame.
I always sign up for the challenge, and even though my book is nearly done, I’m going to keep signing up. After all, I have a couple of sequels in mind already! I have 110 straight days at this point, and I’ve earned a Phoenix badge.
If you need a private place to write every day, with a little incentive thrown in, 750words.com might be just what you’re looking for. It’s worked well for me.