Somehow I ended up with several hefty deadlines in the next week and a half before I embark on three and a half weeks of travel outside the U.S., and so I've been trying to schedule large chunks of writing time into my day—something I haven't typically been able to do in the past. Everyone says that writing daily is the key to successful writing; my key to success has been something more like writing on deadlines.
But one of my projects is a manuscript for a nonfiction writing class I'm taking at the Glen this summer. I don't really write creative nonfiction, so this is stretching me in strange ways. And one thing I've discovered is that unlike my regular essays and criticism, which I largely write in my head before I sit down to actually write it out, I have to feel my way along when writing memoir. It's unnerving. And kind of exhilirating.
I have myself writing 600 words per day to meet the page count and have time to edit before I send the manuscript in, but I remembered in the back of my mind seeing a site that helped keep up the habit. A little digging, and I turned up 750 Words, a very simple website with a very simple concept built upon the "daily pages" idea that Julia Cameron promotes in The Artist's Way as a way to clear your mind-clutter before starting your day.
While I'd love to actually journal or write longhand in the morning, I'm just not there yet. So instead, I think 750 Words will be useful as I try to build this habit of daily writing.
Do you use a tool to help build habits?