tool: anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose: Education is a tool for success.
One way we help others along the path is by sharing tools that have been useful to us on our own journeys. One tool that was recently shared with me is a technology that has helped me better utilize a simpler tool I discovered previously. Both have helped me become a better writer and more creative in general.
Several years ago, I was invited to participate in an Artist’s Way group, based on Julia Cameron’s book. As part of the process, I began writing Morning Pages, a daily “brain drain” recommended by the author to clear the mind and allow the flow of creativity. Cameron calls for three handwritten pages to be done first thing in the morning. I found the exercise stimulating and freeing. Cameron refers to Morning Pages as one of her Basic Tools in the process of recovering creativity.
I have recently begun a new Artist’s Way group (my 4th now), and now draft my Morning Pages online on 750words.com. The site notes that Cameron’s Morning Pages were meant to be done by hand, yet drafting them on a computer is valuable in many ways.
Once you have completed your 750 words (the approximate number of words in three longhand pages), you can immediately see statistics ranging from how much time it took to get 750 words on the page to what the weather was like when you were writing. The site records your start and finish times, and notes any distractions (periods of more than 3 minutes when you are not writing). I especially like the fact that it stores my Morning Pages for me.
The site utilizes motivators such as badges for accomplishments (i.e, the number of days in a row that you complete your 750 words) and monthly challenges which result in a place on the Wall of Awesomeness (or the Wall of Shame, if you do not meet the challenge). It is all in good fun and is helping me become consistent in completing my daily “stream of consciousness” mind dump.
Check out 750words.com and tell me what you think.