How Reinvigorated My Morning Pages Writing Practice

For nearly a year, I’ve been doing Morning Pages, the daily writing practice originated by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way.

Basically, your task with Morning Pages is to write 3 pages of stream-of-consciousness writing each day, first thing in the morning. If you’d like more info about the how’s and why’s of Morning Pages, download Julia’s PDF here.

Until recently, I wrote my Morning Pages longhand. You know, with pen and paper. I’d pour myself a hot cup of coffee or tea, sit down at the dining room table, and write in the early-morning silence. It was a sweet little morning ritual that I enjoyed for most of 2010.

About two months ago, my enjoyment started to fade. Mainly because the light over my dining room table casts the shadow of my hand onto the paper as I write, and it bothers my eyes. I didn’t notice the shadow initially, but lately, it’s become a huge distraction. So much so that it’s turned my sweet little morning ritual into a frustrating chore.

Fortunately, I discovered 750 Words, billed as “the online, future-ified, fun-ified translation of Morning Pages.” Why 750 words? Because in the writing world, 250 words is the standard number of words per page (multiplied by 3 pages equals 750).

Why I Love

1. Simplicity – The site is clean and uncluttered with lots of whitespace. Totally minimalist, and I really dig that, because hey, that’s how I roll (just have a look at this site). There are no buttons to push, no formatting to worry about and nothing that needs to be done beforehand. Just show up, login and start writing.

2. It’s Free – What’s better than free? Don’t let the price fool you though. It’s well worth a monthly donation of at least $4, which you’re welcome to make. And you’d be in good company. At last count, the site has over 550 “patrons” who love the site enough to support it with a donation (that includes me).

3. Built-in Word Counter – Although I usually write more than 750 words, I love that the site tells me exactly when I hit my 750th word. It’s like I can check off the task for the day and the rest of my writing is just gravy. And who doesn’t like a little gravy now and again?

4. Privacy – No one but you has access to your words. So if you want to write about how you and your friends got blitzed and ran naked through the park last night, it’s all between you, your friends and your conscience.

5. Very Cool Stats About Your Writing – I could tell you about this, but you’ll appreciate it more if you see an example. Click the thumbnail to the right to see the stats from one of my recent writing sessions. It even tells you the weather conditions in your area while you were writing. C’mon … how cool is that?

6. Built-in Motivation to Continue the Daily Practice – If you look at the thumbnail again, you’ll see the little round icons at the top, as well as the green X’s in boxes. To me, there’s something fun and motivational about that. It may seem rather unimportant, but I look forward to keeping my chain of X’s unbroken each day. According to Brad Isaac, the unbroken chain of X’s on a calendar was a productivity secret used by none other than comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

If you’re as committed to daily writing practice as I am, you’ll probably love 750 Words. Although it’s designed specifically for Morning Pages, I often use it throughout the day just to free-write about stuff I’m thinking about. If I could just get a desktop version of the program to do all my writing, my life would be nearly perfect.

How about you? What writing tools have you found most helpful?

There are 3 brilliant comments

  1. Thanks for sharing that.

    I’ve always been doing my morning pages without the help of any site, or a device. But gotta give 750words a try.

  2. Using the wordpress post draft often. Every time (you never know when the urge will hit you) you think of something that might be of future use make a draft. I also suggest making a “draft” category so you can find these little gems later when you are looking for ideas. I have also noticed that my swiss cheese memory has not improved as I have aged so it also helps with that too.

    Take Care

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