In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron describes the idea of writing morning pages. The strictest definition of morning pages is handwriting 3 pages first thing every morning. There is no goal to the writing, other than to clear the mind.
Writing can be a great way to get out the thousands of thoughts in one’s mind, clearing space to get to the real work to do that day. You don’t have to be a writer to do morning pages either. This activity clears the path for creative ideas necessary for all different kinds of projects to flow into the mind. This is why I meditate, and this is why I write in 750 Words.
What is 750 Words?
750 words is a website based on the idea of morning pages. The whole goal of the site is to type at least 750 words (the digital equivalent of handwriting 3 pages) each day. The site provides a blank slate each day, and displays an automatic word count as you click (or tap) your words away.
The site tracks all kinds of fun stats about you from the words you write, such as perceived-emotions, most common topics you write about, and even how you view the world. I will admit that I haven’t paid that much attention to all of this. I am mostly there to send my 750 words out of my mind and onto the screen, and then move on with the day.
When I signed up, it was free to create an account. Recently, the site has gone to a paid subscription. You can get a free 30 day trial, and then it is a $5 per month subscription fee.
Digital vs. Handwritten Words
When I was first introduced to 750 Words, I was skeptical. What if someone hacks into my account and reads all my really personal thoughts? And wouldn’t I miss my trips to Barnes & Noble to pick out the next journal that would define that period in my life, not to mention the calluses and ink stains?
I have always had a diary or journal of some kind. I haven’t always been consistent with it, but writing has always been my favorite way to organize my thoughts. I could write thousands and thousands of words about nothing in particular, which I have done on more than one occasion.
I resisted the idea of journaling Doogie Howser style, arguing that typing on a computer couldn’t capture that connection of soul to pen to paper. Another win for paper that a lover of handwriting might point out is that handwriting forces you to slow down, because we can generally think faster than we can handwrite. Also, handwriting is a good way to prevent the temptation to hold down the backspace button and delete that horribly written previous paragraph (to which I would counter: yes, but you can also tear out a page and shred it, so what is the big difference, really?).
Less Clutter Wins
I ended up deciding to go with a 750 Words account for several reasons. It bothered me to know that I had a box of journals sitting in my closet. It made me feel slightly weighted down to know that all the problems I wrote about were permanently living with me in my own handwriting. I also knew that I wanted to continue journaling indefinitely, but became increasingly anxious that my journals would overtake my apartment slowly but surely with the passing of time.
Once I started to see the benefits from the perspective of simplicity of things, I also started to get on board with the other benefits of digitizing. You get the ability to quickly keyword search everything you ever write, and also have the ability to cut and paste if needed. Sometimes I will be writing in 750 Words in the morning, and realize that I just came up with the idea for my next blog post. I can start getting my thoughts organized in the 750 Words site, and then copy and paste into a blog post draft in WordPress.
750 Words has provided me with an outlet for my cluttery thoughts that doesn’t clutter up my home, for which I am very grateful. If you have wanted to get back into journaling, checking out this site might be a good way to get started.
If you have tried 750 Words (or morning pages), we would love to hear what you think. Do you have a preference between paper vs. digital? Please share your thoughts below. Namaste.
image sourced: Loren’s world, originally Etsy