No one tells you how hard it is to write content. People think that just because you speak English and type using the home row, you should be able to dash off post upon post without breaking a sweat. Not so. Even if you have something to say, you need to undo years of academic conditioning. University will tell you how to write for the professor and how to make everything “correct”, but says almost nothing about writing honest, human communication. That kind of writing takes training. When I need training, I head over to 750words.com.
750word.com was started by Buster Benson, a developer living in Seattle, WA. It’s a writing challenge where you sit down and write 750 words of free associative writing, a practice inspired by writing exercises and psychotherapy. Only you can access your words (although you can export them), so you don’t have to worry about taking down bad ideas. It’s a great way to experiment with your writing, and leaves you open to those “happy accidents” that are the soul of true creativity.
The site also takes down statistics about your word use and tries to figure out how you are feeling at the time of your writing. You can learn a lot about yourself by just letting your fingers fly across the keyboard. When I decided to show Sara what I had written, she was surprised learn exactly what was going on in my head. I mostly wrote about the move, getting my business going, and all the stress associated with it. I find it difficult to just talk about this stuff verbally. If I write it down, I don’t have to worry about stuttering or messing the words up. Correction is only a backspace key away. I used to think that writing about yourself was kind of narcissistic. While it’s true that having no filter can make people uncomfortable, attention is not the only reason to reflect. Your own advice has more power when you write it down. Your words don’t just stay inside your head. You can catch yourself in a lie, or better yet, you can catch yourself speaking the truth. That truth, once etched in letters, can blossom until your life is changed forever.