750 words

I tend to try out lots of webapps, only to abandon them in the space of 30 seconds after it becomes evident they’re trying to do too many things I don’t actually care about (and not doing them particularly well, either).  750 words does not fall into that category.

Billed as a sort of writer’s exercise (the 750 words # is taken from The Artist’s Way) meant to get you to write every day, 750 words manages to do that. It’s an extraordinarily simple interface — it’s a mostly blank screen; you write on it — but the site manages to be encouraging in its own ways. There are plenty of gimmicks — you get semi-arbitrary amounts of points for some things, plus badges for others, and you get fun (and somewhat tongue-in-cheek) statistics on the “meaning” of your writing. As it turns out, the gimmicks help keep you writing, day after day. The writing’s private (unless you don’t want it to be), and you can search your past writing, and see individual day statistics or overall statistics. It’s a free site, but you’re welcome (and encouraged) to donate, and about 10% of the users do, which seems admirably high.

For all of these reasons, or maybe others, the site has kept me coming back. And kept me writing. It’s not as annoying or unhelpful as most writer’s exercises I’ve come across, and it’s just easy enough to do on a regular basis. Writing longhand is still going to work better for some people, but if this sounds like it might be up your alley, give it a shot.