Friday, 27 November 2015

750 Words

Having completed Dr Inger Mewburn's MOOC, How to Survive Your PhD, recently, I am currently working through all the links and tips I have found through coming into contact with a 13,500 strong global academic community.

One of the tips I received was a link to a site called (via the Debsnet challenge). The idea behind this site is that it encourages you to write.

You sign up, and then aim to free-write 750 words each day for three days. It's a brain dump of getting out the crap that may be preventing you from doing other things.

The idea is that you are not writing with purpose: you are just emptying your mental rubbish, organising the recycling, wiping your "to do list" whiteboard, pondering on the "why did I do that?" and the "I wonder if I should..."s, and washing out the compost container. Mental housework, if you will. Meditation for the writer.

Many people who have left comments on the site say that they treat this as their warm up for their real writing.

I have signed up for the free trial, which lasts for 30 days. Membership appears to be about USD$60 per year: the price of a US cup of coffee a month (update: though I bought a lifetime membership for USD$100 in December 2015).

After three days of writing your 750 words, you get some points on your board. If you keep writing for x number of days, you get badges.

If, after your 30 day free trial, you pay up and become a member, there are some acknowledgements for doing - say - 100 days straight. As a paid up member, you get your writing statistics, which will help you to decide how often you should write, what time during the day is best for you to do that (you can set up a reminder email to come to you to kick you in the pants), and to set other writing goals. It also gives you feedback on themes within your writing, which are very interesting.

I have only done three days thus far, but of course, I have subverted the site for my own purposes. Instead of free-writing, what I have done is write blog posts.  After three days of 750words, I am six blog posts ahead.

Not remotely what Buster & Kellianne intended.

But useful for me!



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