Saturday, 23 July 2011

I'm a flamingo now. And an early bird. And proud of it!

 This morning I wrote my daily "750words" for the 18th day in a row. On the 15th of July, I got my "flamingo" badge. On the 18th I got my "early bird" badge. For what? I don't know. I guess I got up early that day.

I don't know why 18 days in a row struck me as momentous except that, for perhaps the first time, I "just did it" this morning instead of thinking about it or, as sometimes happens, thinking about what I could do instead of doing it. Or how I could do it later. Or how my pencils needed sharpening and my desk needs tidying. Any excuse will do, as we all know.

Last night, it was after 10p.m. when I remembered I hadn't done my 750words. I sat down and did them.

Eighteen days, in the great scheme of things, isn't a lot. I have a Twitter contact, @ebenstorm, who's written 250,000 words since he began He must be a Golden Eagle. I live in awe and dream for the day and am happy to have my flamingo and chicken.

My number is 14,150. But I am proud of those words because they tell me that I can be consistent and I can change behaviours. I like that.

My hero: Buster Benson himself.
Three people had to tell me "you ought to do this" before I listened and did it. I'm glad I did. Thank you, three people.

The benefits for me fall into several categories:


  •  It makes me aware--daily!--that I can sit down and write, in spite of excuses or distractions.
  • About half the time, I use my 750words to "talk" through questions or problems with my novel.  Somehow, the answers appear.
  • About one-fourth of the time, I actually write text that IS intended for my novel and gets cut and pasted into my Scrivener manuscript.
  • About one-fourth of the time I just do stream-of-consciousness stuff, have an 'ain't it awful' whinge at myself or write about a family or personal issue that's troubling me just to get it off my chest.
750words is the brainchild of Buster Benson, who's also the creator of  "HealthMonth, The Game", which I am also 'playing'. To say he's really onto something is an understatement. I think he's quite brilliant, especially for being such a young guy. For me, because the sites are relatively un-glitzy and ad-free, there are ways to connect to others and extra goodies to encourage players to communicate with each other, it's just plain fun. And it works.

Oh, yes, on HealthMonth we get 'life points' and fruit for performance (and get them taken away if we don't--but not to worry, we can give fruit to each other to 'heal' our compatriots). I have lots of fruit (and share it willingly) and still have life points left to see me through the month -- so it's clear that's working too.

And, if all that wasn't enough, one of my "A Round of Words in 80 Days" (ROW80) goals is to make weekly updates to my two blogs -- this one and my Malaysia blog. {You'll have to go there to see the photos of the Silvery Langurs I took earlier in the week, though).

I'm excited: I accomplished that goal, too, this week. No new badges, birds or bananas for it, though...just a really nice feeling of 'hey, I'm getting there'! And I am.


  1. Wow, you go girl! I'm facebooking this post, lots of good info here. AND as I was reading your post, I kept remembering that 750 words is two and a half pages with Times New Roman point 12 and one inch margins--but that adds up to a lot of words.

  2. Thanks for the support and the share on Facebook, Conda! I really am loving 650words. It does start the day off right. In the "good old days" (remember those??) I used to write in a journal as part of the Artist's Way; I imagine you did, too. But, today, this seems an expedient way to carry on that same good habit. I *do* like the journal for poems, haiku and random thoughts, though. I'm not ready to give it up completely!

  3. dear friend, i can't understand the game, can u help me?

  4. Hello Nat, the game is very simple. The only objective is to get you to write 750 words--every day. You go to and sign up. Each day, you receive a reminder to write 750 words. You go to the website, log in, and write your 750 words. The system keeps track of how many days you do it. You get various "badges" for achieving different things, automatically from the system. You can retrieve your writing later, or leave it on the system, as you choose. Hope this helps!