So, I started to use 750words.com. It’s an odd, but intriguing, kind of thing. It offers up a blank space for you to fill with at least 750 words. Ideally, every day. There are challenges (write 750 words every day for a month) and there are rewards (in the form of badges with pictures of animals on them).
I’ve been doing it for over a month now and, being me, I have done it every day. At first, I was writing from prompts (either prompts from writing sites or the like or story ideas that I had amassed). That was fairly successful, in that I have generated some 750+ word stories that have definite potential.
I also wrote about particularly vivid dreams a few times. Similar to the prompt experience, I think I have some material with potential in there.
For the last couple of weeks, though, I have been using it as a sounding board of sorts, working through ideas that I have for the pieces (two short stories, one long poem and a radio play) I am currently working on. I often think about what I am working on, of course, but the act of writing down those ideas has been really useful. It has helped me to generate further ideas and it has given me something concrete to work with later. I think the stories in particular are really benefiting from this, especially the one that I was starting from a very spare idea. It is really just brainstorming in type, but the email coming into my inbox every morning at 7am is an excellent reminder.
I doubt that I will continue to do this every day indefinitely. The brainstorming function wouldn’t, I think, be necessarily as helpful for me if I was editing a longer piece. (And in fact, as I was using this in February, I was working on turning a short novella into a long short story and that period coincided with the time I was using prompts and recording my dreams.)
All in all, though, a great tool (and not just for procrastination!).