I love it when I experience a moment of synchronism! Midway through the 46th week of the Empire Building Kit, I had an “ah hah!” moment. On Day 326, Chris Guillebeau, the program’s author, profiled Buster Benson who is behind the website 750words.com. This website is based on one of the core exercises discussed in Julia Cameron’s inspiring and helpful book, The Artist’s Way. (If you’ve poked around on my blog a little, you’ll recognize it as one of the books listed under “Rocks” – books that have inspired me, and helped me to grow and learn as an artist.) Julia believes that every artist – whether a writer or not – should start each day by writing 3 pages in a journal. These pages are for the writer’s eye’s only; punctuation and spelling aren’t important and you don’t necessarily have to write coherent sentences either. The idea is to get out of your head and down on paper the “chatter” that clutters your mind. This chatter is often the barrier that keeps all of us artistic types from doing truly creative and great work.
Benson’s website is a departure from the pen-to-paper model since he claims that most people, like him, prefer the ease and facility of a computer and typing online. Benson has figured out that 3 pages equates to about 750 words, hence the website’s title. His website promises total privacy (you create your own log in and password for your online “journal”). There’s a word counter that runs as you write so you know how close you are to your daily goal, as well as a point system and cute little badges to “reward” you for not missing a day of writing. I’m told that his model is somewhat similar to Facebook’s Farmville, but since I haven’t ever played Farmville, I wouldn’t know.
If you are like me, the process of writing with a nice pen on actual paper somehow feels more gratifying, and, ultimately artistic! But I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I could use carrot and stick approach, too.
My suggestion? Read The Artist’s Way first, learn what the daily pages are all about, and then decide for yourself if you want to up the ante and join 750words.com!